Perelman Gift Creates Center for Political Science and Economics

A gift of $25 million from Ronald O. Perelman, W’64, WG’66, will create the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, providing a new home for the Departments of Political Science and Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences. The Center will be located in the West Philadelphia Trust Building at 36th and Walnut Streets in the heart of Penn’s campus.

“Ron Perelman’s extraordinary generosity will enable us to create an outstanding center for political science and economics, two of Penn’s most popular undergraduate majors,” Penn President Amy Gutmann says. “The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics will transform the existing space into a magnificent new building that will combine two key academic departments in one central location.”

“I am proud to continue my support of this extraordinary institution that means so much to me and my family,” says Perelman. “This gift underscores my deeply held belief that our next generation must be given the tools to not only understand but positively impact government and the increasingly complex global economy.”

Perelman is the son of Raymond G. and the late Ruth Perelman, who in 2011 made a $225 million gift to Penn’s School of Medicine, now the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The gift was the largest single gift in the University’s history.

A member of Penn’s Board of Trustees, Ronald O. Perelman holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Penn’s Wharton School. A frequent donor to the University, his previous gifts include $20 million to create the Perelman Quadrangle, making it possible for the University to restore the buildings at the historic core of its campus: Houston Hall; Irvine Auditorium; Cohen Hall, named for Perelman’s former wife, the late Claudia Cohen, CW’72, the first woman editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian; College Hall; and Williams Hall. At that time, it was the largest single gift for campus life in Penn’s history. Perelman has also supported undergraduate financial aid, The Wharton School, athletics, and medicine.

“With this gift, Mr. Perelman has single-handedly assured the vitality of the social sciences at Penn by providing for a home for our truly outstanding political science and economics faculty,” says Rebecca Bushnell, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “I know that the impact of this gift will be felt across the School for years to come.”

Perelman is chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in consumer products, defense, entertainment, financial services, education, biotechnology, and gaming.

An active philanthropist, he is the founder of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program and has established the Department of Dermatology in his name at NYU Medical Center, The Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital, and The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell. Committed to women’s health, the arts, and education, Perelman was president of the Guggenheim Museum and serves on the boards of Carnegie Hall, the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, and the NYU Medical Center, among others.

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