The University of Pennsylvania has announced that alumni James S. and Gail Petty Riepe have made a gift of $5 million to endow a Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) University Professorship in honor of Amy Gutmann, Penn’s longest-serving President. The Riepes’ contribution recognizes Dr. Gutmann’s distinguished service to the University and her commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research.
An award-winning political scientist, author, and advocate for access to education, Dr. Gutmann’s term as Penn’s president began in 2004 and will conclude this year.
“Amy Gutmann has created a tremendous legacy at Penn, and the Penn Integrates Knowledge program stands as one of her signature initiatives,” Jim Riepe explained. “Gail and I thought it only fitting to establish this faculty position in her name. We are delighted to honor Amy in this way, recognizing one of her most important accomplishments at Penn and our friendship.”
Integrating knowledge across disciplines was one of the founding principles of the Penn Compact, the strategic vision that Dr. Gutmann first articulated in her inaugural remarks as Penn’s President. One of Penn’s great strengths has been its 12 undergraduate and professional schools, all located on a single campus. The goal of the PIK program was to capitalize on this strength by breaking down the traditional barriers between academic disciplines and promoting collaboration among all 12 schools.
The Penn Integrates Knowledge initiative recruits renowned scholars whose work draws from one or more academic disciplines and who thrive at the intersection of multiple fields. Each PIK University Professor holds appointments in two or more schools at Penn.
The PIK program has proven to be a powerful tool for attracting eminent faculty members to the University. Today, 26 accomplished interdisciplinary scholars, distinguished by their groundbreaking research and teaching, hold these innovative positions.
“I came to Penn with a mission to extensively support and invest in faculty, and I am honored to have that commitment reflected in this exceptional gift,” Dr. Gutmann said. “I am especially touched by Jim and Gail’s thoughtful generosity. It is personally meaningful to have my name associated with an eminent faculty member as part of the PIK program at Penn. This gift truly embodies the dedication to pathbreaking interdisciplinary scholarship that was at the heart of my presidency and for that I am enormously grateful.”
Jim Riepe served as Chair of the University Board of Trustees during the early years of Dr. Gutmann’s tenure, when the PIK initiative was established. “I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with these exceptional scholars and seeing their impact across our campus. Gail and I are honored to help strengthen this innovative program,” he said.
James S. Riepe is graduate of the Wharton School, receiving a B.A. in 1965 and an M.B.A. in 1967. He is Retired Vice Chair of the T. Rowe Price Group. A University Trustee Emeritus, Mr. Riepe served as Chair of Penn’s Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2009 and Chair of the Penn Medicine Board from 2009 to 2011. He was recognized with an honorary degree from the University in 2010 and with the Alumni Award of Merit in 2014. Gail Petty Riepe, CW’68, received her Bachelor of Arts from Penn and serves as a member of the Board of Advisors of Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine.