Athletics director M. Grace Calhoun will be leaving the University of Pennsylvania on April 19 to become athletic director at her alma mater, Brown University. The announcement was made today by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett.
“Grace has done a superb job in leading our extraordinary Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics for the past seven years,” Gutmann said.
As Penn athletic director, Calhoun has overseen Penn’s 33 varsity athletics programs, 38 club programs and broad-based intramural and recreational offerings for students, faculty, and staff. During her tenure, Penn teams have won 27 Ivy League or conference championships in 16 sports, three individual national titles, and three national runner-up team finishes. In addition, Penn has had 133 All-Americans, 226 individual NCAA Championship qualifiers, 21 Coaches of the Year, 31 Ivy League Players of the Year, 119 Ivy League individual champions, 256 first-team All-Ivy selections, and a Rhodes Scholar. And Penn’s NCAA Academic Progress Rate consistently ranks among the best in the nation.
“Grace will depart having left an indelible mark on Penn Athletics,” Gutmann said, “not only on the field of competition but also in a deeply felt commitment to the overall health, safety and success of our student athletes and in the strategic planning and operations of the division. She has done important work in addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within Athletics.”
During her tenure, Calhoun made significant improvements to Penn facilities, and has led a successful development campaign that is on track to raise $200 million by the end of the academic year, far surpassing Power of Penn Campaign goal for the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics of $150 million. She has been a national leader in intercollegiate athletics, chairing prominent NCAA committees, and recently completing a two-year term as the chair of the Ivy League Directors of Athletics where she guided a “21st Century Review” of Ivy League athletics.
“Everyone at Penn will miss Grace,” Pritchett said, “but we also understand and respect the desire to return to a place that she loves at Brown. We wish her and her family only the best as they make the transition to Rhode Island.”
“I would like to thank President Gutmann, Provost Pritchett, former Provost Vince Price, and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli for entrusting me with leading Penn Athletics and Recreation these past seven years,” Calhoun said. “We have accomplished so much together, and I leave with full confidence that the increased varsity competitiveness, innovative programming, and broad-based recreation will provide a strong foundation for even higher degrees of success going forward. The move is extremely bittersweet as I have strong bonds to my Penn family, from the student-athletes, coaches, staff, and administrators of DRIA to the Athletics Board of Advisors and alumni to our tremendous campus partners. I will miss these relationships dearly, but the tug to my alma mater is strong. Thank you for making this journey so special.”
Rudy Fuller, senior associate athletic director, intercollegiate programs, will serve as interim director of athletics and recreation until a permanent appointment is made.