"It's about promise. It's about opportunity. It's about the future."
When George Weiss (W'65) talks about undergraduate scholarships,
he does not mince words. Whether he's asking someone to "step up to the
plate" and endow a scholarship or explaining how important it is to
"level the playing field" when it comes to education, he is well known
for being persistent and consistent about getting the message out.
as Penn seeks to redefine higher education for the 21st century, George
Weiss is at the helm, just as determined to be heard. At a campus
scholarship celebration in November 2005, Weiss, who was
then chair of the University Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid,
pulled out a white envelope with a hand-written note: "Have a nice day,
Inside was a $14 million check that was to be used as challenge funds in raising money for undergraduate scholarships.
a crowd of 600 students and scholarship donors, Weiss stated his case:
"We have made tremendous progress in raising money for scholarships,
but there is so much more we need to do. If you need a reason to
believe, just look around campus at the incredible students who are the
best reminders of what this is all about.”
Taking his words to
heart, Lydia Bravo Weiss, his wife, soon after honored her mother by
endowing a scholarship in her name. Today, the Maria Islas-Bravo
Donnelly Endowed Scholarship provides need-based aid to an aspiring
Penn-bound student of Mexican or Mexican-American descent.
Weiss Scholars | Alysha Harris |
would be fair to say that what makes the students happy makes Weiss
happy. After all, this is the person who knows every one of his
scholars, past and present, and who maintains a dedicated phone line at
his office for "his kids," many of whom seek his advice, encouragement,
For a man who believes in the power of
education to change lives, and who credits Penn with many of his own
successes, having the chance to be part of this historic Penn chapter
is both an honor and an obligation.
"The way to keep the greatness of Penn is to invest in the next generation of students," he told the crowd at a recent celebration.
"The history we are making is the future they will live -- and the
story that will be told to our grandchildren and great grandchildren
about America's first university. And that's one I'm proud to help
| A Legacy of Giving |
In addition to his legendary support of undergraduate scholarships, Mr. Weiss has endowed several professorships and has funded the Weiss Center for International Financial Research at Wharton. He also established the Weiss Tech House,
a student-led hub for the development and marketing of new technology.
Finally, he is a loyal supporter of a wide variety of athletic
programs, with a particular passion for football.
His $10 million gift to name the George A. Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field offers great insight into the man, who likes to say that Penn is his "first, second, and third philanthropic choice."
the heart of the building project are Penn students, the same young
women and men who inspire George Weiss daily, and, as he says, make him
"a better human being."
Weiss is also a Penn parent: his daughters are Deborah Lynn Weiss
(C'89) and Allison Weiss Brady (C'93) and his son-in-law is Chip Brady