The University of Pennsylvania announced today that it will rename its School of Design after shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, a Penn alumnus who has been a power player in the footwear business for more than 50 years.
Weitzman, who graduated from the Wharton School in 1963, has been an active supporter of the university over the years, and the honor is in recognition of his philanthropic support of the university and academic engagement. The graduate PennDesign school will now be named the Stuart Weitzman School of Design.
“What makes Stuart Weitzman so inspiring is his rock-solid belief that investing in people and education is the way to make a lasting impact,” said Frederick Steiner, dean and Paley professor, in a statement. “From this day forward, the interrelated fields that comprise design at Penn will be linked with the name and design legacy of Stuart Weitzman. Our School is enormously proud to bear his name.”
In addition, the design school’s central plaza will be renamed after Weitzman following a renovation by landscape architect Laurie Olin, who is the practice professor emeritus of landscape architecture at the university.
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Weitzman has won several awards from Footwear News over the years, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, Marketer of the Year in 2014 and Person of the Year in 2002. Although he stepped down from heading his company in 2017, Weitzman remains extremely active.
He is co-producing two plays opening on Broadway in 2019 and is working on supporting the development of a museum dedicated to Spanish-Jewish history in Madrid. He also serves as a mentor to young entrepreneurs.
“Stuart has been an inspiration to the thousands of students with whom he has connected in large lecture and smaller classroom settings, and through one-on-one conversations,” Penn president Amy Gutmann said. “His lifelong support of the University and the School of Design truly aligns his own body of work in design with his ongoing commitment to Penn in the most meaningful and impactful way.”