New Duke Events Pavilion to receive $10 million
The new Duke University Events Pavilion that was completed this summer will receive $10 million from Duke trustee Bob Penn and his wife, Katherine, President Richard Brodhead announced Thursday.
The 25,000-square-foot, mostly glass structure next to the Bryan Center on West Campus will be used by students for events and dining.
Construction of the pavilion was step one in the West Union renovation, part of an $80 million enhancement of student life on campus funded by a gift from The Duke Endowment, which also includes upgrades to Page Auditorium on West Campus and Baldwin Auditorium on East Campus.
Penn Pavilion will serve as a temporary dining space until the West Union renovations are complete. After that, the pavilion will be a venue for student gatherings and university events, according to the university.
“We think it’s important to foster the same strong sense of community for undergraduates that existed when we were at Duke,” said Bob Penn, who graduated from Duke along with his wife in 1974, in the announcement. “Gathering spaces like this pavilion are a key part of that.”
Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, called Penn Pavilion “a wonderful addition to the Duke landscape.”
“Penn Pavilion will be a fantastic space to host career fairs, performances, banquets and more,” Moneta said in the announcement.
The commitment by the Penns will help advance the Duke Forward fundraising campaign, which has now passed the halfway point toward its $3.25 billion goal. The effort supports priorities across Duke's 10 schools, Duke Medicine and a range of university programs. Penn serves on Duke Forward’s Leadership Gifts Committee, according to the university.
Duke Student Government President Stefani Jones called the pavilion an ideal place for students to “meet up, socialize and enjoy some great food.”
“We can't wait to use the space for events like watch parties during basketball season and midnight breakfasts before finals,” she said.
Penn joined the Duke University Board of Trustees in 2011 and sits on the Audit Committee and the Facilities and Environment Committee.
His volunteer commitment to Duke includes service on the Annual Fund Executive Committee, which he chaired in 2009-10. He also has served on the Duke Club of North Texas, the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Board of Visitors and the Duke Talent Identification Program Advisory Board.
In 2004, Penn received the Charles A. Dukes Award, which is given to volunteers who have served with distinction in leadership roles and gone beyond expectations to help Duke further its mission.
The Penns have also jointly served as national co-chairs of the Braxton Craven Fellows and the James B. Duke Society and several reunion committees. Their three daughters attended Duke.