A Rodin Decade Timeline: Highlights from Judith Rodin's 10-year tenure as Penn's President


Judith Rodin assumes office as first woman to head an Ivy League university

Walter Annenberg gives $120 million to Penn, the largest single gift ever from an individual


Rodin announces Agenda for Excellence, a comprehensive five-year strategic plan to strengthen the University on all fronts

Kelly Writers House, the first of several campus academic hubs, opens its doors


  • First of Penn's West Philadelphia Initiatives are launched: an increased police presence to improve safety and security, and UC Brite, a program to help neighborhood property owners install outdoor lighting



  • Penn is lead partner in establishing the University City District, a special-services district supported by the area's major employers


  • Enhanced Mortgage Program is launched, offering extra incentives for Penn faculty and staff to purchase homes in University City

  • Campus-wide College House residential system is launched

  • Penn Bookstore, first component of $120 million Sansom Common (now University Square) retail/hotel project, opens

Inn at Penn


  • Penn rises to #2 rank in total NIH research funding with $201 million in awards for fiscal 1998

  • The Inn At Penn opens


  • Alan MacDiarmid wins Nobel in Chemistry, becoming first Penn faculty member to win since Lawrence Klein (Economics, 1980)

  • Perelman Quadrangle student center complex, including a restored Houston Hall and renovated Irvine Auditorium, opens

  • Business Enterprise Network (BEN), an integrated, Web-based financial management and purchasing system, is launched

City of Philadelphia


  • Rodin is named to head the boards of two new regional partnerships: Innovation Philadelphia, a public-private partnership to promote the region's high-tech, entrepreneurial economy and the Knowledge Industry Partnership, which leverages the region's higher education resources to attract and retain young people with talent


  • Penn Alexander School opens its new building

  • Pottruck Fitness Center opens

  • Penn ranks #4 in the U.S. News survey, its highest ranking ever

  • Jon M. Huntsman Hall, the Wharton School's $120 million classroom/office building, opens

Public Discourse in America


  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation selects Penn as one of four sites nationwide for its Clinical Scholars Program, which offers the nation's best young physicians training in quantitative and qualitative sciences

  • Penn's endowment rises to $3.5 billion, its highest level ever

  • Penn receives a record-high 18,831 applications for admission to the Class of 2007; of these, 20.4 percent are offered admission, the most selective class ever

  • Co-edits (with Stephen Steinberg) "Public Discourse in America," a collection of scholarly essays on the conduct of public life today

Postal Lands

Postal Lands


  • Penn signs agreement to purchase 23-acre tract from U.S. Postal Service, allowing for future expansion of Penn's campus eastward

  • Rodin receives William Penn Award from Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce for her efforts to make the region a better place

Originally published on May 13, 2004