The University of Pennsylvania has announced the name of Gutmann College House, formerly known as New College House (West) at 40th and Walnut streets.
“It is a pleasure to honor the tremendous accomplishments of President Emerita Gutmann in this way,” said President Liz Magill. “As Penn’s longest-serving president, Amy Gutmann deeply appreciated the transformative power of a college education and the value of living and learning together as part of a college community. The college houses intentionally built by Penn are not only emblematic of this commitment, they are at the heart of the student experience.
“The Board of Trustees felt it was particularly appropriate to associate Amy Gutmann’s name with one of two new undergraduate residence halls built during her tenure,” said Scott Bok, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. administration of Penn. “Recognizing the importance of our on-campus residential community, Amy Gutmann launched the Sophomore Experience in 2018. A hallmark of her presidency, it has truly enhanced student life at Penn and is an enduring part of her legacy.
Penn’s University House System brings together undergraduates, faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students in vibrant communities of shared life-learning within a culture of vibrancy academic, collaboration, diversity and well-being. The sophomore experience expanded the on-campus housing requirement to include all sophomores, with specialized programs to support student success inside and outside the classroom.
During Amy Gutmann’s presidency, the number of college houses in Penn’s College House and Academic Services undergraduate system grew from 11 to 13: Lauder College House opened in 2016 and Gutmann College House in 2021. This are the first two buildings to be designed and built specifically as college houses on Penn’s campus.
In August 2021, as New College House West opened its doors to residents, Dr. Gutmann was on hand to welcome students to Move-in. The 250,000 square foot facility houses second, third and fourth year students and includes 445 beds, club rooms, communal kitchens, a fitness and wellness center with a meditation room, music practice rooms, classroom and seminar rooms, bedroom study rooms, a cafe and the Quaker Kitchen, a cooking demonstration area.
The building, which will soon be updated with signage bearing the name Gutmann College House, was designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, based in Philadelphia. The facility was recently designated LEED Silver, in accordance with Penn’s sustainability goals set out in Penn’s Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0.
“I am truly humbled and honored to have this deeply meaningful space named after me,” said Dr. Gutmann, who is now US Ambassador to Germany. “Its community-friendly design, Quaker cuisine and varied student-centric offerings are incredibly appealing. Above all, there will always be a special place in my heart for the diverse and brilliant community of students who now call – and for generations will call – this college their home.