In early July, Penn announced a $7.5 million commitment from an anonymous donor—with an additional $5 million in matching funds from the University—to fund scholarships for students committed to social innovation and social justice at the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2).
The gift, one of the largest ever made to SP2, will allow the school to expand its Social Justice Scholars Program to 12 full-tuition scholarships for students from historically underrepresented backgrounds, with preference given to graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs).
The Social Justice Scholars Program was established in January 2021 to provide students of color with a rich, rigorous, and specialized academic experience, while removing financial barriers to a graduate education. The program features proseminars with leaders in social justice and impact, as well as funding for travel to a national conference and one-on-one mentoring and advising with both faculty and alumni.
“For more than 110 years, SP2 has worked to improve the lives of underserved and marginalized communities,” SP2 dean Sara S. Bachman said in a statement. “These incredible resources will enable SP2 to grow its world-class education for students advancing their careers in social innovation, impact, and justice. I am thrilled that the school will have additional financial support to educate students and provide meaningful career preparation for many years to come.”