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Credit: Alec Druggan

On Thursday, Penn Athletic Director M. Grace Calhoun announced a re-branding of Penn Athletics' student development approach, in addition to its new name: the Center for Student Athlete Success.

The Center, which has a seven-person staff, will aim to launch several new initiatives, as well as improve existing programs, that better support student-athletes at Penn. New projects that the Center is taking on include a collection of informational resources made available online for prospective student-athletes, a program called Quaker Qualified that is designed to prepare student-athletes for life after sport, and a group of student-athletes who will provide peer-to-peer education on health and wellness topics to fellow student-athletes.

“One of our three strategic priorities is to provide a second-to-none, holistic student-athlete experience to develop our students into the leaders of tomorrow while being physically, spiritually and emotionally well," Calhoun wrote in a press release. “We are confident that this new approach to Student Development, and subsequent re-brand to the Center of Student-Athlete Success, will enable Penn Athletics to continue to be a leader in this area and provide the unrivaled experience that Penn and the Ivy League is known for.”

Associate Athletic Director Matt Valenti, who was a student-athlete at Penn himself, spearheaded the Center’s development.

“Over the past several months, our team has been diligent in reflecting on the programming and services provided by Student Development with a simple goal in mind — find a path forward that allows us to best support our student-athletes as they navigate the student lifecycle,” Valenti said in the press conference. “Tremendous credit is due to our team for their introspection, creativity, and open-mindedness in crafting a vision for The Center for Student-Athlete Success. We believe that the new projects, initiatives and integration across campus makes us a leader in student-athlete growth and development in the Ivy League and nationally."

Calhoun also announced the Center's four “core pillars”: Admissions & Financial Aid, Academic Services, Personal Enrichment, and Professional Development.

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