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INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH
Penn to Launch
Genomics Institute

In the view of Provost Robert Barchi Gr’72 M’72 GM’73, the burgeoning field of genomics is the “biggest, most exciting transition to hit the biological sciences since the advent of molecular biology—and in many ways I think it will be more profoundly altering to the field than molecular biology.” Continued...

HEARD ON CAMPUS
Sweet Smell of Success
On Tuesday, March 6, while a few stray snowflakes from the Winter Storm That Wasn’t fell outside the windows of Kelly Writers House, writer and humorist David Sedaris was interviewed by Dr. Alan Filreis, the Class of 1942 Professor of English and faculty director of the Writers House. Continued...

BRICKS AND MORTAR
Rising From the
Ashes, A First Home
for Fine Arts

When the former Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church at 33rd and Chestnut Streets burned down in March 1997 [“Gazetteer,” April 1997], in the midst of renovations to turn it into the headquarters of Penn’s fine-arts department, it looked like one more disappointing chapter in the program’s long search for a permanent home. Continued...

EXHIBITION
Jews and Modernity:
Fragments and Shifting Notions

It somehow seems appropriate that a new exhibition at the Arthur Ross Galley—Transformation: Jews and Modernity—has been described by its curators as being comprised of “fragments” from a history of modern Jewish art.
Continued...

POLITICS
Understanding Election 2000
As any political junkie knows, there’s room for argument after every election—though not usually about who won. Not, that is, until last year. Continued...

ANNIVERSARY
Women at Penn:
The First 125 Years

“We want to celebrate 125 years of achievement for women at Penn,” says Judith Roth Berkowitz CW’64. “To say, ‘How did women get to Penn, why did they come, what did they do while they were here, and what were the results? Was it worth it to go through all this aggravation to educate women?’ Because it certainly wasn’t easy. Nobody wanted to let them in, [but] once they got here, they did very well.” Continued...

 

GIFTS

Williams Gives $16 Million to University Museum

To kick off the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s six-year, $55 million fundraising campaign, Dr. Charles K. Williams II Gr’78 Hon’97, the campaign’s chairman, put his own mark on the process: by giving $16 million. The gift, announced in February, will be used to improve the climate-control and other infrastructure needs of the museum’s venerable building. An additional $9 million has been raised so far for endowment and programs.
    “Dr. Williams’ magnanimous gift—$16 million, earmarked to go to the unglamorous but ultimately vital renovation of the general utilities and air conditioning of the museum’s historic buildings—is a tremendous statement of support, and, I believe, a call for all of us who believe in the museum’s mission and vast potential to step forward and make our vision a reality,” said Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff C’64, the museum’s director. In addition to helping turn “our grand but aging Victorian-era building” into an asset instead of a liability, Sabloff added, the museum needs to “remain active and flexible” in its international research efforts and to “disseminate information to wider and more diverse publics” in “dynamic new ways.”
    “I’ve come to realize that in order to do the exciting research, publications, and exhibition programs that are so valuable, you need to have a good base,” said Williams, a classical-world scholar and term trustee of the University who is passionate about the museum’s excavation and discovery work. “I just decided, since I’m dedicated to the programs of this museum, I could give for the things that are absolutely important to the long-term success of the institution—and the things that, from a fund-raising perspective, are usually the hardest to raise money for.”


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Copyright 2001 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 5/2/01

WEST PHILADELPHIA

Breaking Ground in Education

“It is not every day that a new public school is built in an American city—especially a groundbreaking public school that will benefit thousands of neighborhood schoolchildren in the years to come,” said Penn President Judith Rodin, as ground was indeed broken for the new pre-K-8 public school in University City. The school, at 42nd and Locust streets, is a collaborative effort by Penn, the School District of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. It will open this September for kindergarten and first-grade students, and will eventually serve up to 700 neighborhood children.
    In addition to making the site available to the School District for $1 a year, Penn is providing up to $700,000 in annual operating support for at least 10 years, and its faculty and students will be involved as student teachers, teachers, tutors, consultants, and researchers.

PENN AND THE CITY

Street Picks Rodin to Head New Economy Board

Few would argue the fact that Penn has become one of the most powerful high-tech engines of the Philadelphia region’s economy. In February, Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street confirmed that impression when he named President Judith Rodin CW’66 as chair of the fledgling New Economy Development Alliance, which is designed to attract high-tech businesses to the region.
    “The mayor understands how important local colleges and
universities will be to the success of the City’s economic development future, and has asked me to bring together academic and business leaders to help with New Economy enterprises in Philadelphia,” said Rodin. “I have accepted the challenge because I believe we can succeed.” Other members of the board of directors include Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxo-SmithKline, and Brian L. Roberts W’81, CEO of Comcast Corporation.

    Street told the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce that the city must forge new relationships with colleges, universities, businesses, and government to combine regional resources to create jobs and a high quality of life “that becomes the foundation for economic prosperity.” The Alliance, Rodin said, would develop a “coordinated, overall strategy that involves all of the research institutions in Philadelphia and the region,” adding that university research “provides the leverage” that convinces businesses to locate in Philadelphia. (One of the high-tech hubs envisioned by both Street and the University would be developed on the site of the U.S. Post Office at 30th and Market streets.) The Alliance will also encourage companies to locate in Keystone Opportunity Zones, which are exempt from most state and local business taxes.