$20 Million Gift for PIK Professorships

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George A. Weiss W’65, a charter trustee and chair of the Making History Campaign, gave the University $20 million in January to establish four more Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professorships. The PIK program recruits exemplary scholars whose work encourages a cross-disciplinary approach to education. 

“I have long felt that education is the key to making a difference in the world,” Weiss said, “and I recognize that faculty are at the core of the University’s strength. By providing faculty support for the best teachers and scholars with an interdisciplinary focus, we can tackle the complex problems of our times and prepare Penn students to become leaders.”

Weiss’s gifts now surpass a total of $80 million, and his philanthropy has been as diverse as it is generous. His previous contributions have established five professorships and one deanship at Penn, started the $14 million Men and Women of Pennsylvania program to encourage other donors, funded scholarships for Penn undergrads, and established the Weiss Tech House as well as the Weiss Center for International Financial Research at Wharton. Additionally, Weiss’s Say Yes to Education program, which combines academic support with an offer to pay college tuition for inner-city students in Philadelphia, Hartford, Conn., and Cambridge, Mass., was started in West Philadelphia and is based at Penn’s Graduate School of Education. 

The first of the four George A. Weiss University Professors is Karen Glantz, who specializes in the impact of behavior on health, and will be leading the new Center for Health Behavior Research at Penn [“Gazetteer,” Sept|Oct 2009]. The University will fill the remaining three positions in the coming months. 

Penn President Amy Gutmann praised Weiss for his altruism, saying, “It’s impossible to overstate George’s impact on the very basics of living, learning, and teaching at Penn.”

–Tyler Russell C’11

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