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Provost Vincent Price and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel led a round table discussion on the future of higher education.

Credit: Courtesy of University Communications

From Philadelphia to San Francisco, Penn has expanded its influence across the U.S. — now the University’s name has crossed the Pacific Ocean and taken on China, with the Penn Wharton China Center officially opening on March 10 in Beijing.

The opening was attended by around 40 senior administrators and faculty members, including Provost Vincent Price, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel, various professors and eight deans from across the University, including Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett.

“We are delighted to launch the Penn Wharton China Center,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a statement. “We are building on Penn’s history of broad, deep engagement with China and creating a Center that provides an impressive infrastructure and significant resources to augment the University of Pennsylvania’s many collaborations and partnerships with great Chinese educational institutions. The Center represents another major milestone in the Penn Compact 2020’s vision of bringing Penn to the world and the world to Penn.”

The launch celebration featured various panels, research talks and round table discussions.

Garrett moderated a panel on US-China relations, global economic prosperity and geopolitical stability, featuring panelists like Wharton professor Richard Marston.

Price and Emanuel also led a round table discussion on the future of higher education. Panelists included Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Steven Fluharty, interim Dean of the Law School Wendall Pritchett, Dean of the School of Design Marilyn Jordan Taylor and Garrett.

Among the Penn panelists in the various talks were senior executives and chairmen of Chinese companies.

With the Center now operational, its goal is to become a hub in China for Penn students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Center will maintain contact with different institutions across China, host alumni events, aid Penn with its Chinese branding efforts and provide a facility for faculty and students to do research.

The new Penn China Research and Engagement Fund will also provide $10 million over five years to faculty and senior administrators to develop and strengthen relations with Chinese partners, support faculty exchange programs and faculty research projects.

Last week’s grand opening event marks the beginning of a six-month-long opening that will conclude in September 2015 with a Gala and Forum held at the Center. Penn President Amy Gutmann, who could not attend the opening on March 10 due to scheduling conflicts, will be in attendance.

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