Alumni, parents, and friends from all over the world have made substantial contributions to Penn’s response to COVID-19 on campus. Their engagement and generosity at an urgent and uncertain moment is an inspiring testament to the strength of a united global community.
“Even A Little Goes a Long Way”
The unexpected challenges arising from COVID-19’s rapid spread have highlighted the importance of having emergency funds readily and consistently available for Penn’s most vulnerable students. When Penn announced that campus would need to be evacuated, Penn Trustee Ramanan Raghavendran, ENG’89, W’89, LPS’15, LPS’20, knew that international students—especially those from lower-income households—faced a high burden.
“As an international student myself, I remain in touch with the issues that impact today’s global scholars at Penn,” Raghavendran says. “Student aid and scholarships are crucial for helping Penn welcome diverse classes with wide-ranging talents.”
Raghavendran made a gift to the COVID-19 Special Response Fund for International Undergraduates, which supports students’ emergency and ongoing needs related to the global pandemic. In addition to his gift, he has created five paid, remote summer internships at his company for Penn undergraduates.
During a recent virtual meeting of Penn’s Asia Campaign Leadership Committee, Raghavendran encouraged his fellow committee members also to think about the different ways they can offer support—financially, professionally, and personally—in this especially challenging time.
“Even though we, too, are affected by COVID-19 in many ways, we still have a duty to help those who are less fortunate, especially our students,” says Raghavendran. “Whether it’s financial support or volunteering as a mentor, even a little bit goes a long way when it comes to helping students thrive. And they need us now more than ever.”
This is a time to go out of our way to be helpful to Penn students and other Penn alumni, especially across borders, outside our home country.” Penn Trustee Ramanan Raghavendran, ENG’89, W’89, LPS’15, LPS’20
Sharing Strength in a Time of Need
Penn’s community in China was among the first affected by COVID-19. Then, they were among the first to support Penn in the fight against the disease.
Parents, friends, and alumni from China and beyond have stepped up significantly, contributing much-needed sanitary materials and personal protective equipment to Penn. Before the evacuation of campus, a Penn family from China donated nearly 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to Student Health Services. The Penn Parents Association (China) has also been instrumental in raising support and coordinating the delivery of crucial supplies. To date, Penn has received hundreds of thousands of protective masks from our friends all over the world.
Penn and the City of Philadelphia are our kids’ home away from home. All the Chinese families stand in solidarity with the Penn community and families around the world. We hope that these difficult times will soon pass, and the City will come out stronger. Sending our best wishes to Penn and Philadelphia!”Penn Parents Association (China)
The outpouring of support from Penn’s global community remind us of the enduring strength of our alumni, parent, volunteer, and donor connections across the world. We extend our deepest appreciation to all who have contributed their time, efforts, and vital resources to the fight against COVID-19.
To find out how you can join us to stop COVID-19, please visit our resource page.