Penn’s Weingarten Center receives visionary gift

The $2.6 million gift will enhance the Center’s academic support and disability services.

Architectural rendering of a person walking into a lobby with a receptionist.
Architectural rendering of the new accommodated testing center entrance.

The University of Pennsylvania today announced a $2.6 million gift from the Moh Foundation that will be used to enhance academic support, disability services, and tutoring at the Weingarten Center.

The Moh Foundation Integrated Learning Care Initiative gift will directly impact Penn students by providing support for innovative, cross-campus collaborations; state-of-the-art space for accommodations and learning; and reimagined services that benefit every student on campus. 

“This gift is reflective of the Moh Foundation’s deep awareness of the greatest needs of our students,” says Mamta Accapadi, Penn’s Vice Provost for University Life. “Peggy Moh’s mentorship and advocacy, along with the generosity of the Moh Foundation, are great acts of love in service of justice and tenderness for Penn students.” 

This landmark gift from the Moh Foundation will provide new resources that will enable the Weingarten Center to better support the academic experience of every Penn scholar, especially those with unique learning needs. 

“With a shared interest in promoting equity and inclusion, our foundation was committed to funding Penn’s most urgent priorities around accessibility and support services for students with disabilities,” says Peggy Moh, president of the Moh Foundation, proud Penn parent, and member of the Weingarten Advisory Board. “By providing resources for programmatic experimentation, new technology and capital enhancements, we hoped to help solidify the Center’s position as the leader of student support services in the country.”

A new testing center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022 in Penn Libraries’ Biotech Commons. The space will provide an accessible, quiet exam site for students requiring testing accommodations. Previously, students who needed extra time, specific lighting, or other exam requirements used assigned spaces scattered across Penn’s campus. With this centralized testing location, a wide variety of accommodations will be offered in one space including services for students with visual and/or audial impairments. “This is a truly transformative gift,” says Jane Holahan, executive director of the Weingarten Center. “We are destigmatizing disability and empowering all of our students through an integrated learning model.” 

A hub for academic support services outside the classroom, the Weingarten Center is an important element of student achievement. The Moh Foundation’s gift will allow Penn to pilot a case management approach designed to increase student success. By offering personalized academic support, the Center enables all students to be fully supported throughout their Penn journey through holistic, accessible, and equitable disability services and learning resources. “This gift highlights the importance of the Weingarten Center as a destination for all students who seek academic support to optimize their success,” says Sharon Smith, Associate Vice Provost for University Life.

Technology and new programming are also part of the gift that will enhance the student experience. “Student feedback is a key part of this gift,” Smith adds. “We are interested in continually evaluating our initiatives, experimenting, and offering what’s most urgent for our student population.”

About the Weingarten Center

The Weingarten Center, as part of Penn University Life, serves students in several ways through Academic Support and Disability Services. Learning Specialists work with students to build and strengthen their study skills and develop strategies for coursework through individual consultations, group workshops, and asynchronous resources. Tutoring provides more content-specific support for many courses through a variety of formats. Disability Services provides the necessary support for students who have disabilities to gain access to programs and facilities. Together, Academic Support and Disability Services comprise the Weingarten Center, where the theme of accompanying students along their academic journey underscores its unified mission.&

About Penn University Life

Penn University Life is part of the Office of the Provost. University Life departments serve undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, providing academic and career support, campus and community engagement, and much more. University Life’s efforts help to fulfill Penn’s strategic vision and enhance the ability of Penn students to reach their fullest potential.

About the Penn Libraries

The Penn Libraries provides a network of information resources and knowledge services that are vital to teaching, research, and learning at the University of Pennsylvania. This network includes 14 physical libraries, recognized for their collections, and a digital library known for innovation and richness of content. Through exhibitions and lectures, and through the acquisition and preservation of literary and artistic artifacts, the Penn Libraries documents a wealth of social and historical periods, bringing scholarship to life at the University and in the various communities it serves.