Vernon and Shirley Hill Pledge $10 Million to Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine

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Media Contact:Gail Luciani | luciani@vet.upenn.edu | 215-898-1475September 29, 2005

PHILADELPHIA -- Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, and Alan Kelly, dean of Penn School of Veterinary Medicine, have announced a $10 million gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill to the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The gift will be used towards the completion of a new teaching and research center, currently under construction, to be called The Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion.  The building will open in the fall of 2006 and is the first new Penn Veterinary Medicine building in Philadelphia in 25 years.  

Vernon W. Hill II is the founder and chairman of Commerce Bancorp Inc.  Shirley Hill is the founder and president of InterArch, an architecture and design firm in Mt. Laurel, N.J.  The Hills are residents of Moorestown, N.J.  Vernon Hill is a graduate of the Wharton School at Penn.

The Hill Pavilion will be the new academic center of the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine.  It will contain five floors, including surgery centers, teaching and library space, research laboratories and a vivarium.  It will be the state-of-the-art veterinary teaching and research facility in the world.

"The gift from the Hills," said Amy Gutmann, president of Penn, "Is the largest gift the Veterinary School has ever received from a living donor.  It allows us to continue and expand the world-class teaching and research mission of the School.

"The Hills share with us our vision of the world premier veterinary educational center," said Alan Kelly, the School dean, "And they recognize the importance of the school.  This new building has been one of my primary goals, and I thank the Hills for their support."

Vernon Hill said, "My wife and I are pleased to support the world premier School of Veterinary Medicine which is a part of one of the world great universities.  Dean Kelly and his staff are on a never-ending mission to advance the teaching, care and research goals of a great institution.  We are pleased to have our name associated with both the University and the School of Veterinary Medicine."