Major donations announced in the new year will provide long-term funding for the University’s initiatives on behalf of first-generation and low-/moderate-income students, Penn First Plus, and endow a new Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professorship named for Amy Gutmann, who resigned as Penn’s president in February.
Scott Shleifer W’99 and Elena Shleifer made an $18 million gift to assist Penn First Plus (P1P) in providing comprehensive financial, academic, and programmatic support to eligible students, and to enhance the financial aid available to them. To encourage further contributions, the gift also includes a challenge fund that will match the contributions of donors who establish financial aid endowments for P1P initiatives.
In recognition of the Shleifers’ gift, P1P’s dedicated space in College Hall—where students can access resources from across the University, meet with professional staff, and connect with experts in academic support, financial aid, wellness, and career services—will be renamed the Shleifer Family Penn First Plus Center.
“Attending Penn had an enormously positive impact on my life,” Scott Shleifer said in a statement. “Elena and I hope this gift enables many more bright young minds to benefit from a Penn education so they can create the best lives for themselves and their families for generations to come.”
A $5 million gift from James Riepe W’65 WG’67 Hon’10 and Gail Petty Riepe CW’68 will endow a new PIK professorship—whose recipients hold appointments in multiple schools—in honor of the University’s longest-serving president. Riepe, an emeritus trustee who chaired Penn’s board of trustees from 1999 to 2009, led the search that resulted in Gutmann’s nomination and election as president in 2004.
“Amy Gutmann has created a tremendous legacy at Penn, and the Penn Integrates Knowledge program stands as one of her signature initiatives,” Riepe said when the gift was announced. “Gail and I thought it only fitting to establish this faculty position in her name. We are delighted to honor Amy in this way, recognizing one of her most important accomplishments at Penn and our friendship.”
In separate statements, Gutmann said she was “thrilled and profoundly grateful to Scott and Elena Shleifer for their amazing commitment to support such an important University priority as Penn First Plus,” and was “especially touched by Jim and Gail’s thoughtful generosity” and to have her name associated with a future PIK professor.