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GIFTS

Annenberg’s Final “Extraordinary Gift”

Less than two weeks before the Hon. Walter H. Annenberg W’31 Hon’66 passed away at age 94, the Annenberg Foundation announced that it was giving Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication $100 million. (The foundation gave the same amount to the other Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.) Earmarked for the school’s endowment, the gift came eight years after the foundation, which was established in 1989, gave the school $120 million.

“Walter Annenberg founded the schools out of a conviction that scholars and students could harness communication in service of society,” said foundation president Leonore Annenberg Hon’85, Annenberg’s wife, and foundation vice president Wallis Annenberg, his daughter, in a joint statement. “Since the creation of the School at Penn in 1958 and at USC in 1971, graduates and faculty have identified ways to use communication to improve children’s television programming, protect privacy from technological trespass, improve the quality of political discourse and news, establish standards of quality in online journalism, and minimize teen smoking, suicide, illegal drug use, and risky sexual behavior. This gift will ensure that the important work of the schools will continue into the next century and beyond.”

Penn President Judith Rodin said that the Annenbergs, “through their unparalleled generosity to Penn and other educational institutions, have affirmed again and again the critical role that education plays in people’s life opportunities.” The recent “extraordinary gift,” she added, ensures that the school “will enhance its capacity to create the most productive future generations of communications scholars, researchers, and policy makers.”

The first year’s revenue from the endowment will be used for student scholarships, faculty chairs, and refurbishing classrooms.


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Copyright 2002 The Pennsylvania Gazette Last modified 11/04/02