"Making History": University of Pennsylvania Sets Five-Year Fundraising Goal of $3.5 Billion

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Media Contact: | | October 20, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- President Amy Gutmann announced this evening that the University of Pennsylvania has launched "Making History: The Campaign for Penn," a $3.5 billion fundraising campaign.  Joined by University trustees and other campaign leaders at a celebration on Penn's College Green, Gutmann reported that $1.6 billion has already been raised toward the campaign goal.

"This monumental campaign is designed to make Penn an even greater university and an even more extraordinary force for good, here at home and around the world.  We will become a new kind of university," Gutmann said, "more intellectually daring, more culturally and physically vibrant and more socially transformative than ever before imagined."

Penn's tradition of linking theory and practice in service to the world is distinctive and extends back to its founding.

"Universities around the globe," Gutmann said, "now know what Penn has known from the start:  that institutions of higher education have the rare ability - and accompanying responsibility - not only to create knowledge but also to use that knowledge to serve humanity and improve lives."

With 12 schools on one contiguous urban campus, the University of Pennsylvania has an environment that facilitates collaboration across disciplines.  By combining strengths in arts and sciences with its top-quality professional schools, Penn is singularly prepared to innovate and lead in an era in which varied areas of knowledge and perspectives are needed to solve the complex problems that confront today's world.

"Interdisciplinary learning is essential in a world where fundamental issues are so complex and far-reaching," Gutmann said.  "Penn has a long history of crossing boundaries in the pursuits of knowledge, understanding and service, and we intend to take our leadership in this area to a whole new level."

By every external measure - the quality of its students, the number of applicants, undergraduate and graduate school rankings and alumni support - Penn is stronger than ever, poised for success in redefining the role of the modern university.

"Already among the finest institutions of higher education, Penn has developed great momentum, and it seems that everyone - inside and outside the University - recognizes this.  But the success of this Campaign is absolutely critical to providing the resources needed to sustain that upward trajectory," said James Riepe, chair of Penn's Board of Trustees.

The campaign is designed to build on that momentum by supporting the University's highest priorities, expanding support for students, faculty and the facilities they need for success.

  • Students:  Penn's goal for student aid will help the University continue to admit undergraduate students based solely on their achievements and talents, without regard to financial circumstances.  Increased financial-aid endowment will also provide more fellowships for the graduate and professional students who represent the next leaders across virtually every sector.
  • Faculty:  Funds targeted at the faculty will allow Penn to recruit and retain even more of the innovative professors who drive the University's greatness.  The engine of any great research university is the faculty, and Penn intends to grow and attract more of the best, particularly those whose teaching and research cross disciplines.
  • Facilities: The campaign will support Penn's discovery and application of new knowledge through funding such projects as the Singh Nanoscale Technology Center, the Neural and Behavioral Sciences Building and the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.  A new college house will enhance the living/learning environment for undergraduates.

Campaign goals for new and renovated facilities will help Penn take the first steps in its 30-year campus development plan, "Penn Connects: A Vision for the Future."  The campaign will support the plan's conceptual framework by strengthening the academic core, creating open space and playing fields and connecting the campus to the city.

"This is a moment," said George Weiss, a long-time Penn trustee and chair of the "Making History" campaign, "when the entire Penn community is united behind a new vision for Penn.  Wherever I go, I hear from alumni and friends that they are proud of what Penn is doing to prepare young people for an increasingly complex world and that they will support our efforts to have an even greater impact on societal issues around the globe."

Weiss will be supported by three co-chairs:  Christopher H. Browne, who is also chair of the campaign in the School of Arts and Sciences; Henry Jordan, who chairs the campaign in Penn Medicine; and Robert M. Levy, who chairs the campaign in the Wharton School.

Of the funds to be raised, $1.75 billion will strengthen Penn's endowment in support of its goals for student aid, faculty recruitment and teaching and research programs.  A stronger endowment will also ease pressure on operating funds, which can then be invested in programs that will be of strategic importance to the University.

The campaign Web site is http://www.makinghistory.upenn.edu.