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Perry Scholars for Science, Spirituality, and Service Project/PS4P

In 2017, a generous gift from James N. Perry (C’82), a member of the Penn School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) Board of Overseers, and Molly Perry, created a five-year Fund to deepen and extend the collaboration between PRUCCS and the Collegium Institute by establishing and supporting the Perry Family Scholar of History, Religion, and Culture; the Perry Family Scholars for Science, Spirituality, and Service; and the Perry Family Research and Service Fellowships, which will be awarded to current Penn undergraduate students and/or recent graduates.  

Perry Family Scholar of History, Religion, and Culture: Dr. Daniel J.M. Cheely, a Penn-trained historian of the Renaissance and Reformation, Lecturer in the Penn History Department, and Executive Director of the Collegium Institute, will serve for five years in this position. In recent years, Dr. Cheely had organized and co-sponsored a remarkable range of events at Penn that engaged a diverse array of Penn faculty members, staff members, and students, including events featuring PRRUCS Senior Fellows:

  • Professor Ram Cnaan
  • Professor John J. DiIulio, Jr.
  • Professor Peter Dodson
  • Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr.
  • Rev. Charles L. Howard
  • Professor Lia Howard
  • Mr. A. Robert Jaeger
  • Dr. Marisa Cristina March
  • Mr. Joseph P. Tierney
  • Professor Melissa Wilde
  • Professor Catherine Wilson

Perry Family Scholars for Science, Spirituality, and Service: A Penn paleontologist, a Penn historian, a Penn astrophysicist, and a Penn philosopher are among the first Penn scholars involved in this innovative component of the PS4P:

  • Dr. Peter Dodson, a leading paleontologist in the Penn School of Veterinary Medicine who has made major discoveries in China, has authored the PRRUCS paper “On Fossils and Faith” and will be making other PS4P contributions in the years just ahead.
  • Dr. Beth Wenger, a leading historian and Chairperson of the Penn History Department whose many books include History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage (Princeton University Press, 2010), is co-leading a PS4P co-sponsored Jewish oral history project focusing on the development of Jewish identities and counter-cultures during the latter half of the 20th century.
  • Dr. Marisa Cristina March, a partially PRRUCS-supported Penn post-doctoral fellow in astrophysics and astronomy who specializes in research on dark matter (a field that seeks to understand the acceleration of the Universe), has authored the PRRUCS paper “Put Out into the Deep: Perspectives on the Relationship between Christian Faith and Contemporary Physics.” In the years just ahead, Dr. March will be working on several “faith and science” projects with PS4P.
  • Dr. Michael Weisberg, Chairperson of the Penn Department of Philosophy, is selecting one Penn Philosophy graduate student to serve as a PRRUCS-Perry Family Fellow, and collaborating with Perry Family Assistant Director Cheely on possible initiatives involving the work of Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret (G.E.M.) Anscombe (1919-2001), a leading 20th century analytic philosopher, who was a regular visiting professor at Penn. Anscombe was a student and translator of Ludwig Wittgenstein, whom she succeeded at Cambridge as professor of philosophy. Her own work included essays and monographs on philosophical psychology, virtue ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, Catholic teachings, the immorality of the use of atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and many other subjects. 

Perry Family Research and Service Fellowships: Each year, the Perry Family Scholar, functioning as Fox Associate Director of Faith and Service Partners (FSP), will develop and support a dozen undergraduates and recent graduates in paid fellowships supervised by designated PS4P-affiliated scholars or senior fellows—ten summer, fall semester, or spring semester fellowships for undergraduates, and two extended-term (6 months to a year) for alumni.