The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn) is an American private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is one of the Colonial Colleges. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania,…READ MORE
The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn) is an American private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It is one of the Colonial Colleges. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities.
Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities, concentrating multiple "faculties" (e.g., theology, classics, medicine) into one institution. It was also home to many other educational innovations. The first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton, 1881) and the first student union (Houston Hall, 1896), were all born at Penn.
Penn offers a broad range of academic departments, an extensive research enterprise and a number of community outreach and public service programs. It is particularly well known for its medical school, design school,dental school, school of business, law school, communications school, nursing school, veterinary school, its social sciences and humanities programs, as well as its biomedical teaching and research capabilities. Its undergraduate programs are also among the most selective in the country (12.1% acceptance rate). One of Penn's most well known academic qualities is its emphasis on interdisciplinary education, which it promotes through numerous joint degree programs, research centers and professorships, a unified campus, and the ability for students to take classes from any of Penn's schools (the "One University Policy").
All of Penn's schools, alone or jointly, exhibit very high research activity. Penn is consistently included among the top five research universities in the United States, and among the top research universities in the world, both in terms of quality and quantity of research. In fiscal year 2011, Penn topped the Ivy League in academic research spending with an $814 million budget, involving some 4,000 faculty, 1,100 postdoctoral fellows and 5,400 support staff/graduate assistants. As one of the most active and prolific research institutions, Penn is associated with several important innovations and discoveries in many fields of science and the humanities. Among them are the first general purpose electronic computer (ENIAC), the Rubella and Hepatitis B vaccines, Retin-A, cognitive therapy, conjoint analysis and others.
Penn's academic and research programs are led by a large and highly productive faculty. In the last ten years alone 9 Penn faculty members or graduates have won a Nobel Prize. Over its long history the university has also produced many distinguished alumni. These include 12 heads of state (including one U.S. President), 3 United States Supreme Court justices, and supreme court justices of other states, founders of technology companies, international law firms, and global financial institutions, university presidents and 18 living billionaires.
Much of Penn's architecture was designed by the Cope & Stewardson firm, whose principal architects combined the Gothic architecture of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge with the local landscape to establish the Collegiate Gothic style. The present core campus covers over 279 acres (1.13 km2) in a contiguous area of West Philadelphia's University City district; the older heart of the campus comprises the University of Pennsylvania Campus Historic District. All of Penn's schools and most of its research institutes are located on this campus. The surrounding neighborhood includes several restaurants and pubs, a large upscale grocery store, and a movie theater on the western edge of campus.
The Module 6 Utility Plant and Garage at Penn was designed by BLT Architects and completed in 1995. Module 6 is located at 38th & Walnut and includes spaces for 627 vehicles, 9,000 sq ft (840 m2) of storefront retail operations, a 9,500-ton chiller module and corresponding extension of the campus chilled water loop, and a 4,000-ton ice storage facility.
In 2007, Penn acquired about 35 acres (140,000 m2) between the campus and the Schuylkill River (the former site of the Philadelphia Civic Center and a nearby 24-acre (97,000 m2) site owned by the United States Postal Service). Dubbed the Postal Lands, the site extends from Market Street on the north to Penn's Bower Field on the south, including the former main regional U.S. Postal Building at 30th and Market Streets, now the regional office for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Over the next decade, the site will become the home to educational, research, biomedical, and mixed-use facilities. The first phase, a comprising a park and athletic facilities, opened in the fall of 2011. Penn also plans new connections between the campus and the city, including a pedestrian bridge. In 2010 Penn, in its first significant expansion across the Schuylkill River, purchased 23 acres at the northwest corner of 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue from DuPont for storage and office space.
In September 2011 Penn completed the construction of the $46.5 million 24-acre (97,000 m2) Penn Park, which features passive and active recreation and athletic components framed and subdivided by canopy trees, lawns, and meadows. It is located east of the Highline Green and stretches from Walnut Street to South Streets. The University also owns the 92-acre (370,000 m2) Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill in northwestern Philadelphia, the official arboretum of the state of Pennsylvania. Penn also owns the 687-acre (2.78 km2) New Bolton Center, the research and large-animal health care center of its Veterinary School. Located near Kennett Square, New Bolton Center received nationwide media attention when Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro underwent surgery at its Widener Hospital for injuries suffered while running in the Preakness Stakes.
Penn borders Drexel University and is near the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. The renowned cancer research center Wistar Institute is also located on campus. In 2014 a new 7-story glass and steel building will be completed next to the Institute's historic 117-year-old brick building further expanding collaboration between the university and the Wistar Institute.