University of Pennsylvania Receives $6 Million Stavros Niarchos Foundation Gift to Launch Paideia Program
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The University of Pennsylvania announced on March 14 a $6 million gift to launch the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program (Paideia) for its undergraduate students. The Program will reimagine the ancient Greek ideal Paideia – which translates into “education of the whole person” and “educating citizens” – for the twenty-first century and beyond, with courses focusing on wellness, service, and citizenship.
Paideia will place a particular emphasis on informed civil discourse and deliberation, and will incorporate co-curricular experiences through which future civic leaders and members of local, national and global communities practice productively engaging across ideological divides. Penn will begin Paideia as a five-year pilot program, building on and collaborating with existing programs and organizations on Penn’s campus.
“Among the many aims of a great university, none is more essential than fostering the free exchange of ideas and the robust civil expression of divergent views,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program at the University of Pennsylvania will be dedicated to doing just that, and more than that. Paideia will combine courses and co-curricular activities that focus on the role of dialogue across divides in enabling students both to serve others and to thrive themselves. This charge of fostering wellness, citizenship and service has never been more important than it is today, with social, cultural, economic and political divides—and the inability to talk across them in constructive ways—straining the very fabric of civil society and democracy.”
Beginning in the fall of 2019, the Paideia Program will serve as Penn’s central hub for developing courses, events, and co-curricular activities around a robust civic education for undergraduates from their first year on campus through their senior year. Built around a core of 12 new, interdisciplinary courses taught by leading faculty from across Penn’s 12 schools, the Program will also identify and curate existing courses and co-curricular activities that address topics of relevance to Paideia’s mission from across all of Penn’s four undergraduate and eight professional schools...