History of the Presidency

Biographical sketches of Penn Presidents (including Acting and Interim Presidents) and historically significant aspects of University history during each administration.

2004 - Present

Amy Gutmann, President

(updated January 10, 2014)
Born 1949, in Brooklyn, New York
B.A. Harvard-Radcliffe College, 1971
M.Sc. London School of Economics, 1972
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1976
  • Provost Princeton University, 2001-2004
  • Director, The University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 1990-1995, 1998-2001
  • President, American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy, 2001-2004
  • Academic Advisor to the President, Princeton University, 1997-98
  • Dean of the Faculty, Princeton University, 1995-97
  • Director, The Program in Ethics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, 1990-1995, 1997-2000
  • Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, 1990-2004
  • Director, The Program in Political Philosophy, Princeton University, 1987-89
  • Director of Graduate Studies, Princeton University, Politics Department, 1986-88
  • Professor of Politics, Princeton University, l987- ; Associate Professor, 1981-86; and Assistant Professor, 1976-81

University history (to date) during the Gutmann administration:

2004 Amy Gutmann announces The Penn Compact at her inauguration. The Compact encompasses Gutmann’s strategic vision to propel the University of Pennsylvania from excellence to eminence in its core endeavors of teaching, research, and service. Three core principles inform the Compact: increasing access, integrating knowledge, and engaging locally and globally.
2005 Penn Integrates Knowledge Initiative launched with $10 million anonymous gift. The PIK initiative recruits and cultivates the most eminent scholars who are experts in integrating knowledge between and among disciplines.
2005 School of Social Work renamed School of Social Policy and Practice.
2006 Penn Connects, the University’s 30-year development plan to expand the campus eastward and connect Penn with the center city of Philadelphia, is announced. Penn’s campus master plan, Penn Connects, has added nearly 4 million square feet of space to campus since 2006 while increasing open space on campus by 25 percent.
2006 Penn’s all-grant undergraduate financial aid program is announced and fully phased in over three years. As of Fall 2009, all undergraduate students who are eligible can graduate loan-free from Penn. The program is the largest financial aid investment in Penn’s history.
2007 Penn’s completes purchase of 24 acres of postal lands adjacent to the Schuylkill.
2007 $3.5 billion “Making History” campaign launched.
2007 Institute for Regenerative Medicine created.
2008 Joyce Meng receives Rhodes Scholarship.
2008 Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine opens at Penn Medicine.
2009 University breaks ground on Penn Park, which will increase the University’s green space by 20 percent and develop the lands adjacent to the Schuylkill River.
2009 President Barack Obama appoints Gutmann Chair of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues.
2011 Penn Park opens, connecting Penn’s campus to Center City Philadelphia and surrounding neighborhoods. The next year, Design Philadelphia calls it an “urban sanctuary” and gives it the Design Champion Award.
2011 Penn acquires 23 acres on the South Bank of the Schuylkill River to be developed by the University, in part to strengthen Penn’s technology transfer and faculty innovation efforts.
2011 The Smilow Center for Translational Research Center opens.
2012 Golkin Hall opens, a state-of-the-art building that completes Penn Law’s integrated campus and embodies its distinctive vision for an interdisciplinary legal education. The Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, participated in the dedication.
2012 Shoemaker Green opens. The 2.75 acre green is adjacent to Penn Park in the center of campus and was designed to help reduce runoff and improve water quality.
2013 Penn completes its largest, most successful fundraising effort in the University’s history, raising $4.3 billion through the Making History campaign. The campaign’s original goal of $3.5 billion is hit 16 months ahead of schedule.
2013 Gutmann introduces the Penn Compact 2020, which will maximize Penn's inclusion, innovation and impact with bold next steps to increase access to Penn's exceptional intellectual resources; integrate knowledge across academic disciplines with a strong emphasis on innovation; and engage locally, nationally, and globally to bring the benefits of Penn's research, teaching, and service to individuals and communities at home and around the world.
2013 Krishna P. Singh Nanotechnology Center opens, becoming the region’s premier facility for advanced research, education, and innovative public/private partnerships in nanotechnology. The 78,000 square-foot facility serves as Penn’s focal point for groundbreaking work in nanotechnology.
2014Gutmann announces creation of President’s Engagement Prizes, the largest and most unique prizes of their kind, to encourage Penn seniors to take on local, national and global engagement projects after graduation.
2015Gutmann announces creation of President’s Innovation Prize, which provides a graduating Penn senior, or team of graduating seniors, $100,000 (plus a $50,000 living stipend per team member) to envision and implement an innovative, commercial venture that makes a positive difference in the world.
2015Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC) opens in Beijing. The PWCC represents a substantial commitment to advance a long history of engagement with China in an increasingly interconnected global environment.
2016Stephen A. Levin Building for Neural and Behavioral Sciences opens, integrating psychology, biology and behavioral sciences under one roof. Completion of the building positions Penn to become a leader in the interdisciplinarity of brain and human behavior research.
2016New College House opens, Penn’s first purpose-built facility in the university system of college houses.
2016Perry World House opens, a new, state-of-the-art campus hub for advancing interdisciplinary, policy-related approaches to the world’s most pressing global issues. Former United Nations high commissioner for human rights Navanethem Pillay and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates attend the opening.
2016Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander University of Pennsylvania Partnership School (Penn Alexander School) is named a National Blue Ribbon School. It is one of only a few hundred schools in the country to receive the coveted annual distinction, and the first Philadelphia District school in West Philadelphia to ever receive the honor.
2016Pennovation Center opens, an iconic new landmark for Penn’s innovation ecosystem. The Center is part of Pennovation Works, a 23-acre property adjacent to Penn's campus which accommodates Penn affiliates in state-of-the-art facilities, including researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry partners solving real-world problems and translating inventiveness into viable ventures.
2016President Amy Gutmann’s contract extended to 2022, making her the longest-serving president in the University’s history.

Biographical sketches of Penn Presidents (including Acting and Interim Presidents) and historically significant aspects of University history during each administration.