The University of Pennsylvania has announced a $25 million gift from alumnus Nicolai Tangen and his wife, Katja, in support of a new campus building and the creation of an international scholarship fund.
When completed, Tangen Hall, as the nearly 70,000-square-foot building will be known, will be the first-ever dedicated space for cross-campus student entrepreneurship at Penn and will serve as a campus hub for entrepreneurship-focused programs, including Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship, the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program, Weiss Tech House, the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center, the Wharton Small Business Development Center, and the master's level Integrated Product Design Program. Scheduled to be completed by 2020, the facility will include dozens of meeting and collaboration spaces for students; storefront retail space for student ventures; a test kitchen for food-centric startups; a maker lab operated by Penn's School of Engineering and Applied Science; a virtual-reality environment; and a student café.
The gift, which was awarded by the AKO Foundation on the couple's recommendation, also will help create the Katja and Nicolai Tangen International Endowed Scholarship program, providing financial aid to international undergraduate students who otherwise could not afford the cost of a Penn education. Since they established their first scholarship at Penn in 2012, the Tangens have supported a total of twenty-two Penn students, with many receiving funds in each of their undergraduate years.
Founder of London-based investment partnership AKO Capital, Nicolai Tangen is a 1992 Wharton undergraduate alumnus and a member of Wharton's Board of Overseers, the school's More Than Ever campaign cabinet, and the Penn United Kingdom Europe Leadership Committee. The Tangens previously have made gifts in support of the Knowledge@Wharton Business Ethics Series and the Wharton Fund.
"We are profoundly grateful to Nicolai and Katja Tangen for their extraordinary commitment to extend opportunities for entrepreneurship to all Penn students," said Penn president Amy Gutmann. "Talented and creative students are working hard to identify challenges where they can implement efficient, sustainable, and actionable solutions through innovative ventures. Their efforts will start in Tangen Hall and have impact across the country and around the world. We are also grateful that Nicolai and Katja are expanding their steadfast scholarship support, enabling the best students from every part of the world to attend Penn, to thrive in their studies, and to serve communities worldwide."
(Photo credit: Penn Wharton)