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Howard Marks Endows Penn Writing CenterOn July 29,2020, the University of Pennsylvania released an internet publication, Knowledge for Good-Stories from the Power for Penn Campaign, in celebration of the success of Penn’s fundraising efforts, to explain how Penn is utilizing donations to improve the academic landscape at Penn. The leading article in this publication concerned Howard Marks, Beta Pi ’64, and how his donations will have a lasting positive effect on learning at Penn.  

Brother Marks, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, has been mentioned frequently in Beta Pi’s eletters and Slices for his receipt of the Joseph Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement, prior donations to Penn, recognition by his peers for his financial acumen, and for the very special visits he has made to Pi Kappa Alpha’s chapter house to meet and inspire our undergraduate members. 

A prior donation from brother Marks established the Marks Family Writing Center on campus. Seeking to expand the influence, accessibility, and capability, of this venture, Penn sought out brother Marks. After consultation with a representative from Penn, brother Marks made a donation that was used to create and endow the new, enlarged, and improved, Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing (Marks Center).    

As a result, existing Penn programs such as the Critical Writing Program, the Writing Center, the Writing in the Disciplines, and all other writing programs on campus, were consolidated as parts of the Marks Center. The Marks Center supplies tutoring and writing support for undergraduates and graduate students in all of Penn’s 12 schools, as well as students and veterans in the community. It is expected that, in a typical year, over 7,000 students will utilize the Marks Center. 

In 2018, the former Marks Family Writing Center received a Certificate of Excellence from the Conference on College Composition and Communication for its critical writing program. Penn expects the consolidation and restructuring of its writing programs will result in greater recognition for Penn, and its students will benefit from increased resources and better instruction 

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