February 8, 2000
Volume 46
Number 20

 Potamkin Scholarship at Law School

Robert Potamkin, a graduate of the Law School's Class of 1970 and chairman of Potamkin Companies, the automobile/office supply/radio station/real estate conglomerate, has endowed the Potamkin Scholarship in honor of A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. at the University's Law School with a gift of $250,000. The scholarship will provide financial support to minority law students of exceptional promise or students interested in civil rights who cannot afford the cost of education at the Penn Law School.

"Judge Higginbotham had a great effect on the lives of everyone he touched. And, he had a giant impact on civil rights in this country," stated Mr. Potamkin. "My hope for this scholarship is to provide support to any exceptional student who wants to study civil rights law, or to any exceptional minority student who wants to study the law. It will be open for students to carry on in the tradition of Judge Higginbotham's teachings and writings."

Mr. Potamkin clerked for the esteemed jurist in 1970 on the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge Higginbotham, who died in 1998, taught race and social policy as an adjunct professor at Penn Law from 1970 to 1993. He also served as chair of the Law School's Board of Overseers and, for three decades, as a trustee of the University.

Independent Panel: Gene Therapy

William H. Danforth, M.D., chancellor emeritus and vice chair of the board of trustees at Washington University in St. Louis, will serve as chair of an independent review panel that will conduct a comprehensive review of oversight and monitoring of clinical trials at the Institute for Human Gene Therapy at the University, according to President Judith Rodin.

Dr. Rodin announced her intention to appoint a committee of ". . . distinguished research scientists with a wealth of academic expertise and relevant experience . . . ." unaffiliated with Penn on January 21, 2000. The committee will report directly to her.

Joining Dr. Danforth on the external review panel are:

  • Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard Medical School;
  • Edward J. Benz, Jr., M.D., Sir William Osler Professor and Director of the Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine;
  • Inder Verma, Ph.D., American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology, The Salk Institute, La Jolla, California;
  • Rochelle Hirschhorn, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Cell Biology and Chief of the Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine; and
  • Daniel Callahan, Ph.D., Director of International Programs, The Hastings Center, Garrison, N.Y.

Dr. Rodin said that the committee will have ". . . a broad mandate to conduct a comprehensive review of every aspect of IHGT's procedures for oversight and monitoring of clinical trials." She spelled out the charges of the external review panel in a letter to the Senate Subcommittee, the full text of which appears in this issue.

"We intend for our research programs, particularly those involving human subjects, to meet the highest standards," Dr. Rodin said. "Nothing less is acceptable."

Dr. Rodin said that the external review panel is one of two reviews underway at Penn designed ". . . to achieve this goal and to respond to the important concerns raised by federal regulators." She said that ". . . we have been and will continue to be strongly committed to cooperating fully with the FDA, NIH, Congress and any other appropriate body as they review these issues."

President Rodin had previously appointed a committee of distinguished members of the Penn faculty, chaired by Provost Robert L. Barchi, to review ". . . carefully and completely . . ." all aspects of Penn's research using human volunteers. She said that the unaffiliated scientists reviewing IHGT's supervision of clinical trials will operate independently of the University review of research using human volunteers.

Penn's Way 2000: Up 60% Over Last Year

Dear Colleagues:

The Penn's Way 2000 campaign has concluded and we are delighted to report that the campaign surpassed our goal of $300,000 by nearly 30%! This year over 1600 Penn employees helped raise a total of $388,298 exceeding our goal by $88,298. The amount raised this year represents a 60% increase over last year's total.

We are extremely grateful to all of those who participated and contributed to this year's campaign and we salute all of our colleagues at Penn who gave so generously to local charitable organizations. Not only will your gifts make a difference to the organizations of your choice, but the combined contributions of Penn employees through the Penn's Way Campaign will have a significant impact on serving the enormous needs of our area's charitable community.

We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of all of the volunteer coordinators and facilitators, many of whom were creative in devising their own strategies to gain greater participation within their units. These people and their volunteer efforts were key to the reinvigoration and success of this year's campaign. Special thanks go to Marie Witt, Elizabeth Griffin, Jonathan Petty, Steve Gagne, Margaret Smith, Trish A. DiPietrae, Barry Stupine, Carla Hultman, and Jim Galbally. We would also like to commend the members of the Advisory Committee whose guidance helped shape the campaign, particularly Rita McGlone, Phyllis Holtzman, Glenn Bryan, Ellen Peskin, Lee Nunery and Duncan Van Dusen. Finally, we would like to thank Barbara Murray, Carol de Fries, and Joan Chrestay for putting together all of the different parts of this campaign and making them work.

More than 1000 of the total participants (or 63%) were entered via their School/Center coordinators or facilitators in the Campaign's weekly raffles and grand prize drawing. Of this group, 45 Penn employees across the University were winners of our weekly raffles and two lucky participants were awarded the grand prizes, an i-Mac computer and two airline tickets.

As the co-chairs of this year's campaign, we have enjoyed being a part of such a meaningful effort. We believe that we have learned important lessons this year and are certain that next year's campaign can be even better and more successful. We would appreciate your suggestions for how the campaign can improve next year. Please feel free to send your recommendations in an e-mail to pennsway@pobox.upenn.edu. Again, we thank everyone for their contributions to Penn's Way 2000.

--Larry Gross and Carol Scheman, co-chairs, Penn's Way 2000

 Penn's Way Campaign: 1999 vs. 2000
Penn's Way 1999 Penn's Way 2000 % Increase over 1999 Total Contributors Penn's Way 2000
Total: Center for Responsible Funding $45,533 $84,467 86% 480
Total: United Way $197,862 $303,831 54% 1199
Total: Campaign $243,395 $388,298 60% 1679

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 20, February 8, 2000