Penn has been making the world a better place since the days of our founder, Benjamin Franklin. The President’s Engagement Prizes are a new way to build on that legacy. This is an unprecedented program that enables exceptional Penn students to put their knowledge to work for the betterment of humankind — starting as soon as they graduate.

This is a big prize because we are deeply committed to having Penn graduates do big things. When I announced the Penn Compact 2020, one key goal was to encourage local, national, and global engagement. The President’s Engagement Prizes maximize this effort. We want all of our students, across all disciplines, to think about public service and take advantage of the opportunity to do well by doing good. These prizes give our students the opportunity to jump start their professional lives by working to transform the lives of others.

At Penn, we engage our students. In turn, we expect our graduates to engage with the world. These prizes are a measure of how seriously Penn takes public service. Franklin was often fond of saying that well done is better than well said. The President’s Engagement Prizes provide a tangible opportunity for our graduates to “do well.” Penn’s tradition of using knowledge as a force for good in the world is as firmly established as the University itself. These prizes take this long-held tradition one step further by rewarding students who demonstrate a purpose-driven desire to get out and make a difference — in their community, across the country, and around the world.

Amy Gutmann



President Gutmann in front of ornate window in Fisher Fine Arts

President Gutmann's Vision

"The President’s Engagement Prizes, as well as the President’s Innovation Prizes, are central to the vision we share for Penn and to the difference our university makes in the world."

About the Prizes

The President’s Engagement Prizes are competitively awarded annually to academically excellent and civically engaged Penn seniors to design and undertake fully-funded local, national, or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate from Penn.

The Prizes would not be possible without the generous support of Emerita Trustee Judith Bollinger, WG’81, and William G. Bollinger, in honor of Ed Resovsky, C’65; Trustee Lee Spelman Doty, W’76, and George E. Doty, Jr., WG’76; Emeritus Trustee James S. Riepe, W’65WG’67HON’10, and Gail Petty Riepe, CW’68; Trustee David Ertel, W’87WG’88, and Beth Seidenberg Ertel, W’88WG’92; Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation; and an Anonymous donor. 

Group portrait of 2017 PIP and PEP award winners with President Gutamnn and former Provost price

President's Prizes

Engagement is just one piece of the Penn vision.

Projects for Progress award logo

This prize offers a broader cross section of the Penn campus a special opportunity to propose meaningful initiatives, to receive funding, and to make an immediate—and sustained—community impact.

President's Innovation Logo

Unique at both Penn and across higher education, the President's Innovation Prize underscores the University’s considerable commitment to encouraging students to put their knowledge to work for the betterment of humankind.

President's Engagement Prizes logo

Competitively awarded on an annual basis, the President’s Engagement Prizes empower Penn seniors to design and undertake local, national or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate.