Fox Leadership receives $5 million gift
The Foxes founded the program in 1999
September 19, 2013, 4:42 pm · Updated September 19, 2013, 7:39 pm·
This past spring, the Fox Leadership Program — one of the largest university-based undergraduate leadership and service programs in the country — received a generous gift from 1952 College alumnus Robert Fox and his wife, 1953 Education alumna Penny Grossman Fox.
The official announcement of the $5 million gift was made on Sept. 5, 2013.
“Mr. Fox’s new gift allows us to expand what we’re doing, particularly our fellowships,” said Executive Director of Fox Leadership Joseph Tierney.
As of 2013, Fox Leadership funds 50 fellows a year in various service projects. With the new gift from Fox, the program hopes to gradually expand this number to 100 fellowships a year for the next 10 years. They hope to reach 100 by the third year.
Twenty of these fellowships will be associated with the Penn in Washington program, which provides internship opportunities in the nation’s capital. Ten fellowships will be associated with a new initiative called the Penn Program for Opinion Research and Election Studies. Professor of political science John Lapinski will lead this initiative.
The new $5 million endowment will increase the Foxes’ support of the School of Arts and Science to more than $28 million. It will also establish four new scholarships.
The recipients of these scholarships will be the first Frederic Fox scholars — in honor of Robert A. Fox’s father. “The Frederic Fox Scholarship is a four-year full tuition scholarship for a low income student who attends high school and lives in metropolitan Philadelphia,” said Tierney. “The student will also have the opportunity to participate in summer fellowship programs.”
The Fox Leadership Program has founded various service opportunities and leadership activities for undergraduate students. Penn Undergraduates in New Orleans, which sends volunteers to post-Katrina New Orleans, is the largest university-sponsored program outside of the Gulf region.
The Foxes founded the leadership program in 1999 with the purpose of teaching students to “study and serve”. In 2007, they endowed it permanently with a $10 million gift. The program was one of the recipients of President Amy Gutmann’s one-time grant to further Penn’s community service outreach programs in 2008. Fox Leadership used this grant to fund student service fellowships.
Fox Leadership is also one of the several funders of Penn MERT, a student run medical emergency team. Since its inception, Fox Leadership has given MERT about $4,000 per year.
Other organizations founded and supported by the Fox Leadership program include the Youth Education for Success Initiative, Penn Leads the Vote and Girl Scouts at Penn. Previous support created three new endowed chairs.
“[Fox is] wonderfully generous to the Fox program,” said Tierney. “But he’s made gifts also to Penn athletics and Penn Medicine among other philanthropic work that he’s done.”
A previous version of this article stated that the $5 million gift would create three new endowed chairs. These chairs were actually from previous support.