News briefs

Art smarts

With a generous gift to Penn of $1 million, the Jerry and Emily Spiegel Family Foundation seeks to increase student exposure to contemporary art. Specifically, the University will use the gift to fund the annual Spiegel Exhibition Symposium in Contemporary Culture, which will combine an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts with lectures and events involving Penn faculty and outside visitors. The first symposium in March of 2005 will explore the theme of resistance in the 1960s and ’70s with installations by artist Barry Le Va and an address from critic and cultural historian Greil Marcus.

The gift will also support a series of freshman seminars in visual studies, film studies and art history and provide support for the new undergraduate residential program in Contemporary Culture and Visual Arts.

Top cops

Next time you see a Penn Police officer, be sure to offer your congratulations. That’s because the University’s Police Department has retained its international accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies—an acknowledgement of the department’s effective law enforcement in University City.

This past spring, a commission team analyzed everything about the department, including policy, procedures, management, operations and support services. In all, Penn Police had to meet 446 standards to retain their accredited status. After reviewing written materials, interviewing staff and visiting offices, the assessors deemed the department, once again, excellent.

MacArthur winner

Professor of Sociology Frank Furstenberg recently got a helping hand with his research on the psychological development of young people. In early August, he was awarded a four-year, $5.2 million grant from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, an institution that helps individuals foster lasting
improvement for humans. This award will support Furstenberg’s work with the Research Network on Transitions to Adulthood, which examines the challenges facing 18 to 34 year-olds as they attempt to become self-sufficient adults.

Specifically, the $5.2 million award will fund Furstenberg’s final stage of research that explores the psychological and social dimensions of development as young people move from their late teens to their early thirties.

Rodin to NYC

Judith Rodin CW’66, president emeritus, has been selected to run one of the world’s largest and oldest philanthropies. In March 2005, she will become president of the Rockefeller Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit devoted to eradicating poverty and hunger, minimizing disease, improving employment opportunities, increasing housing and schools and encouraging artistic expression.

Recently, the Foundation has created private-public partnerships to address HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, supported efforts in Africa to increase food production and invested in U.S. inner-city revitalization.

Established in 1913, the Foundation has $3 billion in assets and provided $135 million in grants and programmatic investments in 2003.

All in the family

Taking the family out to a football game, a spin around the ice rink and an afternoon of museum activities suddenly got a whole lot less expensive.

On Saturday October 2, the annual Penn Family Day offers all those activities (the football game is against Dartmouth), plus a tailgate picnic lunch in the Franklin Field parking lot. You’ll need tickets—two for free, $5 for each additional—for the picnic and game. Activities at Penn Museum and Ice Rink are free (though you’ll have to pay for skate rentals).

Deadline for ticket orders is September 22 for intramural mail and September 24 through the Athletic Ticket Office. For complete details and ticket order form, go to and click on Penn Family Day, or call 8-5116.

Show me the ropes

After a successful pilot program last spring, Penn’s Department of Human Resources is launching Mentors@Penn, a program that connects newer staff with more seasoned employees.

The point of the program, say the folks at HR, is to learn and grow, increase job satisfaction and focus on professional and career goals. If you’re interested in being a mentor or mentee, plan to attend a special information session on September 21 at noon in Learning and Education, 3624 Market Street.

For information, and to register for the information session, go to and click on the Mentors@Penn link, or call 8-3400.

Where the art’s at

By the time you read this, Penn’s new arts and culture web site should be up and running. For the first time, all the University’s arts and culture venues can be accessed in one place. On the site you’ll find information about galleries, museums and performing arts venues on campus, as well as complete calendar listings, maps and directions. Look for the link on Penn’s home page.

Originally published on September 9, 2004