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$1 Million Gift to Fisher-Bennett Hall, English Language Programs
September 5, 2006, Volume 53, No. 2

Natan and Lidia Peisach

Penn alumnus Natan Peisach, W ’61, and his wife, Lidia, have given $1 million to SAS to create the Peisach Family English Language Programs Wing in Fisher–Bennett Hall. The wing will provide classrooms and offices for the ELP, where nearly 2,000 foreign students each year get their first taste of University life, as well as a library and student study center.

Mr. Peisach came to Penn in the 1950s as an international student from Colombia and is now chairman of his family’s holding company whose main activities include textile and plastics manufacturing, rose growing and an office focused on alternative investments. He and his children, who also attended Penn, are longtime supporters of the University.

“My Penn education was an equalizer that broke down barriers; it elevated me in the eyes of others and was very significant to my success,” Mr. Peisach said.  “I am a firm believer in education and Lidia and I are very grateful to the University for what it has meant to me and to our family.  It is important for us to give back to the University and to teach our children how to give back.  At the same time, we wanted to support a project where our gift would have the most impact.  We found all of that in Fisher–Bennett Hall.”

“Natan Peisach and his family are foremost examples of how our international alumni can assist Penn’s commitment to global engagement,” President Amy Gutmann said.  “I am delighted that the Peisachs are associated with the English Language Programs Wing.”

“We are grateful to Natan and Lidia Peisach for helping us bring a brilliant new shine to Fisher–Bennett Hall,” said SAS Dean Rebecca Bushnell.  “Thanks to their generosity, our English Language Programs students can take advantage of thoroughly modern teaching, learning and work spaces.”

Fisher–Bennett Hall re-opened in January after undergoing a $23 million renovation. A campus landmark since 1925 and home of the English department since 1974, the building is one of the most widely used spaces on campus.

Almanac - September 5, 2006, Volume 53, No. 2