Making History: Campaign Reaches $3 Billion

Penn President Amy Gutmann announced at the Feb. 18 meeting of the Board of Trustees that the University has reached the $3 billion mark in its $3.5 billion Making History campaign.

“This extraordinary milestone of achievement affirms our bold vision for Penn and inspires us all to go farther,” said Gutmann.

Penn’s Making History campaign has strengthened every dimension at Penn – students and faculty, programs and research, campus buildings and alumni engagement – and this remarkable transformation at Penn is already having an impact on the world.

Thanks to more than 600 new endowed undergraduate scholarships and additional Campaign gifts to existing funds, the University now has the most talented and diverse student body in its history. And with Campaign endowments and support for undergraduate research, innovative learning hubs, and University-community partnerships, a richer academic environment has been created at Penn, deepening students’ intellectual and civic lives as they conduct research, engage with local communities, and prepare to become leaders in all sectors of society. Even more Campaign support for graduate and professional student aid has meant not only attracting the best graduate students (who make up half of Penn's student body), but enabling them to realize their academic aspirations and to make a real difference -- with far-reaching impacts on scholarship, research, and the professions. Graduate and professional students are also enriching the undergraduate curriculum and helping to attract the best faculty.

Recruiting and retaining superb faculty members, especially in a highly competitive market, is fundamental to Penn's academic enterprise. Since the Campaign began, over 100 new endowed faculty chairs have been established, along with 21 Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professorships. Twelve of these PIK professors have been appointed (each has appointments in two schools), and they are already applying their interdisciplinary work to tackle the most urgent and complex questions of today, informing medical policy, political decision-making, public health, criminology, and evolutionary theory, as well as positioning Penn as a leader in nanotechnology, robotics, stem cell research, and bioethics.

Campaign support has also meant stunning new — and newly refurbished — buildings, which are boosting the capacity for teaching and research, enhancing the campus living-learning experience, and placing Penn at the forefront in athletic training, green design, nanotechnology, public policy, and cancer research and treatment. New buildings also mean that Penn has strategically strengthened its campus core while connecting the campus with the city. Add to that the green space and playing fields of Penn Park on the horizon, and what comes into view is a clear vision of Penn for the 21st century: the premier urban teaching and research university in the world.

Just as thrilling, the Campaign has inspired an unprecedented rise in alumni engagement. From Alumni Weekend and Homecoming Weekend to Engaging Minds lecture series and Penn Spectrum, record numbers of enthused alumni are re-connecting with Penn with spirit, depth of knowledge, and energized conviction. Around the country and across the globe, from New York and L.A. to Shanghai and London, the arc of alumni engagement has been nothing short of breathless.

What distinguishes Penn’s campaign from that of other universities? “It is fueled from beginning to end by your engagement with Penn,” said Gutmann to the University community. “Bright, passionate, and driven, you empower this University. That is how we reached this impressive milestone, and, thanks to you, it is how we will succeed in reaching our $3.5 billion goal at the Campaign’s conclusion in December 2012.”