Keith Sachs, Philanthropist, PennDesign Overseer

  • March 13, 2018
  • vol 64 issue 26
  • Deaths
  • print

caption: Keith SachsKeith L. Sachs, W’67, an emeritus member and former chair of PennDesign’s Board of Overseers and Penn benefactor, died March 5. He was 72.

“We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Keith Sachs. A Wharton graduate and business leader with a lifelong passion for art, Keith was a quintessential Penn alumnus and true Renaissance man, as well as a great friend of our University,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann.

“The Sachs’ philanthropy to Penn was transformational. Keith and his wife, Kathy, supported arts programming and established named chairs for faculty and curatorial positions. Penn will be forever grateful for their signature gift of $15 million gift to launch The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation (Almanac October 18, 2016), an arts hub that integrates creative expression into daily life at Penn,” President Gutmann said.

The couple also endowed a contemporary art professorship, a position of visiting professor of fine arts at PennDesign, a guest curator program at the ICA, and the Sachs Fine Arts Program Fund (Almanac November 8, 2005). Mr. Sachs was a 2008 Alumni Award of Merit winner.

Mr. Sachs was the former CEO of Saxco International, a principal distributor of packaging material to the producers of alcoholic beverages in North America.

“Mr. Sachs also shared his invaluable business acumen and insights as a member of PennDesign’s Board, which he previously chaired. Thanks to his keen advocacy and generosity, the arts will remain central to the Penn student experience as well as to the cultural life of our city and far beyond. There can be no more significant and meaningful legacy for a true art lover to leave for future generations,” President Gutmann said.

For many years, Mr. Sachs led Penn’s Class of 1967 Gift Committee, which he chaired during its 50th reunion year in 2017.

He is survived by his wife, emerita trustee Kathy, CW’69; his son, David; daughters, Deborah Rothman and Judy; and his brother, Herb.