Excellent? , continued
the renovated Houston Hall,
by Gregory Benson Photography.
of the College House system in 1999 was another signature development
relating to undergraduate life. Each of the 12 College Houses, which accommodate
a total of 5,400 undergraduates, has a live-in faculty master, house dean,
and advisers. Through a program known as the Wheel, students have around-the-clock
access to in-person and online advising in math, writing, library research,
foreign languages, computer science and engineering, and career services.
Each house also has its own computer lab, with staff that can provide
quick help for hardware and software problems whenever they occur.
addition to the 12 residences, two hubs for special interests established
themselves on campus during this period. The first, Kelly Writers House,
has become ground zero for all things literary on campus, while Civic
House is headquarters for community-service activities. Other hubs are
in the planning stagesfor example, in science and technology and performing
$138 million has been raised for undergraduate financial aid, and $75
million for graduate and professional students. Nearly 400 new scholarship
funds have been established.
and retaining top-flight faculty is key both to educating students and
to extending Penns standing as a leading research institution. The 1995-2000
period has seen significant growth in the number of endowed professorships
established at Penn. University faculty have also been able to attract
a growing share of funding for sponsored research.
has added 57 new endowed professorships during the Agendakey bargaining
chips in attracting the best and brightest academics. Formerly on the
faculty at Princeton, Dr. John DiIulio C80 G80 was named a Fox Leadership
Professor, for example. DiIulio, who recently resigned a head of President
Bushs office of faith-based programs, is one of several new faculty
in political sciencea department singled out in the Agenda as both central
to Penns academic priorities and in need of rebuilding. Other new faculty
include Dr. Lawrence Sherman, one of the worlds leading criminologists,
who came to Penn to direct the Fels Center of Government [A
Passion for Evidence, March/April 2000].
in external funding for research by Penn faculty has accelerated from
2 percent annual growth in 1995 to 11 percent annually over the last five
years, and jumped by 13 percent in FY2000. That year, the University received
nearly $540 million in external funding, up from $322 million in FY95.
research centers established during the Agenda include the Leonard and
Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute; the Center for Cognitive
Neuroscience, focusing on studies of the mind, brain, and behavior; the
Center for Bioinformatics, designed to link biomedical researchers, computer
scientists, and mathematicians working on computationally intensive research;
and the University-wide Genomics Institute [Gazetteer,
the most concrete (and brick, and steel, and glass) evidence of change
over the last five years has been the explosion of construction activity
on and around the campus, which has included an array of both commercial
and academic space.
into the category of major campus amenities are Sansom Common and the
Perelman Quadrangle. Sansom Common, completed in 1999, transformed a surface
parking lot at 36th and Walnut into a major crossroads of the University,
anchored by the Penn Bookstore and the Inn at Penn, and including several
restaurants and retail establishments. Perelman Quad, completed in fall
2000, combined extensive renovations of four of Penns most historic structures
(College Hall, Houston Hall, Logan Hall, and Irvine Auditorium) and one
1960s-era building, Williams Hall, with construction of a new central
plaza, Wynn Commons, to create a new hub of undergraduate life.