University President Amy Gutmann officially accepted gifts totaling nearly $20 million on Friday in front of the Board of Trustees.
The largest gift -- $10 million -- was given by an anonymous donor to be used to recruit faculty who will hold joint appointments between two schools.
The appointments will be for "any two schools -- but not any faculty," Gutmann said. "These will be truly eminent faculty, stars and rising stars who clearly merit tenure here."
"This new initiative ... will really put us at the forefront of integration of knowledge," she added.
The faculty will go through the same recruitment and tenure process as other Penn professors, she added.
Interim Provost Peter Conn, along with the deans, will serve on the nomination committee for the positions, and Gutmann and Conn will together select the finalists.
The donation, pledged by the benefactor at a meeting two weeks ago, is just the beginning of a major initiative to differentiate Penn from its peers by "integrating knowledge across the University."
"To our knowledge there is no other university who has ever done such an initiative," Gutmann said. "It builds on what I've said -- and what other people at Penn have said -- is our distinctive strength."
Another donation came from University Trustee Paul Levy, who donated $6.2 million to fund merit scholarships for students at the Law School. That gift is also focused on integrating knowledge -- it will be given to students who pursue cross-disciplinary studies or joint degrees with other schools at Penn.
In a third major donation Alumnus Roy Vagelos -- a former CEO of Merck Pharmaceuticals -- pledged $3 million to create a joint degree program in life sciences between the School of Arts and Sciences and the Wharton School.
Penn also received gifts to support Ph.D. students at the University. Several trustees donated money so that 15 students entering in the fall can be offered summer fellowships of about $3,900 each.
"These summer fellowship prizes will boost our capacity to educate the next generation of the world's top scholars in their chosen fields," Gutmann said. "That's where Penn wants to be. It will take ongoing work to keep us there and move us forward, but this is very good work."
The Annenberg Foundation has also donated $500,000 to fund graduate student fellowships in the humanities.
Also at Friday's meeting, a number of Gutmann's administrative appointments were accepted by the trustees. Rebecca Bushnell was officially appointed dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, John Zeller as vice president for development and alumni relations and Scott Douglass as treasurer are vice president for finance.
Staff reporter Marissa Montenegro contributed to this report. Take It To The Bank
The University received six major gifts:
$10 million from an anonymous donor + $10 million from Trustee Carolyn Hoff Lynch and her husband, Peter Lynch + $6.2 million from Trustee Paul Levy + $3 million from alumnus Roy Vagelos + $500,000 from the Annenberg Foundation + $58,500 from various trustees --------------------------------------- $29,758,500 TotalComments powered by Disqus
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