UPenn Receives $13.6 Million for Undergraduate Energy Research Program

The University of Pennsylvania has announced a $13.6 million gift from alumnus P. Roy Vagelos and his wife, Diana, to establish the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), a dual-degree undergraduate program to be offered by the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

With their third gift to UPenn's Making History capital campaign, the Vageloses have now contributed more than $21 million toward the campaign's $3.5 billion goal. Previous gifts from the couple have helped establish the Roy and Diana Vagelos Scholars Program in Molecular Life Sciences and the Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management, offered jointly by SAS and the Wharton School.

Focusing on alternative and efficient energy, the VIPER program will include research on topics such as solar energy, chemical fuels, and energy-efficient electronics and materials. Students in the program will participate in advanced science and technology courses and specialized seminars, receive mentoring from faculty affiliated with the Penn Center for Energy Innovation, and be given internship opportunities with energy-related laboratories.

"As generous friends and visionary leaders at Penn, Roy and Diana understand the value of clearly focused, interdisciplinary education in helping to solve complex problems, and for this we are extremely grateful," said Penn president Amy Gutmann. "The VIPER program is a unique undergraduate program in its focus on a critically important area of study for our country and the world: alternative and efficient energy sources. We all can be proud that VIPER draws on Penn's unique strengths in combining great interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching to address some of the world's most pressing problems."

"Gift From Roy and Diana Vagelos to Create New Undergraduate Program in Energy Research." University of Pennsylvania Press Release 09/29/2011.