PHILADELPHIA -- University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann received the 2010 Gold Medal Award from the Philadelphia Public Relations Association at a ceremony here today.
“We are honoring President Gutmann because she is the standard to which all leaders in Philadelphia should be held,” Beth Archer, PPRA president, said. “Whether she’s expanding Penn’s environmental commitment or improving access to higher education for Philadelphians, she brings positivity to our region.”
The PPRA Gold Medal Award honors individuals and organizations whose accomplishments leave a lasting impact on the region and bring national recognition to Philadelphia.
Previous recipients are former Ambassador Walter Annenberg, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, former Drexel University President Constantine Papadakis and almost 60 other prominent individuals and organizations in the Philadelphia area.
As Penn’s president since 2004, Gutmann substituted grants for student loans for all eligible undergraduates and has increased undergraduate financial aid by 78 percent. She has recruited eminent, multidisciplinary teacher-scholars to Penn’s 12 schools, expanded Penn’s campus while increasing green space by 20 percent and championed civic engagement domestically and globally.
Gutmann was introduced by David L. Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast and chairman of the Penn Board of Trustees.
“As president, she has steered Penn through one of the worst recessions in modern history with a level of fiscal prudence and reason that has allowed it to stay focused on educational priorities,” Cohen said in his remarks at the event.
Cohen also focused on Penn’s legacy of civic leadership and as an economic engine in the health sciences, business, education and arts and culture.
As the largest private employer in Philadelphia, the University generates $91 million for the local economy each year through wages and taxes.
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of Penn,” Gutmann said. “Local engagement is one of the cornerstones of our Penn Compact. Day in and day out at Penn, we act on the knowledge that the health and vitality of Penn is inextricably linked to that of Philadelphia. We work together with our Philadelphia neighbors and leaders to make both Penn and Philadelphia the best that we can be. I commend PPRA for consistently advancing leadership in our region.”