Benjamin Franklin Society

Maneesha Phadke Ghiya, ENG’00, W’00
Maneesha Phadke Ghiya, ENG’00, W’00

For Maneesha Phadke Ghiya, ENG’00, W’00, Penn has become part of her family. She met her husband on campus when they were undergraduates and eventually got to see both her brother and brother-in-law graduate with Wharton degrees. Additionally, Maneesha credits her time as a Quaker with molding her into the person she is today.

“I feel very grateful to Penn because of the significant and positive impact it has had on my life, my family, and my career,” Maneesha says. “I even had the opportunity to get a jump-start on my investment career as a result of the education I received in the Management and Technology Program.”

“I have a strong belief in supporting students who demonstrate a financial need.”

– Maneesha Phadke Ghiya

While the M&T Program prepared Maneesha for her work in venture capital, it was the myriad clubs and student groups that first caught her attention when she was initially applying to college. Through her support of M&T’s Hamilton Endowment, as well as The Penn Fund, which qualifies her as a member of the Benjamin Franklin Society, she is helping to ensure that future students can follow in her footsteps and take full advantage of everything that makes attending Penn so special.

“The diversity of educational and extracurricular opportunities were a large factor in my decision to matriculate at Penn,” Maneesha says. “Accordingly, The Penn Fund broadly supports this array of undergraduate programming and has become the focus of my giving.”

Last year, Maneesha celebrated her 15th class reunion over Alumni Weekend. Wanting to forge an even stronger connection with her alma mater, she decided to become a volunteer with the Penn Alumni Interview Program.

“Being an interviewer allows me to continue to learn from, contribute to, and be involved with the dynamic Penn community,” Maneesha says. “I really enjoy having the opportunity to engage with aspiring students that have the drive to learn and a passion for contributing to the community—two factors that greatly embody the Penn spirit!”

Learn more about Benjamin Franklin Society

Dennis P. Malone, W’72
Dennis P. Malone, W’72

Charitable Gift Annuity to Penn Athletics

Penn Athletics has long served as a tremendous point of pride among Quakers, bringing together generations of alumni and fans to cheer for the Red and Blue. To help ensure that our student-athletes can continue competing while maintaining success in the classroom, Dennis P. Malone, W’72, has established a charitable gift annuity for Penn Athletics.

“The task of getting the right student-athletes into the University and having them perform at the highest level is certainly daunting,” Dennis says. “However, when all of that hard work eventually results in winning seasons and championships, it is very rewarding.”

“Choosing a charitable gift annuity was a win-win. The ability to get lifetime payments, plus having the balance go into Athletics afterwards, was the perfect fit for me.”

- Dennis P. Malone

To maximize the benefits of his support of men’s lacrosse, football, and basketball, Dennis worked with Penn’s Office of Gift Planning to channel his philanthropy in order to help our student-athletes flourish and to bolster the department’s tradition of winning.

The first member of his family to graduate from college, Dennis has been an executive vice president in commercial real estate for close to 20 years. He credits his rewarding business career to the leadership and teamwork lessons he learned in the gym and on the field at the University.

“Having played three sports at the collegiate level, I know the commitment required to excel,” Dennis says. “The thought of these young men and women graduating on time and taking their training and skills developed as student-athletes at Penn into the next phase of their life is comforting.”

Dennis’ charitable gift annuity secures his membership in Penn’s Charles Custis Harrison Society. Founded in 1995, the Harrison Society recognizes the generosity of donors who have supported the University through a planned gift. His commitment will go a long way in strengthening the vitality of his alma mater for years to come, and he is honored to be giving back to an institution that has had such a positive impact on his life.

“I am truly appreciative of the opportunities that came with my diploma from the Wharton School,” Dennis says. “That degree opened so many doors for me, and it is a privilege to now be helping future student-athletes at Penn.”

Learn more about gift planning and the Charles Custis Harrison Society

The Penn Fund

Ford J. Levy, EE’79, Cindy Shmerler Levy, C’81, Kristen E. Levy, C’15, and Maxwell H. Levy, C’18
Ford J. Levy, EE’79, Cindy Shmerler Levy, C’81, Kristen E. Levy, C’15, and Maxwell H. Levy, C’18

Class of 1981 35th Reunion Fund

Family traditions are those unique and sometimes quirky customs that transcend time, often becoming more meaningful to people than fortune or fame. When you ask Ford Levy, EE’79, and his wife Cindy Shmerler Levy, C’81, about their family’s traditions, the University of Pennsylvania is among the most popular.

“My beloved father, Edwin Shmerler, W’42, began our family’s lifelong love affair with Penn,” Cindy shares. “He played varsity golf, was president of Kappa Nu (now Zeta Beta Tau), and earned an accounting degree that served him for the next 72 years. When my brother Bill, W’77, and I both graduated from Penn, our father reminded us to always give back to the institution that gave us so much.”

“Our family’s devotion to Penn has encompassed everything from athletics to class and regional club leadership, but it is The Penn Fund that holds a special spot in our collective hearts.”

- Ford Levy and Cindy Shmerler Levy

That sentiment is one that Cindy and Ford took to heart. They live it through their volunteer leadership, and they passed it on to their children, Kristen, C’15, who was active with “Seniors for The Penn Fund,” and Maxwell, C’18, who is a member of Mask and Wig as well as the Philomathean Society. Most of all, they express it through their philanthropy. The family’s gift to the Class of 1981 35th Reunion Fund celebrates Cindy’s undergraduate years and also reflects the couple’s passion to see the next generation succeed. “We know how fortunate we were to benefit from a Penn education,” they say, “and we feel responsible to help ensure that other young people have that same opportunity.”

As their family tradition continues, the Shmerlers and Levys pay homage to the man who started it all, Cindy’s father. “We have no doubt that, somewhere, Ed Shmerler is drinking a highball to us and to dear old Penn.”

Learn more about The Penn Fund

Proud Penn Parents
Proud Penn Parents

Each year, hundreds of parents and families help shape the Penn experience with their unrestricted contributions to The Parents Fund, a resource of the Office of Parent Outreach and Development/Penn Parents. Gifts to The Parents Fund strengthen the University and demonstrate involvement, passion, and confidence in Penn. Each contribution directly supports programs and initiatives that enhance the academic experience for all undergraduates and establishes a legacy for Penn generations to come.

“As parents, we are beyond grateful to Penn for providing an environment that not only fosters intellectual inquiry and academic excellence, but also nurtures a strong sense of each individual’s obligation to be actively engaged in the community.”

- Donna and Paul Nadel, PAR’13, PAR’15

Contributions to The Parents Fund support undergraduate financial aid and a host of other programs across campus. Costs for innovative programming at the College Houses, renovations of residential study areas, and projects at Penn’s cultural and academic centers—such as Kelly Writers House, Weiss Tech House, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships—may all be offset by gifts to The Parents Fund.

“When your child is accepted into Penn, the whole family is excited about the new experience. One of the most important aspects of supporting The Parents Fund is not the size of the gift, but the act of giving to this amazing institution.”

- Victor and Malva Reid, PAR’17

Every gift to The Parents Fund makes a difference! On November 19, 2015, The Parents Fund held a Day of Giving and raised an impressive $243,339 from 374 parents and families in a 24-hour period. With gifts averaging a little less than $450, The Parents Fund received contributions from 2711 parents and families during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, helping the Office of Parent Outreach and Development/Penn Parents surpass its fundraising goals.

The Parents Fund is an important way for Proud Penn Parents to stay connected to the University and to have an impact on the college experience for their child and all undergraduates.

Learn more about The Penn Parents Fund