Penn to Create Perry World House to Enhance Global Initiatives

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Media Contact:Ron Ozio | ozio@upenn.edu | 215-898-8658March 19, 2013

The University of Pennsylvania will establish a central home on campus for global activities and initiatives to be known as the Perry World House, President Amy Gutmann announced today. 

It will be a gathering place for faculty and students from all 12 of Penn’s schools to engage with eminent international scholars and policymakers on pressing global issues of the 21st century.  As a hub for international exchange and activity, the Perry World House will anchor Penn’s global resources on an interdisciplinary campus while creating partnerships abroad.

A $10 million gift from University Trustee Richard C. Perry and his wife, Lisa Perry, will name the house and establish the Richard Perry Endowed Professorship to be affiliated with the house.

Centrally located on campus along Locust Walk at 38th Street, the Perry World House will provide the facilities necessary to support innovative research, enhance the flow of ideas between Penn and global leaders and provide a wide range of opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage on major international issues.  

“Richard Perry is a visionary partner in distinguishing Penn as a globally engaged, consummately interdisciplinary and eminently influential University,” Gutmann said. “With this extraordinarily generous gift, Richard and Lisa are creating a unique global research and education center that will build upon Penn’s distinctive strengths in integrating world-class teaching with policy-relevant research that spans all disciplines to address the most important global issues of our time.  The Perry World House will provide a rich environment for world leaders, scholars and students to gather and address key global issues with the desire and ability to change the world for the better.”

Partnering in this effort will be Provost Vincent Price and Ezekiel Emanuel, vice provost for global initiatives.  In addition, a renowned scholar with an interdisciplinary and international focus in teaching and research will be appointed to the Richard Perry Endowed Professorship.

“This gift will transform Penn’s position on the global stage,” Price said. “The Perry World House will support Penn’s path-breaking teaching and research and our commitment to educating future generations of leaders of an increasingly global society.  Our students and faculty will gain vital new perspectives by engaging in the intensive discussions, research and writing on global issues that this gift will measurably advance on campus.”

The flagship programmatic initiative to be housed in the Perry World House will be the Global Solutions Program, dedicated to analyzing and developing innovative policy solutions on critical issues facing people around the world. As part of this program, the Perry World House will host experts, present major conferences and provide support for public outreach on a different global issue each year.  The Global Solutions Program will bring high-profile leaders to campus to focus expertise and attention on solutions to vital global issues.

”I am thrilled to partner with Amy and Zeke in this important endeavor,” Richard Perry said.  “They have created a brilliant foundation on which we will build a fully complementary constituency of scholars, leaders and students that will bring excitement and enrichment to the Penn campus.”

Richard Perry is president and chief executive officer of Perry Capital, a private investment management firm that he co-founded in 1988.  Lisa Perry is a successful women’s fashion designer with a flagship store at Madison Avenue and 77th Street in New York City.  The couple has two children, David and Samantha.

At Penn, Perry is a member of the Board of Trustees, the Undergraduate Executive Board of the Wharton School and the Class of 1977 Gift Committee.  In 2005, his $10 million gift launched the Penn Integrates Knowledge Program, designed to appoint distinguished faculty, in at least two Penn schools, whose work exemplifies the integration of knowledge across disciplines.  The four Richard Perry University Professors appointed since that time are Philippe Bourgois, professor of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences and of family and community medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine; John Jackson, professor of communication in the Annenberg School for Communication and of anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences; Christopher Murray, professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences and of materials science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science; and Adrian Raine, professor of criminology in the School of Arts and Sciences and of psychiatry in the Perelman School of Medicine.  Perry has also supported undergraduate scholarships to help provide a Penn education to talented students who could not otherwise afford to attend the University.

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