This year, Penn’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The late Robert Schoenberg originally founded the LGBT Center as a part of the Student Activities office in Houston Hall, making it the second oldest center of its kind in the country. The Center is currently located on 3907 Spruce Street in a building named after Schoenberg, and was originally made possible with a donation from 1985 graduates David Goodhand and Vincent Griski.
The Center serves to foster inclusivity of students of all sexual orientations and gender identities at Penn through education, support, and advocacy. It also advocates for administrative changes on campus, such as creating a map of gender-neutral bathrooms and allowing Penn’s registration system to allow students to insert their pronouns and update their names.
Currently, 15% of Penn’s student population self-identifies as a part of the LGBTQ community.
Over 24 active student organizations on campus represent LGBTQ affairs, such as the Lambda Alliance, Penn Non-Cis, and Queer People of Color.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, the LGBT Center hosted 162 events and trainings. Earlier this month, the Penn LGBT Center hosted a fundraiser for local children’s literacy nonprofit, A Book a Day.
The University of Pennsylvania has been named “Best of the Best” by Campus Pride for 17 consecutive years for its support of the LGBTQ Community.
“The center holds fast to its social justice beginnings, focusing on both individuals and environmental factors, to ensure Penn’s LGBTQ+ communities feel welcome,” Director of the LGBT Center Erin Cross told the Almanac.