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Vernon and Shirley Hill: $10 Million to School of Veterinary Medicine

President Amy Gutmann, and Dr. Alan Kelly, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, have announced a $10 million gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill to the School of Veterinary Medicine.

The gift will be used towards the completion of a new teaching and research center, currently under construction, to be called The Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion. The building will open in the fall of 2006 and is the first new Penn Veterinary Medicine building in Philadelphia in 25 years. (See below for photos from the recent festivities.)

Vernon W. Hill, II is the founder and chairman of Commerce Bancorp Inc. Shirley Hill is the founder and president of InterArch, an architecture and design firm in Mt. Laurel, N.J.  Mr. Hill is a 1967 graduate of the Wharton School.

The Hill Pavilion will be the new academic center of the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine. It will contain five floors, including surgery centers, teaching and library space, research laboratories and a vivarium. It will be the most state-of-the-art veterinary teaching and research facility in the world.

“The gift from the Hills,” said Dr. Gutmann, “is the largest gift the Veterinary School has ever received from a living donor.  It allows us to continue and expand the world-class teaching and research mission of the School.”

“The Hills share with us our vision of the world’s premier veterinary educational center,” said Dr. Kelly, “and they recognize the importance of the school.  This new building has been one of my primary goals, and I thank the Hills for their support.”

Mr. Hill said, “My wife and I are pleased to support the world’s premier School of Veterinary Medicine which is a part of one of the world’s great universities. Dean Kelly and his staff are on a never-ending mission to advance the teaching, care and research goals of a great institution.  We are pleased to have our name associated with both the University and the School of Veterinary Medicine.”

Commerce Bancorp Inc. is a $35 billion multi-bank holding company headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., with nearly 350 banking offices serving New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Virginia and Washington, D.C.  In early 2006, Commerce will open its first offices in Palm Beach County, Florida.  Commerce Insurance Services Inc. and Commerce Capital Markets Inc. augment the company’s banking services.


The Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion:
A Dream Realized

Hill Pavilion
The rainy mid-day weather last Thursday did not dampen the spirits of the hundreds who turned out to celebrate the naming of the School of Veterinary Medicine’s newest building, slated to open on time, and in time for classes in August 2006. Dean Alan Kelly said that the donors’  “transformational commitment enhances this building in so many ways. As soon as you enter the building, you will know it belongs to the Veterinary School.” The $10 million gift from Vernon and Shirley Hill will enable the building to include many upgrades and connect it to the existing buildings with a sky bridge; it will also enable the school to renovate the student surgery suite. A banner atop the five-story building was unveiled last Thursday revealing that the School of Veterinary Medicine’s building scheduled to open next year—dedicated to Healing, Teaching and Discovery —will be the Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion. Dean Kelly said that the School will now have an incredible new building “to expand our commitment to the time-honored belief of Many Species, One Medicine.”


Vernon and Shirley Hill
Mr. and Mrs. Hill, with their Yorkshire terrier, Duffy.


Thank You Poster
Mr. Hill accepts the token of appreciation from Dean Kelly (at right), who presented it on behalf of the school’s faculty, students and staff.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 6, October 4, 2005


October 4, 2005
Volume 52 Number 6


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