News Briefs

Penn Vet Survivor Party

Fourlegged survivor party

Happy dogs, purring cats and a few grateful ferrets accompanied their owners to a special Intensive Care Unit Survivor Party at Penn Vet’s Matthew J. Ryan Hospital. The celebration allowed the people to celebrate their animals’ medical triumphs, thank the ICU nurses and doctors and meet other survivors of serious injuries and illnesses.

About 15 pets attended the party on May 16, including Niko, pictured at left with owners Denise and Lexi Graff. Niko survived a life-threatening condition called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, more commonly known as “bloat.”

$25.5 million for cancer research

Over the years, Madlyn and Leonard Abramson have given millions of dollars to fund cancer research at Penn Medicine, including the naming of the Abramson Cancer Center and the establishment of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. The Abramson family has given $25.5 million more to support basic science and translational research progress in the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, which is among the nation’s preeminent incubators for drug discovery and development of new ways to diagnose and treat patients. The new gift brings the family’s total philanthropic support of Penn Medicine to more than $140 million.

Increasing access

The Benjamin E. Mays Award from A Better Chance was presented to Penn President Amy Gutmann in recognition of the University’s no-loan financial-aid program and its commitment to diversity and increased access. A Better Chance is the oldest and only national organization dedicated to increasing the number of young people of color who attend highly selective universities and go on to assume leadership positions in American society. Penn has graduated more ABC alumni than any other college or university in the country. A Better Chance’s signature initiative, the College Preparatory Schools Program, annually recruits, refers and supports about 500 students at more than 300 member schools in 27 states.

College search help

Penn staff and faculty who are parents and want to know more about the college search process can find help at two free summer seminars and walk-in counseling sessions presented by Penn’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. On Monday, June 21, Admissions will host two seminars for Penn families with teenagers in middle and high school from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Class of ‘49 Auditorium in Houston Hall. The seminars will offer help with courses students should take in high school and the significance of extracurricular activities, essays, test scores and interviews in the college search process. For parents of high school seniors, Admissions will be hosting a Case Study program on Sept. 14, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall.

To attend the seminars, RSVP to John Baumgardner at or at 215-746-6952. Include in the email the faculty/staff member’s name, the student’s name and high school, the high school graduation year, the name of the session and the number of people who will be attending. Admissions will also host walk-in admissions counseling for staff and faculty from noon to 2 p.m. in Houston Hall on June 24 in the Golkin Room; July 29 in the Class of ‘49 Auditorium; Aug. 26 in the Golkin Room; and Sept. 30 in the Golkin Room.

Sweat for free

From now until July 2, members of the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, 3701 Walnut St., can take group exercise classes for free. It’s part of the gym’s Group Exercise Summer Special, designed to introduce members to the wide selection of fitness programs offered at Pottruck. Members can choose Spinning, Zumba, Total Body Conditioning, Body Pump, Body Blitz and Body Combat, as well as combination classes called Spin & Abs and 20-20-20, which includes cardio, weight training and core work. For more information visit, or call the Pottruck Center at 215-898-6100.

Originally published on June 10, 2010