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The Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing is located inside the McNeil Building.

Credit: Maria Murad

A second donation from 1967 Wharton graduate Howard Marks and Nancy Marks has established an endowment for the newly named Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing, which will provide expanded writing opportunities at Penn.

The newly endowed Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing will engage Penn students and West Philadelphians through writing initiatives and workshops, Penn Today reported. To facilitate off-campus outreach, the center will host writing workshops for adult literacy learners and high school students in West Philadelphia.

“[The Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing] will stand as a transformative investment in the advancement of knowledge, with multigenerational impact,” Penn President Amy Gutmann told Penn Today.

The center currently houses the Writing Center, which offers summer tutors available for online consultations, and the Critical Writing Seminar program.

“All the disciplines of the arts and sciences rely on the clear communication of ideas," School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven J. Fluharty told Penn Today. "Howard and Nancy’s gift will expand access to writing support and education for all Penn students and create resources for our innovative writing faculty."

Howard Marks, co-founder and co-chair of Oaktree Capital Management, is an emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, and previous chair of the University's Trustee Investment Board. 

With Nancy Marks, he has endowed the University's Howard Marks Professorship in Economic History, Howard Marks Investor Speaker Series at Wharton, and scholarship support for undergraduates. 

Founded in 2003 with a donation from the Marks family, the center was previously known as the Marks Family Writing Center, and moved from 3808 Walnut Street to the McNeil Building on Locust Walk in 2019. 

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