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HIGHER EDUCATION Learning and Labor The preliminary hearings ended in March. The final briefs were filed by mid-April. And sometime in May, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is expected to issue a ruling. Continued...

DEPARTURES Out of the Frying Pan … In February, Executive Vice President John Fry announced that he would be leaving Penn at the end of June to become president of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa. Continued...

Photo by Tommy Leonardi

STUDENT LIFE Now Sitting in the Owners’ Box: Fans? Jesse G. Spector was crunching some numbers. It was late February, and the senior history major had just been informed that our story about his scheme to buy the Montreal Expos would appear in the May/June issue of the Gazette. Continued...

LECTURE An Internet “Grandfather” on its Past, Present, Future “I’m constantly asked to predict what’s going to happen in the computer field,” said Dr. David Farber, the Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Telecommunications Systems, during his talk for the Provost’s Lecture series in February. Several years ago, he recalled, he was asked to make a 20-year projection. “I said, ‘That’s nonsense—if I’m lucky I can do five years.’” Continued...

Illustration by
Tifenn Python

RESEARCH Bridging the Regeneration Gap in Spinal-Cord Injuries Scar tissue is one of the body’s responses to injury. In certain cases, it can also be an impediment to healing. Continued...

LECTURE Speed-Reading the Book of Life “J. Craig Venter has never been a man to waste time,” noted Dr. Samuel Preston, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, as he introduced the pioneering and often controversial genomics researcher to a packed Irvine Auditorium in February. Continued...

GIFTS Trust and Chance Lead to $100 Million Gift for Penn Medicine In March 2001, Bernard Korman W’52 L’55 happened to be sitting next to Penn President Judith Rodin CW’66 at a Penn alumni brunch in Florida. As they talked, they discovered that they shared, in his words, a “mutuality of interests.” Continued...

Illustration by William Hood

LECTURE Probing Plagiarism At the very end of the panel discussion on “Ethics and Integrity in the Historical Profession: Plagiarism, Business and the Media,” history-department chairman Dr. Jonathan Steinberg turned to his fellow panelist and said, “You have the last word. You started this.” Continued...

HEARD ON CAMPUS Lessons to be Learned “History never provides direct analogies, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, was saying to an audience in Irvine Auditorium last February as part of the Fox Leadership Spring Forum. But, she added, there are “lessons to be learned by looking back to leadership during previous crises.” Continued...

DUST AND MORTAR

 

Reburying the Past

The two institutions had a request. They wanted Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas to approve a petition to “confirm the removal of 448 unidentified human skeletal remains and numerous anatomical specimens” unearthed at a construction site last year. Then they wanted permission to move said remains to a nearby cemetery, and move the anatomical specimens to a museum.

The institutions were the University and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The construction site was part of the old Philadelphia Civic Center, on which a new Cancer Center is rising. The 448 skeletal remains discovered there were some of 19th-century Philadelphia’s poor and indigent, who spent their last days at the Blockley Almshouse, later replaced by Philadelphia General Hospital (and, later still, by CHOP and other medical buildings). The cemetery in question is the Woodlands Cemetery; and the museum slated to receive the anatomical specimens is the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. The court approved the request this past March.

“It was an undocumented burial ground,” explains Dr. Thomas Crist, a forensic archaeologist and anthropologist (and adjunct assistant professor in the dental school’s pathology department) who was working for the firm of Kise Straw & Kolodner when the remains were discovered in February 2001. But while there was “nothing extraordinary” about the remains themselves, he said, “both Penn and Children’s Hospital should be commended for doing the right thing. They found a large number of human remains on the property, and spent a considerable amount of money to disinter them. They could have looked the other way, and they didn’t. We thought what they did was most respectful. Even the judge mentioned that.”


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Copyright 2002 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 4/28/02

G I F T S

$10 Million for Bioengineering

The School of Engineering and Applied Science will soon have a new bioengineering facility: Skirkanich Hall, courtesy of a $10 million gift from J. Peter Skirkanich W’65 and his wife, Geri. The 58,400-square-foot bioengineering laboratory facility will be located near the School of Medicine, and will house faculty, staff, students, and researchers. The gift, the largest by an individual donor in SEAS’s history, is part of the school’s $57 million bioengineering initiative.

Noting that the funding for Skirkanich Hall is the latest in a series of gifts that include the Skirkanich Professorships of Innovation and the Peter and Geri Skirkanich Endowed Scholarships for engineering undergraduates, SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt GCh’75 Gr’77 said the Skirkaniches’ generosity and vision “have provided Penn Engineering with the opportunity to grow and prosper like never before in its history.” President Judith Rodin CW’66 called the gift a “vote of confidence in Penn’s groundbreaking bioengineering efforts,” noting that close collaboration between the engineering and medical-school faculty “provides a huge basis for these efforts.”

The gift follows a $14 million five-year Leadership Development Award from the Whitaker Foundation [“Gazetteer,” September/October] to support programs and faculty in bioengineering. Seven new faculty will be added over the next seven years in the core areas of injury bioengineering, neuroengineering, orthopedic bioengineering, and cardiovascular bioengineering, while the number of bioengineering graduate students will rise from 18 to a target level of 35 a year.

Skirkanich, a Penn trustee and overseer of SEAS, is founder and president of Fox Asset Management, a New Jersey investment-management and counseling firm.