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2007 Commencement Credit: Brittany Binler , Brittany Binler

Penn wants to fund its graduates’ efforts to better the world, thanks to a new initiative created by Penn President Amy Gutmann.

Starting this year, seniors can apply for the President’s Engagement Prizes, which will provide up to three recipients with up to $150,000 to devise and implement a local, national or global engagement project during the year following their graduation from Penn.

“These Engagement Prizes are a unique way to draw students into putting their knowledge into practice right after they graduate,” Gutmann said.

The initiative, which was announced on Monday to the Class of 2015 in an email from Gutmann, will be open to undergraduates in all four schools. Collaborative projects with up to three awardees will also be eligible. The monetary award will be divided into up to $50,000 in living expenses and up to $100,000 for project implementation expenses.

“These prizes are unique in the field of higher education in their scope among the other kinds of prizes our peers offer,” Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Director Harriet Joseph wrote in an email. “They are a tremendous opportunity to give graduating Penn students the opportunity to actually make an impact on local, national and global engagement through the projects they design.”

According to the CURF website, the President’s Engagement Prizes will supplement Penn’s “commitment under the Penn Compact 2020 to impactful global, national and local student engagement.”

“It’s an exciting new venture for Penn,” Gutmann said. “It always gives me great pride to see how committed Penn people are to making a positive difference in the world.”

Further details about the prizes and application instructions will be released at the beginning of the fall semester in late August, although applicants will have to submit a project proposal. The application process will take place throughout September and October.

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