Penn to donate $100 million to Philadelphia school district

By: | November 18, 2020

The University of Pennsylvania will donate $100 million over 10 years to the Philadelphia School District to remediate environmental hazards, including asbestos and lead, the school announced. It’s the largest private contribution to the School District in its history and comes as the district, like other organizations, is reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Penn president Amy Gutmann said she had been contemplating the move for several months after reading and hearing about the serious environmental issues in the School District.

“I wanted to do something that was citywide. I wanted to do something that would have an immediate impact in these tough times,” Gutmann said. “This was the right thing to do at the right time.”

Gutmann said the money is a voluntary contribution and would come from discretionary funds available to the president, not from the university’s endowment, which stands at nearly $15 billion and covers a fraction of financial-aid costs for students. She said it was her decision to make the donation, but it came with strong support from Penn’s board of trustees and her team.

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