'Shoemaker Green' opens at Univ. of Penn

PHILADELPHIA - September 20, 2012

The project is "Shoemaker Green". It honors Penn emeritus trustee, Alvin Shoemaker, who has an extraordinary history of giving and service to the University.

"We are very pleased that we can all be here together to dedicate this wonderful green," said University of Penn President Amy Gutmann.

Amy Gutmann is talking about the University's new front yard for the Eastern campus.

It is more than two-and-a-half acres of green space, featuring a central lawn, surrounded by walkway that connects the core of Penn's Campus to Penn Park. It is located on 33rd Street in front of the Palestra and adjacent to the Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field.

"Frankly, this was a place that people walked by. It wasn't a place where anyone went to," said David Cohen. "There is not a university in the country investing money and creating green spaces on its campus."

Alvin Shoemaker was chair of Penn's Board of Trustees from 1986 to 1994. He oversaw the campaign for Penn's Fundraising effort which brought in $1.4 billion.

"Going to the Wharton School at Penn opened so many doors for me that I wouldn't have ordinarily thought about," said Al Shoemaker.

Al Shoemaker said he only did what his dad told him to do.

"Go to Wharton, study accounting and taxes, and you will always have a job," he said.

Al Shoemaker and his wife, Sally, established the Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professorship in Anthropology.

The entire family, which includes four children, all Penn Alumni, is active volunteers for the University.

"This University has such a gift in making them feel part of it, that's why we have all been involved all through the years," said Sally Shoemaker.

And so it was appropriate that Al and Sally's granddaughter, Avery, who will be attending Penn in a few years, cut the ribbon Thursday for the official opening of Shoemaker Green.

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