Making History Campaign Co-Chair Makes $5 Million Gift to Endow University PIK Professorship

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Media Contact: | | July 26, 2010

PHILADELPHIA -- University of Pennsylvania Trustee Robert M. Levy and Diane v.S. Levy have made a $5 million gift designated for faculty support.  The gift will be used to endow a Penn Integrates Knowledge Professorship, which will be named the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy University Professorship.

The announcement was made by Penn President Amy Gutmann.

The PIK initiative recruits exceptional scholars whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across academic disciplines and who are hired with joint appointments between two schools.  The Levy University Professor will hold an appointment at the Wharton School and another school or department at the University to foster and support interdisciplinary scholarship.

“The leadership of Bob and Diane Levy across the University is exemplary,” Gutmann said.  “How fitting that their latest gift speaks to our core educational mission of building our eminent faculty.  The Penn Integrates Knowledge professorships have become a signature Penn program for eminent teachers and researchers with an interdisciplinary focus and are already demonstrating a profound impact on Penn and the world.”

Penn’s faculty currently includes 10 PIK University Professors.  Recent gifts from trustees to the Making History Campaign, of which Levy is co-chair, have endowed six new PIK positions.

The Campaign has raised $415 million towards its $623 million goal for faculty support, and donors have established more than 80 endowed professorships.

“Diane and I chose to make this gift because we believe that education is critical to addressing major world issues,” Levy said, “and the complexity of these issues requires the kind of interdisciplinary research and teaching that the PIK professors have come to signify.  We are thrilled to help bring yet another exceptionally effective scholar to Wharton and to Penn.”

Levy has supported the School for many years, including major contributions to create the Levy Lobby in Jon M. Huntsman Hall and to establish the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Endowed Fellowship, designated for Wharton graduate students.  They also created the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Social Impact Fund to provide seed and supplemental funding for student, faculty and institutional initiatives in areas such as social impact management and business ethics, including summer internships for students working in the public and nonprofit sector.

The Levys have also been active supporters of the Institute for Contemporary Art and Penn Museum, where Diane Levy is a member of the Board of Overseers.

Robert Levy has been a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 2005 and serves on its Executive, Budget and Finance, Compensation and Development committees, as well as serving as chair of its Investment Board.  Levy is also vice chairman of the Wharton Board of Overseers and was formerly a member of the Wharton Graduate Executive Board.  He serves as chair of Innovation and Leadership: The Campaign for Wharton, a $550 million campaign which has raised $380 million to date. 

Wharton’s overarching campaign priorities include support for faculty, students (including scholarships and fellowships), research programs and curriculum development, facilities and technology and unrestricted and annual giving.

“Faculty support is one of the most pressing needs of the Wharton School and a priority for our campaign,” said Thomas S. Robertson, dean of Wharton.  “We are very excited about the opportunity to recruit a brilliant and accomplished interdisciplinary teacher and scholar to Wharton and the University.  The Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy University Professor will be a catalyst in furthering collaborative excellence in our teaching and research and in creating the future generations of leaders.”
                   
Levy is partner, chairman and chief investment officer of Harris Associates LP, an investment management firm founded in 1976.  He is a chartered financial analyst and has been with Harris Associates since 1985.  Levy also is president of the Robert M. Levy and Diane v.S. Levy Family Foundation, as well as a director of the Bill Nygren Foundation.

Levy received his B.A. in economics from Vanderbilt University in 1972 and his M.B.A. from Wharton in 1974.

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