Recently a 2001 College alumnus told me he was grateful that as a student he’d been able to sample a wide array of subjects until he discovered those he wanted to pursue. I hear similar stories all the time. With 59 undergraduate majors and four dual-degree programs, Penn Arts and Sciences offers something for everyone. These opportunities don’t end with graduation. No matter what you care about in this world—environmental issues, poetry, mentoring—Penn Arts and Sciences has a way for you to explore and support that passion.
For example, Michael Price, W’79, quickly realized the potential democratization of learning offered by the digital humanities when he was listening to a faculty presentation. Not only did he and his wife Vikki Price make a gift to establish the Price Lab for the Digital Humanities, but Michael continues to meet with and talk to the faculty and staff responsible for the development of the lab. They have heard directly from him that his goal is to allow the worldwide humanities community new possibilities for access and research.
Jamie Handwerker, C’83, PAR’19, is the chair of the Penn Arts and Sciences Professional Women’s Alliance (PWA), a group we developed to bring together alumnae who are leaders in their fields and strong advocates of a liberal arts education. These women come together to network, mentor young alumnae and undergraduate students, and have some fun as well. Thanks to Jamie’s enthusiastic leadership, the group has grown exponentially in just one year. She recently wrote me, “We have a lot of young, talented, and diverse new blood coming into PWA. I have made this a personal mission, and it’s so exciting.”
Or take Richard Axilrod, WG’85, who volunteers at Waterside School, a K–5 school in Stamford, Conn., for underprivileged students because he believes that education is the key to both individual and community success. Richard endowed two undergraduate scholarships at Penn as another way of making a good education accessible, “one student at a time.” And he designated the scholarships for College students because he also believes in an undergraduate education in the liberal arts. He says meeting the students he has helped has been inspirational.
Our alumni and friends give their time and money to the school to support what they are passionate about. I’m delighted to thank the men and women who have found a way to connect their passion to the School’s mission over the past year. You will see them listed in the 2015–2016 Donor Honor Roll, sent along with this magazine. These Penn partnerships have a special alchemy that benefits them, the school, and ultimately the world.
Thank you for working with us to make a difference.
Yours in partnership,
Vice Dean for Advancement