Leading the Way in Energy Research

November 18, 2013

With a gift of $15 million, University of Pennsylvania trustee emeritus P. Roy Vagelos, C’50, Hon’99, and his wife, Diana, parents ’90, are continuing to ensure Penn’s leadership in energy research by endowing two professorships dedicated to this critically important field.

“Energy use and its impact on the world is one of the most challenging problems that we face today, and Penn is committed to being part of the solution,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Roy and Diana Vagelos are helping us to lead the way by supporting the expansion of a dynamic, interdisciplinary energy research environment at Penn—from a new program in undergraduate education to the recruitment of top faculty. We are grateful to Roy and Diana for partnering with us on this critical priority.”
Their gift to endow two professorships represents a continuation of the Vageloses’ generous support of energy initiatives at Penn. In 2011, they committed $13.6 million to launch the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), a dual degree undergraduate program of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The highly-selective program prepares students for advanced degrees in energy science and engineering, focusing on the science and technology of alternative and efficient methods of production, conversion and use of energy.

Scholars recruited for the Vagelos Professorships will be leaders in their fields and build upon Penn’s existing strengths in energy research, particularly in the study of photonics and plasmonics.

“This generous gift not only endows the professorships, but also provides for the research and start-up funds associated with recruiting new faculty, enabling us to attract the most talented researchers who specialize in energy capture and storage and who can help transform our research efforts,” said School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steven J. Fluharty.  “Thanks to this commitment from Roy and Diana Vagelos, Penn will be well-positioned to become a global leader at the frontier of energy research.”