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Since 1927, gifts to The Penn Fund—from undergraduate alumni and parents like you—have made a profound and immediate impact on all aspects of student life and learning at the University by providing grant-based financial aid packages to undergraduates, supporting enhancements to academic programs and campus technology, and fostering community through student clubs and organizations. This longstanding tradition of loyal generosity allows donors to support the University’s greatest needs and highest priorities through the general fund, long-term scholarship support, and special reunion class projects.

How do we support Undergraduates at Penn?

Undergraduate Financial Aid
Residential and Campus Life
Academic Enrichment

The Penn community genuinely cares about West Philadelphia and the broader world beyond campus, and that has given me an optimistic view of the future.”

Jonah Proepper C’24

Jonah Proepper C’24

Jonah Proepper C’24 traveled two hours east from his hometown of Gettysburg, PA to attend Penn. While the green spaces and historical buildings of campus are reminiscent of the community in which he grew up, Philadelphia has offered Jonah an unparalleled access point to the rest of the world. “Penn attracts amazing people from different states, countries, and backgrounds, with unique stories and interests. Beyond classroom instruction, I’ve learned so much from engaging with such a diverse group of students and professors.”

As an undergraduate in the College with a dual major in Political Science and Communication, Jonah enjoyed a range of inspiring courses, many of which regularly incorporated guest speakers into the curriculum—including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and David Eisenhower, the grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower. “The faculty is so interesting and the guest speakers were always inspiring. It was exciting just to sit in class and take everything in, to listen and to learn.”

Jonah knew he would be surrounded by like-minded and highly motivated students at the University, but his peers’ enduring passion for community service was a welcome surprise. “Penn is a very preprofessional school, and I wasn’t expecting there to be such a large emphasis on community service opportunities. People here genuinely care about West Philadelphia and the broader world beyond campus, and that has given me an optimistic view of the future.”

Through his involvement with the Netter Center, Jonah made a tangible difference for Philadelphia public school students. He started as a virtual volunteer in a high school classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, and transitioning to an in-person setting was a major milestone for him. “When I could finally visit the school, I started creating stronger relationships with the students and making a more direct impact.” In getting to know the students and their individual challenges, Jonah and other Penn volunteers were able to identify specific areas of need and make recommendations on ways in which the Netter Center could most effectively support them. “We considered the whole student and what might help them succeed not only academically, but also personally and emotionally.”

Reflecting now as a recent graduate, Jonah considers his relationships to be the greatest gifts of his Penn journey. In addition to the lasting friendships he cultivated with classmates, Jonah experienced meaningful mentorships with faculty and alumni who offered invaluable insights to help steward him into the next chapter of his life. “While alumni philanthropy is vital to the work of the Netter Center, Penn alumni also offer us so much in terms of time and experience. They are genuinely curious about the work we’re doing and invested in our success. These alumni truly understand the value of giving back and they’re instilling that awareness into new generations of students.”

Favorite Penn Memory
Through the course Communication and the Presidency, we were given a stipend to travel to a location in the United States or Europe to research a topic of our choosing. I focused on the Space Race, and I was able to visit the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and read and touch President Kennedy’s documents from that time. It was an amazing learning experience!
Favorite Spot on Campus
The sixth floor of Van Pelt Library. There are floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and the temperature is always set to 65 degrees—the ideal indoor temperature, in my opinion.
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