In 1995, the University of Pennsylvania founded the Charles Custis Harrison Society as a way to provide ongoing thanks and to acknowledge the generosity of all who have named Penn as a beneficiary of a will, living trust, retirement plan, or life insurance policy, or have set up a life income gift that benefits Penn in the future.
The Society’s namesake, Charles Custis Harrison, began his University service as a Trustee in 1876 and served as Provost (equivalent to the role of President today) from 1894 to 1910. In 1895, to honor his father, Provost Harrison personally funded the University’s George Lieb Harrison Foundation, an endowment which continues to this day. As Provost, he was chiefly responsible for the building of 29 dormitories, 20 academic and museum buildings, and Franklin Field. After retiring as Provost, he served as University Museum President, where his fundraising prowess and personal generosity helped to fund some of the most important archeological discoveries of modern times.
The symbol of the Harrison Society is the key, as gifts to support the next generation of University programs and students are the key to Penn’s future. It also links the Society to University founder Ben Franklin, whose will included significant support for the public good.
Benefits of membership in the Harrison Society include annual luncheons, invitations to special events and seminars, and a subscription to the University’s gift planning newsletter. Members also benefit from knowing that their gift helps secure the future of the University.