Effecting potent positive impact in our neighborhoods, nation, and world are the bricks on which democracy and global citizenship are built, and are the cornerstones of a Penn education.

A crowd fills the Perry World House interior during the Global Shifts conference


Building on the University’s long history of civic mindedness, the Penn Compact 2022 brings Penn knowledge and practice to bear on key local, national, and global issues to help people lead healthy, prosperous lives. In doing so, Penn is committed to working side-by-side with the communities it seeks to serve.

Throughout Dr. Gutmann’s tenure at Penn, she has championed public-private partnerships, exemplified by Penn’s contribution of $100 million to the School District of Philadelphia to remediate environmental hazards in the city’s public schools—the largest private gift to the School District in its history. Penn has for more than a decade maintained strong ties with nearby schools including the Henry C. Lea School and Penn Alexander, and under Dr. Gutmann’s leadership, too, influential programs including the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia, Penn Futures Project, and Penn Rising Scholar Success Academy were born.

Penn's Annual Economic Impact (FY 2020)


Annual economic activity Penn generates around the region


Hours spent on civic engagement by Penn faculty, staff, and students


Penn Medicine funds to support West Philadelphia communities in unreimbursed health care, women’s health clinics, and community health programs


Philadelphians engaged in Penn’s civic engagement initiatives in public education, public health, and community partnerships

The Penn Connects, Penn Connects 2.0, and now Penn Connects 3.0 road maps have included massive improvements of facilities and growth of green spaces on Penn’s contiguous University and medical campuses. Major initiatives and investments throughout the years have included the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Roberts Proton Therapy Center, Smilow Center for Translational Research, Pennovation Works and the Pennovation CenterPenn Park, and the new Pavilion, a 17-story, 1.5 million-square foot, $1.6 billion hospital, which officially opened in early November 2021. The Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services directs Penn’s capital projects, which are on average $250 million annually. Penn encourages economic inclusion on all construction projects, with extensive opportunities for local residents, minority-owned businesses, and women-owned business to participate in its major capital projects.

Global engagement has been a centerpiece of Dr. Gutmann’s presidency, highlighted by the creation of the Perry World House on campus, the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement in Washington, D.C. New academic centers have also been established under Dr. Gutmann’s guidance, including the Penn Center for the Study of Contemporary China, the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance. In 2019, thanks to a generous gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Penn Paideia Program was launched, placing a particular emphasis for students involved on wellness, citizenship, service, and dialogue across divides.

Dr. Gutmann has also championed Penn’s commitment to the arts, as much for students, faculty, and staff as for the community at large, supporting one-of-a-kind sites and programs on campus including the Penn Museum, Arthur Ross Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, supported by an endowed gift from Keith L. and Katherine Sachs, was recently established to provide grants and other forms of strategic support to artists, faculty, cultural centers, students, and other arts advocates at Penn, with a mission of connecting through art the University to the world at large.

Commencement ceremony at Franklin Field

"Engagement with communities here at home, across our country, and throughout our world—civic engagement, for short—is at the heart of the Penn Compact 2022."

Amy Gutmann, Penn President

Signature Initiatives

President’s Engagement Prize winners Martin Leet,  and Leah Voytovich

President’s Engagement Prizes

The President’s Engagement Prizes are competitively awarded annually to academically excellent and civically engaged Penn seniors to design and undertake fully funded local, national, or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate from Penn. Each project winner will receive up to $100,000 in project implementation expenses, as well as $50,000 in living expenses. 

Penn students engaged in learning in an undergraduate class

The SNF Paideia Program

The SNF Paideia Program serves as a hub for civic dialogue in undergraduate education at Penn. In collaboration with other Penn programs and organizations, the SNF Paideia Program provides curricular and co-curricular opportunities for all students to develop the knowledge, skills, and ethical frameworks necessary to be informed, engaged, and effective community members, and to lead fulfilling and integrated personal, professional, and civic lives.

An aerial photograpgraph showing the historic Quadrangle with the Philly skyline in the background

Penn Connects 3.0

Penn Connects 3.0 is the University’s master plan to create an innovative and beautiful urban campus with vibrant living and learning spaces that make a positive impact on the local community. Building on Dr. Gutmann’s original campus plan, which added 5 million square feet of new and renovated space and increased open space by 25 percent, Penn Connects 3.0 reinforces the University’s sustainability objectives as outlined in its Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.