The University of Pennsylvania will name its School of Design in honor of Stuart Weitzman, who graduated from Wharton in 1963.
The decision to name the school in honor of the footwear designer was made to recognize his ongoing philanthropic support of the university and his active engagement in its academic activities.
The new name will be the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design.
“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,” said Amy Gutmann, president of Penn. “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.”
In addition, the school’s central plaza will be named The Stuart Weitzman Plaza, and will undergo significant redesign and renovation in the upcoming months by Laurie Olin, landscape architect and Practice Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the School of Design.
Weitzman founded his eponymous shoe business in 1986, building it into one of the most renowned fashion footwear brands. In 2015, he sold the business to Coach, which has been renamed Tapestry Inc. He has since stepped down from an active role in the business, pursuing various other interests. He is coproducing two plays that are opening on Broadway this year.
“This is my way of thanking the University of Pennsylvania for the education that was the foundation of my long and incredibly enjoyable career in design. It is my privilege to support new scholarships and to invest in the overall academic mission of the school, including the advanced technologies and systems so essential to the future of design.”