Celebrating Extraordinary Impact: The Campaign for Penn GSE

May 17, 2021
The word “Celebrating” appears in a dark blue horizontal block. Below it is a logo made of dark blue, light blue, and bright red blocks against a white background. The logo reads, “Extraordinary Impact: The Campaign for Penn GSE.”

This spring, Penn GSE is preparing to conclude the Extraordinary Impact Campaign, a $75 million initiative within the University-wide Power of Penn Campaign that ends on June 30, 2021. The largest fundraising effort in the School’s history, Extraordinary Impact has dramatically increased support for priorities across Penn GSE so that the School’s faculty, students, and alumni can continue to reach learners locally, nationally, and globally and provide them with the foundation for lifelong opportunity. This page highlights successes of the campaign, stories that Penn GSE will continue to celebrate in the months ahead.

A heading reads “Facilities and Technology” beside a conceptual design image of Penn GSE’s proposed new lobby. The rendering shows a wide staircase with several lounging spaces and glass windows.

Facilities and Technology

Penn GSE is undertaking a dramatic building expansion—the School’s first new construction in more than fifty years—to create a hub of twenty-first century teaching and learning.*

“The expansion will revitalize and modernize Penn GSE’s footprint and teaching spaces as the School pursues its ambitious goals for its second century.”
— Douglas R. Korn, W’84, chair, Penn GSE Board of Advisors and chair, Extraordinary Impact Campaign

A heading reads “Scholarship and Fellowship” beside a photo of graduate students sitting at round tables, interacting with each other or looking ahead, with smiles on their faces.

Scholarship and Fellowship

The School has made a Penn GSE education more affordable by initiating need-based aid for the first time and significantly increasing financial aid offerings to master’s students.

“The cost of education can take a toll on students’ families and work-life balance. I am so grateful and thankful that the generosity of donors has provided me and other students with an invaluable opportunity—a chance to further our education.”
— Heather Hairston, Ed.D. student in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership; recipient, Glosserman Family Urban Education Scholarship

A heading reads “Programs and Research” beside a photo of several individuals at a round blue table. On the tabletop are colorful sticky notes, papers, pens, markers, and apples.

Programs and Research

Penn GSE has grown its innovative work partnering with urban schools, sparking change in the field, deepening practitioners’ knowledge, reinventing teacher education, advancing racial literacy, and pioneering solutions in hybrid, digital, and active learning.

“We are looking at what each model of partnership teaches us about university-assisted schools—what is sustainable and replicable, and which of our efforts make the most difference for students.”
—Caroline L. Watts, director of school and community engagement and senior lecturer

A heading reads “Faculty” beside a photo of a smiling professor. She observes students working with a board which has articles including coins, fruit, and wires connecting to electronic devices.


Penn GSE has increased support for faculty in order to continue attracting and retaining the finest scholars, who shape the field of education through their research, practice, and teaching.

“Teachers are yearning to teach with progressive pedagogies and tools, but without an advocate like us and high-quality professional development, education is hard-pressed to improve.”
— Susan Yoon, professor in Teaching, Learning, and Leadership division

A heading reads “The Penn GSE Annual Fund” beside a photo of two women in a colourful classroom at a table. They speak to each other, looking at papers on a desk. 

The Penn GSE Annual Fund

Through the Penn GSE Annual Fund, the School has supported every student, faculty member, and program, responding to new and exciting opportunities while preparing students for lives of leadership and service.

“It’s important to me to invest in diversity—whether through supporting candidates to attend a school like Penn GSE or helping facilitate dialogues.”
— Patricia Grant, GED’01, GRD’04, senior associate dean for the undergraduate program, Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business

To learn more about funding priorities at Penn GSE, or to contribute, visit www.gse.upenn.edu/support or contact us at 215.573.6623 or alumni@gse.upenn.edu. 

*The images shown here are of a conceptual nature, illustrating the intended massing of potential additions and proposed scope of interior work. The final design of the addition and interior renovations will continue to develop and advance in future months in accordance with the program requirements and budget targets.

Photo credits from top to bottom: Ann Beha Architects, Penn GSE, Jay Gorodetzer Photography, Greg Benson Photography, Lisa Godfrey Photography 

This article appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of The Penn GSE Magazine.