TCPW Honors Gutmann with Beacon Award

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The Trustees Council of Penn Women has named Penn President Amy Gutmann as the 10th recipient of its highest honor, the Beacon Award. The awards presentation and trustee dinner in November, which also included a “Faculty Table Talk” featuring 13 women faculty members, served as an unofficial kickoff for TCPW’s upcoming 25th anniversary celebration. (The celebration will continue at the group’s spring conference, April 12-13. Check the website for information as it becomes available.)

In presenting the award to Gutmann, TCPW Chair Leslie Myers C’88 cited her accomplishments as Penn president in heading the largest capital campaign in the University’s history, the ongoing Making History effort; advocating for increasing access to higher education; ensuring that Penn is a global leader in teaching and research; and her “dynamic leadership in social, economic, and civic progress.”

After calling for a round of applause for Myers and for the faculty members who had shared their research interests with their tablemates of Penn trustees, TCPW members, and guests—but didn’t get much time to eat—Gutmann expressed gratitude for the award, which she called “meaningful” and “deeply moving,” coming from TCPW with its long history of advancing the cause of women students and faculty at Penn [“What Women Wanted,” Jul|Aug 2008].

Musing on the award’s name, she referred to the Lighthouse of Alexandria—one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and a “beacon for sailors and travelers who could see it for miles in the distance,” she said. “Penn is full of these amazing shining lights, and my job is to make sure that they can continue to shine and, whether it’s locally or globally, that everybody can see the shining lights and be guided by them.”

Since its founding, TCPW has served as a “beacon for women at Penn,” Gutmann added. 

She praised the group’s partnership with the administration in establishing the TCPW/Provost Award, which “recognizes University faculty who take bold action to champion the causes of women both academically and professionally,” and hailed a new award marking the “proud milestone” of the group’s 25th anniversary that will reward excellence in undergraduate advising.

Noting that “it’s just thrilling to be in a room where there are so many men as well as women who are dedicated to this cause,” Gutmann called on everyone in the Penn community to “imagine an even more inclusive University” that will “really push the forefronts of knowledge, of teaching, and of clinical service.

“Penn is a model for that, it is a beacon, and I am dedicated to working with all of you to make sure that Penn’s future is even brighter than its present and its past,” she added. 


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