Penn Athletics Names The Pottruck Center for Student-Athlete Success; Leadership Gift Also Provides Critical Funding to the Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy

Dave Pottruck, daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Aaron make leadership gift to enhance holistic development of student-athletes

PHILADELPHIA–The University of Pennsylvania today announced a $6.3M leadership gift from alumnus David S. Pottruck C'70, WG'72, reinforcing his half-century of engagement with Penn Athletics. The majority of Dave's commitment to the Set The Future In Motion campaign will establish an endowment in an area of passion for him, leadership development. Dave's endowment gift to the Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy will provide funding in perpetuity to a program that will shape Quaker student-athletes for generations to come. The Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy currently falls under the purview of the Center for Student-Athlete Success, which in recognition of Dave's incredible generosity will be renamed the "The Pottruck Center for Student-Athlete Success." Dave's daughter, Stephanie Pottruck Goldman C'99, and son-in-law, Aaron Goldman W'99, were inspired by Dave's philanthropy that they too made a financial commitment to CSAS in honor of Dave, bringing the total to over $7.1M between the two gifts.
 

“I am extremely grateful for Dave Pottruck’s leadership and philanthropy,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann.  “His generosity has spanned the decades and touched countless members of the Penn community. With this landmark gift, Dave is providing critical support for student-athletes that will benefit them in their athletic and academic endeavors, as well as far into their careers. The Pottruck Center for Student-Athlete Success is a testament to Dave’s visionary leadership and profound recognition in the importance of investing in future thought leaders.  My thanks as well to Stephanie and Aaron for following Dave’s lead in this important area.”

Five-million dollars of Dave's gift will establish an endowment that will ensure a baseline of funding for the Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy in perpetuity while enhancing the offerings of the Center for Student-Athlete Success (CSAS). The positive impact that CSAS will have on Penn's student-athletes will forever positively impact the trajectory of their lives. Student-athletes will develop the mental, spiritual, and social skill sets that will ultimately position them to make significant contributions to the world long after graduation.

"The gift is a way for Penn Athletics to prioritize the importance of leadership education, while supplementing this important discipline with critical development areas such as civic engagement and academic support and vice versa," said Pottruck. "I’m thrilled that my philanthropic interest in Penn has been passed down a generation and has motivated Stephanie and Aaron to make a significant contribution to Penn Athletics.  To know that our family name will forever be aligned with the shared areas of importance to Penn and the Pottrucks and Goldmans, is extremely gratifying and humbling."

"Athletics has always been important to our family. We love the competition aspect, but we have always been strong believers in the skills that being part of a team and working toward a shared goal teaches young people. Aaron and I are thrilled make this gift in honor of my father to a dedicated area within Penn Athletics that will develop and nurture these important skills for generations of Penn student-athletes," Stephanie Pottruck Goldman said.

Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr., W'69, Director of Athletics and Recreation, underscored the critical importance of investing in people and programs as it relates to the maturation of student-athletes. "Dave Pottruck has been as loyal a supporter as Penn Athletics has and as a result of his most recent gift, Penn will be better positioned to deliver on our promise of providing our student-athletes with an unrivaled academic and athletic experience, while developing them into our leaders of tomorrow," said Calhoun. "Dave's investment in the whole person is truly remarkable and catapults Penn Athletics toward being a national leader in this space. We are incredibly thankful to Dave, Stephanie and Aaron for their leadership and this transformational gift."

Dave is not only supporting broad-based programming for all Penn student-athletes, but also is focused on assisting the football and wrestling programs—two sports that had an incredible impact on him during his formative years in West Philadelphia. As an undergraduate, Dave was a member of the varsity football and wrestling teams and has made this gift to not only provide annual financial support to two programs close to his heart, but also to motivate others to join him to ensure that both teams have proper operational funding now and in the future. During this time of economic uncertainty, Dave's gift is a leadership statement centered on supporting our varsity programs when they need it the most.

In making this gift, Dave Pottruck, a former University of Pennsylvania Trustee, emeritus member of the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics Board of Advisors, and former Global Chief Executive Officer at Charles Schwab, is supporting an area that played a major role in his professional success. Dave credits his athletic experiences as providing him the personal infrastructure and skills to lead a global leader in finance such as Charles Schwab. He understands the importance of giving back in an effort to help nurture the next generation of leaders.

"My years in business have repeatedly demonstrated to me how important it is to develop future leaders," Pottruck said. "Leadership is a quality that can, and should, be taught. The combined stamina, discipline and team spirit that Penn's athletes show so consistently demonstrates their enormous potential as world leaders. The Leadership Academy program will help them move seamlessly and successfully into the future."

"As a former wrestler at Penn myself, I have always admired Dave Pottruck as a leader and a mentor for my own development and to know that the lessons he has taught me over the years will be shared with all our student-athletes through our partnership with the McNulty Center at Wharton is incredibly exciting," said Matt Valenti C'07, Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Success. "Moreover, to have the physical office that I work in carry the Pottruck name going forward is not only personally gratifying but will also be motivating for our student-athletes for years to come."

Set The Future In Motion: The Final Year Of Game Onward is a $150 million fundraising effort that has a focus on annual, endowment, and capital fundraising.

The University of Pennsylvania Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) is a broad-based division comprised of 33 intercollegiate teams, 37 club sport teams, and expansive intramural sport and campus recreation programs, all taking place within 22 athletics and recreational facilities. Students, faculty, and staff are also served through membership-based access to the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, ranked #2 nationally, the Fox Fitness Center and access to a variety of shared facilities. The facilities are contained within a contiguous 24-acre footprint at the eastern end of campus, commonly thought to be one of the best athletics infrastructures among urban campuses, with assets such as Franklin Field, The Palestra, and Penn Park.

Center for Student-Athlete Success creates a positive experience during the student-athlete lifecycle through a holistic approach to personal growth and development during their time at Penn. The core pillars of admissions & financial aid, academic services, personal enrichment and professional development are designed to maximize our student-athletes' four years as an undergraduate to prepare them for the next forty years.

The Penn Athletics Wharton Leadership Academy, powered by the McNulty Leadership Program at Wharton, Penn Athletics provides student-athletes with an opportunity to receive best-in-class leadership training with the experts in the world's first business school. The specialized curriculum allows our student-athletes to explore their leadership styles, as well as focus on character development, personal values, and effective communication. This innovative program was conceived by David S. Pottruck C'70, WG'72.

The University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1740, is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Its 12 undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools are located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students from throughout the nation and around the world. Ranked consistently among the top universities in the nation, Penn has a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education.

 

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