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COUNCIL State of the University: Report of the President
October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10

President Amy Gutmann

You may have noticed Saturday, October 20th was a momentous day for Penn. More than 6,000 people, many of them students, packed College Green and 1,850 people packed the tents in the soon-to-be-green parking lot to launch our new era of growth and our new Campaign, called Making History. Were I to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, I would say, “Penn is the future (And So Can You!).” But I won’t say that. What I shall say is that we are very proud to have announced our $3.5 billion Making History fundraising campaign. We also celebrated how our campus development plan, Penn Connects, will transform Penn and Philadelphia.

I will therefore ask EVP Craig Carnaroli and Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller, to report on these two initiatives to make Penn the best place in the world for learning, for teaching and for putting knowledge to work for a better world. These initiatives are going to make Penn even more extraordinary tomorrow than it is today.

Let me first point out two ties that bind these two initiatives together to strengthen Penn beyond what we can today measure or what we can even imagine.

First, both Penn Connects and Making History have been planned to Penn’s very human and humane scale. Our vision is both inspirational and practical. Our fundraising priorities have been aligned with our campus development efforts to strengthen Penn’s academic core and to ensure a richer, better life for Penn students, faculty, staff and our community.

Second, our Campaign and campus plan are mutually reinforcing in both directions. For example, almost $1 billion raised in this Campaign will be used to create a vibrant new quad, a College House on Hill Square, a state-of-the-art nanoscale research building, neural and behavioral sciences building, and a host of other Penn Connects projects. And just as our Campaign will jump start our core priorities, so too are our core strengths jump starting our Campaign. Penn’s strong financial performance and our operational efficiency over the past several years are clear indications of our ability to use our resources wisely and widely, and to great effect. The fact that we use our resources so well is a very big aid in raising core money, because donors see at Penn that their donations are being used incredibly well.

So, we are equally creative in putting our existing resources into extraordinarily important use as we are in raising new resources to make Penn the model of a great urban teaching and research university—not only for our own good, but for the good of our city, our society and the world. So now is the time and Penn is the place for Making History.

Almanac - October 30, 2007, Volume 54, No. 10