University of Pennsylvania to Renovate and Rename Nursing Building for Former Dean Claire Fagin

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Media Contact:Matt Gray | | 215-898-4820February 2, 2006

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing has received a $5 million gift from The Annenberg Foundation to support the renovation and renaming of its building for Dean Emerita Claire M. Fagin, a pioneer in nursing research.

Fagin, who served as dean of the Penn School of Nursing from 1977 to 1992, helped transform the profession of nursing through emphasis on research and nursing science.  She established a number of centers, including the Center for Nursing Research, that have produced a generation of Penn researchers who have gone on to make significant contributions to nursing.

From 1993 to 1994, Fagin served as interim president of the University of Pennsylvania.  She most recently served as director of the John A. Hartford Foundation National Program "Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity" and continues to provide organizational and nursing consulting to private and public groups.

"This unique gift positions the School to take yet another step in its path from excellence to eminence.  We are tremendously grateful to Mrs. Leonore Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation for honoring Claire Fagin's exemplary leadership while supporting Penn Nursing's incredible work improving health and health care," Penn President Amy Gutmann said.

"The Annenberg Foundation's generous support will enable us to create an environment for our researchers to continue the advancement of nursing science and thus build on the legacy left by Dr. Fagin," said Afaf I. Meleis, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of the School of Nursing.

The Annenberg gift is a milestone in Penn Nursing's campaign to renovate its building.  Phase 2 of renovations, projected to cost $15 million, calls for new laboratories and offices on the upper floors to encourage closer collaboration between researchers and scholars.

Meleis characterized the renovations as, "breaking down walls, both literally and figuratively, to support the work of faculty and students."

It follows an earlier renovation, which provided students with improved techonology, space for social interaction and improved student services and admissions areas.

Under Fagin, the Nursing School topped other schools in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health.  In addition, the World Health Organization paid special recognition by naming the School a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for International Nursing.

The Annenberg Foundation is the successor corporation to the Annenberg School at Radnor, Pa., established in 1958 by the late Walter H. Annenberg, a Penn alum.