Charles, Duckworth Named to Endowed Chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences

January 5, 2017

Dean Steven J. Fluharty is pleased to announce the appointment of two faculty members in Penn Arts and Sciences to endowed chairs.

Camille Charles, professor of sociology, Africana studies, and education, has been appointed Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences. Charles is a distinguished scholar of the sociology of race and education. Her seminal book, Won’t You Be My Neighbor: Race, Class and Residence in Los Angeles, serves as a frequently-cited resource for scholars and students of racial residential segregation.  Her coauthored works, The Source of the River: The Social Origins of Freshmen at America’s Selective Colleges and Universities and the follow-up study, Taming the River: Negotiating the Academic, Financial, and Social Currents in Selective Colleges and Universities, examine the educational origins of inequality and the possibilities for higher education to counteract social disadvantage. Her expertise as a quantitative researcher has positioned her to advise institutions of higher education on issues of inequality and its metrics. 

Charles has served as chair of the University Faculty Senate and the Department of Africana Studies, as the director of the Center for Africana Studies, and as a member of the Provost’s Faculty Council on Access and Achievement and the Penn Arts and Sciences Planning and Priorities Committee, Diversity Council, and Africa Planning Group.

The late Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg received Penn’s Alumni Award of Merit in 1991. He and the late Honorable Leonore Annenberg were both emeritus trustees of the University. The Annenbergs endowed many chairs in Penn Arts and Sciences and made countless generous contributions to the University. They also founded the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958.

Angela Duckworth has been named Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Duckworth is an internationally-recognized scholar of positive psychology and the psychology of achievement.  She is widely known for her role in developing and advancing the concepts of grit—the ability to maintain effort toward long-term goals—and self-control as factors in the pursuit and attainment of valued goals. Duckworth’s own passion is to use psychological science to help children thrive. She is a prolific author whose research is published in leading scientific journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Psychology, and the Journal of Positive Psychology. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted as an immediate New York Times bestseller, reaching #1 on both the Education and Business lists.

Duckworth is the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant” fellowship. She is also founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit located on Penn’s campus whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. 

This chair was created by an exceptionally generous gift from Christopher H. Browne, C’69, who served Penn as a trustee and chairman of the Board of Overseers in Penn Arts and Sciences. The Browne chairs recognize faculty members who have achieved an extraordinary reputation for scholarly contributions, who have demonstrated great distinction in teaching, and who have demonstrated intellectual integrity and unquestioned commitment to free and open discussion of ideas.