Cendent CEO Henry R. Silverman Makes the Largest Gift Ever to an American Law School

Ken Wildes | wildes@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-8721
Wednesday, February 25, 1998

PHILADELPHIA --- Henry R. Silverman, president and chief executive officer of Cendant Corporation, Stamford, Conn., and Parsippany, N. J., a global leader in consumer and business services, has made the largest outright gift ever to an American law school -- $15 million -- to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, according to University of Pennsylvania President Judith Rodin.

Rodin made the announcement today following the meeting of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia last week. Silverman, a trustee, is a 1964 graduate of the Penn Law School.

"We are enormously grateful for Henry's commitment, both to the Law School and to the University," Rodin said, adding that "this leadership gift will enable us to continue to build on our distinguished past and improve ourselves in the present to benefit future generations of students and faculty."

"As a graduate , and having realized the benefits and rewards of a truly world-class education at Penn Law School, I am particularly gratified to make this gift and trust it will help both students and faculty build on the institution's rich history of academic excellence," Silverman said.

The gift will be used for the restoration and renovation of the original Law School building, which, Rodin said, was its "intellectual and ceremonial heart." The building, she said, will be renamed Henry R. Silverman Hall in recognition of his generosity. Rodin said that the Silverman gift also will support a professorship, legal scholarship and research.

The University of Pennsylvania Law School has recently announced an ambitious plan to develop a unique "leadership" program that seeks to combine the strengths of legal education with perspectives drawn from management and other sister professions and academic disciplines. "This gift launches the Leadership Initiative in the most fitting way imaginable," said Law School Dean Colin S. Diver, who hailed the Silverman gift as the "linchpin" for the school's plans. "It is the largest gift to an American law school; it will be used to establish a home and an endowment for the leadership program; and its donor, Henry R. Silverman, is the perfect embodiment of the lawyer-leader whom we seek to educate.

"We have a vision of legal education as preparation for leadership," he said, "a combination of interdisciplinary studies and strong disciplinary training designed to prepare our students for the challenges of a changing legal profession in a rapidly changing society."

The Law School planning is consistent with the University of Pennsylvania's strategic plan, Agenda for Excellence, designed to solidify the University's position as one of the world's premier urban teaching and research institutions. It recognizes that the University's comprehensive excellence is defined by the strength of its individual schools. The plan calls for a commitment of substantial new resources that will enable the University to move to the next level of achievement.

The University of Pennsylvania Law School, consistently ranked among the finest in America, is recognized as a leader in teaching law as a field of knowledge related to other academic disciplines. Its instructional programs consider not only the theory and practice of law, but also the place of American law among the other leading legal systems throughout the world.

Cendant Corporation, ranked among the 100 largest corporations in America, with a market capitalization of more than $30 billion and operations in more than 100 countries, was formed through the 1997 merger of CUC International, Inc., and HFS, Inc., which Silverman founded in 1990 and served as its chairman and chief executive officer.

Cendant has three principal segments: Membership Services, which provides access to travel, shopping, auto, dining and other services through more than 66.5 million memberships worldwide; Travel Services, the leading franchiser of hotels and rental car agencies worldwide, the premier provider of vacation exchange services, and the second largest fleet management company; and Real Estate Services, the premier franchiser of residential real estate brokerage offices, a major provider of mortgage services to consumers, and a global leader in corporate employee relocation.

In addition to serving as a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, Silverman, 57, is executive vice chairman of the board of trustees of the New York University School of Medicine and the NYU Health System, a director of the NYU Child Study Center, a trustee of the Hospital for Joint Diseases and a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.