Building on the University’s long history of civic mindedness, the Penn Compact 2022 brings Penn knowledge and practice to bear on key local, national, and global issues to help people lead healthy, prosperous lives. In doing so, Penn is committed to working side-by-side with the communities it seeks to serve.
To illuminate the prominent place that civic engagement holds at Penn, Dr. Gutmann established the President’s Engagement Prizes in 2015, which provide unparalleled support for prizewinning undergraduate seniors as they design and undertake public service projects after graduation. In 2020, Dr. Gutmann named Penn’s first Vice President for Social Equity and Community, who oversees Projects for Progress, a fund intended to encourage students, faculty, and staff to design and implement pilot projects based on innovative research that will advance Penn’s aim of a more inclusive university and community. Both sets of prizes reinforce Dr. Gutmann’s unwavering belief that a university is, as Penn’s founder Ben Franklin believed, “first and foremost, a social undertaking to create a social good.”
Throughout Dr. Gutmann’s tenure at Penn, she has championed public-private partnerships, exemplified by Penn’s contribution of $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia to remediate environmental hazards in the city’s public schools—the largest private gift to the School District in its history. Penn has for more than a decade maintained strong ties with nearby schools including the Henry C. Lea School and Penn Alexander, and under Dr. Gutmann’s leadership, too, influential programs including the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, Penn Futures Project, and Penn Rising Scholar Success Academy were born.
The Penn Connects, Penn Connects 2.0, and now Penn Connects 3.0 road maps have included massive improvements of facilities and growth of green spaces on Penn’s contiguous University and medical campuses. Major initiatives and investments throughout the years have included the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Roberts Proton Therapy Center, Smilow Center for Translational Research, Pennovation Works and the Pennovation Center, and Penn Park. Soon, the New Patient Pavilion—a 17-story, 1.5 million-square foot, $1.5 billion hospital—will open. The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services directs Penn’s capital projects, which are on average $250 million annually. Penn encourages economic inclusion on all construction projects, with extensive opportunities for local residents, minority-owned businesses, and women-owned business to participate in its major capital projects.