Febuary 20, 2001
Volume 47
Number 23

Dr. Williams' Unprecedented $16 Million to UPM

University Museum Director Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff announced a $16 million contribution last Thursday--the largest individual contribution ever made to the Museum, and one of the largest contributions to any university museum--from archaeologist Dr. Charles K. Williams, II, a long-time UPM benefactor and member of the Museum's all-volunteer Board of Overseers. The announcement was made at an evening reception to launch an ambitious $55 million fundraising campaign, The 21st Century Campaign: Preserving the Past, Endowing the Future. Dr. Williams will chair the new campaign, and his leadership gift will go towards improving the infrastructure of the Museum's unique historic building.

Dr. Williams' extraordinary gift, and the launching of the new campaign, comes less than a year after groundbreaking for the $17 million Mainwaring Wing for Collections Storage and Study, a new space which, when complete, will provide for much needed, climate-controlled storage for many of the Museum's nearly one million artifacts, collected throughout the Museum's more than 100 year history of international research and expeditions. The 21st Century Campaign: Preserving the Past, Endowing the Future is conceived as a six-year, $55 million effort to strengthen the Museum's building infrastructure and its ability to meet its two-fold mission of research and public education.

"The University of Pennsylvania Museum, 113 years young with a mission that remains as vital today as the day it was first envisioned, has great challenges ahead," said Dr. Sabloff.

"We have the challenge, and the opportunity, to make our grand but aging Victorian-era building an asset, and not a liability. We also have the challenge to remain active and flexible as we engage in international research, adding greatly to our shared knowledge and understanding about the world's many and diverse cultures. And finally, we have the challenge to disseminate information to wider and more diverse publics, meeting important public education and outreach needs in dynamic new ways.

"Dr. Williams' magnanimous gift--$16 million earmarked to go to the unglamorous but ultimately vital renovation of the general utilities and air conditioning of the Museum's historic buildings--is a tremendous statement of support, and, I believe, a call for all of us who believe in the Museum's mission and vast potential to step forward and help make our vision a reality," he continued. "I am confident that with Dr. Williams' leadership as our 21st Century Campaign Chairman, coupled with the energy and leadership of the Museum's Board of Overseers and its many friends and supporters, we will rise to the challenges ahead."

"This extraordinary gift from Charles Williams is the latest evidence of his unwavering commitment to the University and particularly the Museum during more than 20 years as a volunteer, benefactor and in other leadership capacities," said President Judith Rodin. "His gift, designated to go toward the improvement and preservation of the infrastructure of the Museum's historic building, is a further demonstration of his vision and his determination to ensure that the Museum remains among a handful of preeminent archaeological and anthropological museums nationwide, and in fact, throughout the world."

Dr. Williams' gift will enable the Museum to begin climate control and refurbishing of much of its historic but antiquated building--a long-awaited goal aimed at enhancing visitor comfort and convenience while creating new opportunities for expanded public programming. An additional $9 million in pre-announcement gifts and pledges has already been raised for endowment and programs. Additional funds to be raised through The 21st Century Campaign will endow key research and educational programs and increase support for collections and outreach.

Though the $16 million gift is by far the largest donation Dr. Williams has given the Museum, he has long been a strong supporter of both the Museum and the University, where he received his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology in 1978. As Field Director of the Corinth Excavations of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece (1966-1997), he pursued his twin passions: archaeological research and training opportunities for a new generation of scholars--including students and researchers from Penn. His previous UPM contributions have included more than $1.7 million toward the Mainwaring Wing for Collections Storage and Study; $1 million toward the Rodney S. Young Fellowship Fund; $1 million toward the Robert H. Dyson Fellowship Fund, and $1.6 million to fund the Museum's Williams Directorship.

For Dr. Williams, a noted Classical World scholar whose real passion lies in the excavation and discovery work for which the Museum is world-renowned, the decision to contribute to the building infrastructure is one he came to gradually. "I've come to realize that in order to do the exciting research, publications and exhibition programs that are so valuable, you need to have a good base. I just decided, since I'm dedicated to the programs of this Museum, I could give for the things that are absolutely important to the long-term success of the institution--and the things that, from a fundraising perspective, are usually the hardest to raise money for."

