‘Power of Penn’ campaign has raised $3.3 billion one year after its public launch – The Daily Pennsylvanian

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Penn President Amy Gutmann began the Power of Penn campaign six years ago. She now has two years to achieve her fundraising goal of $4.1 billion, and she expects to do so.

Credit: Nicole Fridling

One year since the public launch of Penn’s most ambitious fundraising campaign, Penn President Amy Gutmann has raised $3.3 billion and remains on track to meet her $4.1 billion goal by June 2021, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller said.

Gutmann’s Power of Penn Campaign launched in 2013 and followed her first fundraising campaign, Making History, which raised $4.3 billion dollars. The campaign has also funded a host of new buildings and infrastructure projects that have expanded Penn’s campus. 

In the fiscal year from July 2017 to June 2018, Zeller said the campaign raised $700 million of commitments in cash, which was “higher than expected” and a record for fundraising over one fiscal year. The 2013 to 2018 period was the “quiet phase,” when fundraisers reached out to major donors, while the 2018 to 2021 period is known as the “public phase,” when anyone can donate. 

Over the past five years, the campaign has funded several notable building projects at Penn.

Before the public phase of Gutmann’s campaign began, 1948 Penn Dental graduate Robert Schattner gave the Dental School $15 million in fall 2015 to fund the renovation of its Main Clinic and the construction of the Schattner Pavilion. The clinic is now known as the Robert I. Schattner Clinic, the Penn Dental Medicine Journal reported.

The clinic re-opened in January 2018 after its renovations. The Schattner Pavilion opened in June 2018 and connects the three main buildings that make up Penn Dental’s campus, serving as a reception area for faculty, staff, patients, and visitors to the school.

Stuart Weitzman, a 1963 Wharton graduate and fashion designer, donated an undisclosed amount in February to rename Penn’s School of Design to the Stuart Weitzman School of Design. The donation will go toward financial aid and academic planning. PennDesign’s central plaza, located between Meyerson Hall and Fisher Fine Arts Library, will also undergo significant redesign and renovation.

Other building projects funded by the campaign are still in their early stages.


Credit: Caroline Gibson

Renovations to the central plaza of PennDesign are one of many projects funded by the Power of Penn campaign.

The most recent major gift was from Roy Vagelos, a 1950 College graduate, and his wife Diana Vagelos, who made a record $50 million donation in April to the School of Arts and Sciences to fund the construction of a new energy research building. The building, which will bear the names of Roy and Diana Vagelos, will be located on 32nd and Walnut streets. The building is expected to open its doors to faculty in 2024, School of Arts and Sciences Dean Stephen Fluharty said. 

The Graduate School of Education will receive a 25,000-square-foot expansion with the addition of a new student pavilion to the current building, merging with neighboring Stiteler Hall, and the addition of a two-story building. 

In October 2018, the charity branch of a hedge fund founded by 1992 Wharton graduate Nicolai Tangen and his wife, Katja Tangen, made a $25 million donation to fund the construction of Tangen Hall. The building will serve as an entrepreneurial hub, serving students seeking to create their own startups. The hall is also meant to be a collaborative space for Wharton, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the PennDesign.

Tangen Hall will be located at the intersection of 40th and Sansom streets, will cost $46.35 million to build, and will span 68,000 square feet. The seven-story building is set to begin construction in May 2019. 

Other goals of Gutmann’s campaign include expanding Penn’s global opportunities, by expanding Penn Global Seminars and the Penn Global internship programs to more locations as well as by making programs more accessible to students from first-generation, low-income backgrounds. The funds will also go toward increasing the financial aid budget for international students.

A global tour celebrating the Power of Penn campaign and promoting its initiatives recently ended in April. The campaign events, which were open to various Penn affiliates, took place in cities ranging from London to Hong Kong and Los Angeles, according to the campaign website

Additional projects funded by the campaign include The Wharton Academic Research Building, New College House West, renovations to the Penn Museum, a new indoor training facility behind the Hollenback Center, and a new Pavilion at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.



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