Former Board of Trustees Chair James Riepe and Gail Petty Riepe donated $5 million to a new Penn Integrates Knowledge professorship in honor of President Amy Gutmann.
Founded in 2005 as part of Gutmann’s aim to foster closer connections among Penn’s 12 undergraduate and professional schools, the PIK program draws world-class innovators and researchers to the University. Each of the 26 PIK professors holds appointments in two or more schools at Penn in an effort to encourage collaboration across academic disciplines.
The donation recognizes Gutmann’s legacy as Penn’s longest-serving president and her mission to promote interdisciplinary education throughout her tenure, Penn Today reported.
Current PIK professors include Dr. Ezekiel J. Emmanuel, who teaches at the Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine, and Professor Robert Ghrist, who holds appointments in both the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
James Riepe received his bachelor’s degree in 1965 and his MBA in 1967 from Wharton. He recently retired as non-executive board chair at Genworth Financial and is the retired vice chair of the T. Rowe Price Group. Gail Petty Riepe received her B.A. from Penn in 1968 and is a member of Penn Veterinary School of Medicine’s Board of Advisors.
The Riepes’ gift is the most recent in a series of major donations to Penn. Earlier this month, 1999 Wharton graduate Scott Shleifer and his wife Elena donated $18 million to the Penn First Plus program, another one of Gutmann’s signature initiatives.
Gutmann’s presidency is currently set to end on June 30, 2022, or until the United States Senate confirms her nomination for ambassador. On Jan. 13, Penn announced M. Elizabeth Magill will serve as the University's ninth president.
“Gail and I thought it only fitting to establish this faculty position in her name,” James Riepe told Penn Today. “We are delighted to honor Amy in this way, recognizing one of her most important accomplishments at Penn and our friendship.”