Penn Receives $25 Million Gift to Create Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics

Feb 04, 2013, 21:38 ET from University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Pennsylvania has received a $25 million gift from alumnus Ronald O. Perelman to create the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, which will provide a new home for Penn's departments of Political Science and Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences.

The Center will be located in the West Philadelphia Trust Building at 36th and Walnut streets in the heart of Penn's campus.

"Ronald  Perelman's extraordinary generosity will enable us to create an outstanding center for political science and economics, two of Penn's most popular undergraduate majors," Penn President Amy Gutmann said.  "The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics will transform the existing space into a magnificent new building that will combine two key academic departments in one central location."

The building currently houses several administrative offices along with the office of Counseling and Psychological Services.  They will all be relocated on Campus.

"I am proud to continue my support of this extraordinary institution that means so much to me and my family," Perelman said.  "This gift underscores my deeply held belief that our next generation must be given the tools to not only understand but positively impact government and the increasingly complex global economy." 

Perelman is the son of Raymond G. and the late Ruth Perelman, who in 2011 made a $225 million gift to Penn's School of Medicine, now the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  The gift was the largest single gift in the University's history.

A member of Penn's Board of Trustees, Ronald O. Perelman holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Penn's Wharton School. A frequent donor to the University, his previous gifts include $20 million to create Perelman Quadrangle, making it possible for the University to restore the buildings at the historic core of its campus: Houston Hall; Irvine Auditorium; Cohen Hall, named for Perelman's former wife, the late Claudia Cohen, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and the first woman editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian; College Hall; and Williams Hall.  At that time, it was the largest single gift for campus life in Penn's history.  Perelman has also supported undergraduate financial aid, The Wharton School, Athletics and Medicine.

"With this gift, Mr. Perelman has single-handedly assured the vitality of the social sciences at Penn by providing for a home for our truly outstanding political science and economics faculty," said Rebecca Bushnell, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.  "I know that the impact of this gift will be felt across the School for years to come."

Perelman is chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in consumer products, defense, entertainment, financial services, education, biotechnology and gaming.

An active philanthropist, he is the founder of the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program and has established the Department of Dermatology in his name at NYU Medical Center, The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital and The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell. Committed to women's health, the arts and education, Perelman was president of the Guggenheim Museum and serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the University of Pennsylvania, the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the NYU Medical Center, among others. 

Consistently ranked among the top 10 programs in the country, Penn's Department of Economics is home to 31 outstanding scholars specializing in empirical and theoretical microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics, the latter a field made famous at Penn by the late Nobel Laureate Lawrence Klein. Among its many distinguished faculty are development economist Jere Behrman; Andrew Postlewaite, a top scholar of behavioral economics and game theory; and Holger Sieg, one of the world's leading public finance economists. The undergraduate economics major is one of the largest in the College of Arts and Sciences, and its courses are also critical to the popular majors in international relations and philosophy, politics and economics, as well as to the curriculum of Wharton. Its Ph.D. program is one of the nation's best in this field and places its graduates in top universities and in a variety of public and private sector roles.

The Department of Political Science is a nationally-renowned program focusing on American politics, international relations, comparative politics and political theory. Its 31 eminent faculty include world-famous scholars John DiIulio (American public policy); Diana Mutz (political communication); Rogers Smith (constitutional law); and Penn President Amy Gutmann (political theory), while ethnopolitical conflict expert Brendan O'Leary played an advisory role in the Northern Ireland peace process and has been a constitutional advisor to the United Nations and European Union. The undergraduate political science major is one of the largest in the College of Arts and Sciences, and its courses are also critical to the popular majors in international relations and philosophy, politics and economics.  The department also has a top Ph.D. program that places its graduates in top universities and in a variety of public and private sector roles. 

SOURCE University of Pennsylvania