Top, Jim Riepe as a student at Penn; bottom, Riepe (back row, black robe) at Penn President Amy Gutmann's inauguration.
James S. Riepe (W’65, WG ’67), who has served as Chairman of Penn’s Board of Trustees since 1999, will step down this weekend after overseeing a decade of unprecedented growth and institutional accomplishment. Riepe will be succeeded by Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President David Cohen.
At a private ceremony held Nov. 5 in Riepe's honor, Penn President Amy Gutmann highlighted the numerous accomplishments that came to fruition under his tenure, characterizing him as a steady and thoughtful leader who led not only by example, but also by forging consensus.
During Riepe’s term, the University's endowment has increased by nearly 58 percent, and Penn has seen a 72 percent completion of its $3.5 billion Making History campaign. Under his leadership, Penn also has increased its operating budget by 90 percent and opened 14 new buildings on campus.
As Chairman, Riepe, who was the captain of the football team while a Penn student, has cheered Penn on to 45 Ivy League titles during, including three Ivy League championships by Penn’s football team.
Riepe joined Penn’s Board of Trustees in 1990. Before being named chairman, he headed the trustees’ audit-and-compliance committee and the investment board, and served on the budget and finance, external affairs and student life committees.
Riepe has also served on several other Penn committees, including the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid, the Penn Alumni Board and its Executive Committee and the Athletic Advisory Board. In addition, he was the first Chair of the Alumni Council on Admissions, a member of the Alumni and Mask & Wig Task Force, Alumni President of the Class of 1965 and Chair of the Wharton Graduate 1967 Reunion Committee.
He is senior advisor and retired vice chairman of the board of directors of T. Rowe Price Group. Until his retirement in 2006, he oversaw the firm’s global mutual fund and institutional investment activities and served as Chairman of the T. Rowe Price Mutual Funds.
Riepe has served on numerous other boards, including as chairman of the Board of Governors of the Investment Company Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.; Genworth Financial, Inc.; LPL Financial; the Baltimore Equitable Society; The Baltimore Museum of Art and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation. Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.
Riepe and his wife, Gail Petty Riepe (CW'68), a member of the Board of Overseers of Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, are avid supporters of the Wharton School, athletics and scholarships, establishing the James and Gail Riepe Scholarship Fund to assist undergraduate students from the Baltimore area, as well as the James Riepe Trustee Scholarship. Spruce College House in the Quad was renamed Riepe College House in recognition of their pledge to support the house and to honor their dedication to Penn student life.
Originally published on November 6, 2009