Jane Austen famously wrote that if you give a girl an education and introduce her properly into the world, she’ll settle well without further expense to anybody. Some two centuries later—whether by chance or design—the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) answers that writing with a powerful vindication that even Austen herself dared not imagine.
A powerhouse of energy, ideas, and actions, TCPW has worked since 1988 to advance the visibility, contributions, and career trajectories of Penn’s women faculty, students and alumnae. Their mission? Simply put by Leanne Pyott Huebner, W’90: “To keep Penn absolutely amazing, especially for women.”
The group’s fundraising efforts generate about $10 million a year. The members’ countless hours of volunteerism and the professional expertise they lend to Penn’s governing Boards of Trustees and Overseers ... priceless.
The group is perhaps best known for engaging women alumni and students through a host of networking events and panel discussions held throughout the nation, but this represents only a part of their purpose and impact.
TCPW sponsors, for example, the Fund to Encourage Women Grant, which brings internationally renowned female scholars to Penn’s campus to lecture and meet with students. The group also funds summer research stipends to advance the research of Penn faculty focused on the role of women in society, and annually bestows the prestigious TCPW Provost Award to an outstanding woman professor, researcher or administrator at Penn.
TCPW directly supports students by providing fellowships, funding women’s athletic teams and sponsoring student groups dedicated to such vital causes as preventing sexual violence, fostering cultural expression and developing women’s political leadership. TCPW also provides emergency grants for students with sudden and unanticipated financial need.
Mentorship and giving back to the Penn community are but two of the many benefits of joining the TCPW. Catherine “Kate” Lyons, C’86, explains that the women of TCPW have all experienced similar conflicts and triumphs as they’ve navigated the worlds of families and careers. When like-minded people can get together, she says, “They can motivate each other to persevere.”
The group’s members are selected through a nomination process and bring a diverse track record of success and hands-on experience. “Everyone is here for a reason. Everyone has made a contribution. And we all learn from each other,” says Stacey Deutsch Shoer, C’89.
Builders, connectors, problem solvers all, the women of TCPW are champions for all Penn women and the University community as a whole.