Extraordinary affordability and access
Inspiring people, place, and purpose
Penn President Amy Gutmann’s record tenure of nearly 18 years
is the University’s most transformative.
Amy Gutmann’s lifelong dedication to the transformative power of education is captured in a favorite riddle. “What’s the difference between a scrap metal dealer and an Ivy League university president?” she’ll sometimes ask an audience. Her answer comes straight from the heart: “One generation.”
That scrap metal dealer was Gutmann’s father, who fled Nazi Germany, eventually emigrating to the United States. Hard work and need-based scholarships enabled his daughter to access a world-class education which, says Gutmann, “utterly transformed my life. It made educational opportunity the driving force and the absolute defining mission of my life.”
Beginning in 2004 as the University of Pennsylvania’s eighth president, Gutmann immediately set about growing student financial support and bolstering inclusion, innovation, and impact as cornerstones of her strategic vision, which she named the Penn Compact. That concept, holding true after her honorable departure from Penn in February 2022 to become the next U.S. ambassador to Germany, expresses and guides the commitment of a world-class urban research and teaching University to improve the lives of individuals and communities, locally, nationally, and globally.