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The SNF Paideia Program Center is located inside College Hall. Credit: Jean Park

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program received a $13 million grant to support the growing demand for its offerings on civic engagement and dialogue.  

The new grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation will allow for the continued growth of SNF Paideia from 2024-29, according to the announcement on Oct. 5. Since the program’s establishment in 2019, SNF has provided Penn with over $20 million across three grants. 

The SNF Paideia Program aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical foundations necessary to engage in civil discourse. Penn initially received a $6 million gift from SNF to launch the program, which offers a range of courses and co-curricular activities related to citizenship. 

Around 30 courses are offered under the SNF Paideia designation every academic year. Nearly 3,000 students have enrolled in at least one SNF Paideia course since its inauguration, according to Penn Today. In total, nearly 80 students across four cohorts have participated in the program so far. 

In the 2022-23 academic year, the program sponsored or co-sponsored over 70 events, accommodating more than 2,500 attendees. 

“In our first five years, we have seen remarkable outcomes, with students embracing dialogue across difference,” the program’s executive director, Leah Anderson, told Penn Today. “The funding extension from SNF will enable us to expand our reach and offer more immersive experiences to an even wider circle of students, faculty, and the larger Penn community.”

Michael Delli Carpini, who served as the program’s inaugural faculty director, was succeeded by Sigal Ben-Porath, who stepped into her role as the new faculty director on Sept. 1 of this year. 

“Thanks to the wonderful generosity of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Penn can continue and grow important programming that teaches students how to be better citizens, and, in turn, support improved civic health and wellness across the globe,” Ben-Porath told Penn Today.