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Penn Director of Athletics and Recreation Grace Calhoun hopes to use the new Game Onward program to bring Penn athletics to a whole new level of success. (File Photo)

The future of Penn Athletics looks bright, but Penn is hoping to make it look even brighter.

On Friday, Director of Athletics and Recreation M. Grace Calhoun announced the commencement of Game Onward: The Campaign for the Future of Penn Athletics. This campaign is part of the larger scale initiative called "The Power of Penn Campaign: Advancing Knowledge for Good," which seeks to enhance Penn’s local, national, and global impact.

The Game Onward Campaign, in particular, will fulfill Penn Athletics’ “commitment to holistically developing student-athletes; enhancing the club sport and recreation experience; endowing coaching positions and athletics programs; winning championships; and supporting the people and programs that arm our student-athletes with the skills to succeed on and off the field and far beyond athletics,” as Calhoun mentioned in her written statement.

Calhoun listed the three priorities of this initiative as Competitive Excellence, Student-Athlete Experience, and Campus Engagement.

For Competitive Excellence, the goals include finishing in the top half of the Ivy League for championships won and having at least 75 percent of all Penn teams annually finish the regular season in the top half of the conference standings by 2022. 

They also include continuing a culture based on integrity and enhancing efforts to enroll a diverse group of student athletes.

As part of the Student-Athlete Experience, Penn plans to launch the Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy. Additionally, the already-existent Penn Athletics Sports Performance Program will partner with Penn Medicine. These initiatives ensure that student-athletes are taken care of even when they’re not competing on the court or field.

Lastly, the Campus Engagement priority involves the enhancement of Penn’s recreation and wellness programs, while also mentioning the athletics department’s goal of increasing the University, alumni, and the Philadelphia community’s involvement in athletics’ activities.

With the support of the Red and Blue community, Penn Athletics is looking to create over a dozen varsity annual funds, as well as several endowments within the athletics program. A few capital building projects are also in the works, including renovations to Ringe Squash Center and Meiklejohn Baseball Stadium.

Overall, this multi-year plan has been enacted to provide the best possible experience to Penn student-athletes, while simultaneously pushing the Quakers’ athletics programs to become more of a force in both the Ivy League and the NCAA moving forward.

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