With long-term programmatic and research flexibility as a primary campaign goal, donors will have a variety of special named-giving opportunities available to them, in addition to general campaign contribution opportunities. To make this project a reality, the Museum needs the support of interested individuals, corporations and foundations.

Dr. Rodin: Fox Leadership Professor & Interim Director

SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston has announced the appointment of President Judith Rodin as Robert A. Fox Leadership Professor, effective March 1, 2001.

Dr. Rodin joins Dr. John J. DiIulio, Jr., of political science and Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman of psychology in filling the three Fox Professorships created by a $10 million gift to the School by trustee Robert A. Fox in 1999. The gift also created the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program for undergraduates in the liberal arts in the College.

Mr. Fox is president and chairman of R.A.F. Industries, a private investment company based in Jenkintown. He is a 1952 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and a Penn trustee.

"I could think of no one more appropriate than Judith Rodin to fill this important and prestigious chair," said Dean Preston, "and I am delighted that she has chosen to accept it. President Rodin has been a leader throughout her career--as a Penn undergraduate who headed the women's student government, as a scientist who has conducted groundbreaking work on the psychology of body image, and as the first woman president of an Ivy League university. Her record of achievement is testimony to the lifetime value of a liberal arts education."

In addition to her appointment to the Robert A. Fox Professorship, Dr. Rodin will become interim director of the Fox Leadership Program while the current director, John J. DiIulio, Jr., is on leave to head President Bush's new Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Almanac February 6). Launched in the fall of 1999, the Fox Program offers students in the College the opportunity to develop leadership skills that complement their liberal arts education.

The Fox Program has sponsored forums and workshops on politics and public speaking, helped promote debate as an extra-curricular activity and sponsored Lessons in Leadership, a lecture series that brings distinguished College alumni from all walks of life back to campus to talk to students about their experiences and careers.

A New Direction for UPHS

President Judith Rodin reported at Friday's Stated Meeting of the Trustees on the much-awaited decision about UPHS. She said that Penn is committed to maintaining an integrated Health System and does not intend to sell any of its four hospitals.

A new, not-for-profit entity, a 501(c)3, wholly owned by the University, will be established for the Health System. It will have its own CEO and governing board, "allowing it the flexibility it needs to compete in a challenging marketplace," Dr. Rodin explained. She cited the strong academic mission as the reason for taking this "new direction" instead of any of the other possible alternatives.

In December, President Rodin appointed a special 'Blue Ribbon Committee' of medical faculty and Penn Trustees to consider options for the future of UPHS and to make recommendations to the Health System executive committee and the University's Trustees. "Since then, the special committee has met numerous times, solicited input from key stakeholders, gathered a great deal of valuable information, and considered a variety of options," President Rodin said.

Refering to the recent turnaround, she said, "Everyone should be pleased by the steps UPHS has taken on the road to financial recovery. The Health System enjoyed a positive first half of this fiscal year. However, we still must continue to deal with the reality of an uncertain future. The Health System carries a very sizeable debt burden, and it will need additional capital over the next several years to support our academic and clinical missions, reinvest in our fixed assets, and cover debt service. Simply maintaining the status quo, in this situation, is not an option."

"Our first priority has been to sustain and enhance the University's academic and research missions; continue to be a first-rate academic medical center on the cutting edge of education, research and patient care; and maintain the School of Medicine's standing as one of the top medical schools in the country."

"Penn will continue to be open to joint ventures on capital projects and potential alliances with partners who share Penn's commitment to academic medicine and vision of a tripartite commitment to teaching, research and patient care." One such project is the joint development of the former Civic Center site by Penn and CHOP.

"These steps will position UPHS in a way that will protect and enhance the academic mission of the School, allow UPHS to compete effectively in the commercial marketplace, and enhance its ability to raise capital," Dr. Rodin said.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 23, February 20, 2001