The University of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin when he had a little down time between establishing a country and experimenting with lightning. Since opening its doors to students in 1751, the Ivy League university has accumulated a notable list of accomplishments, including the creation of one of the first medical schools in the US. The university has about 21,000 students who pursue their studies in four undergraduate schools and a dozen graduate and professional schools, including the renowned Wharton School and the Annenberg School for Communications. Its student-teacher ratio is very low 6:1. Former president Judith Rodin was the first female to head an Ivy League university.
The University of Pennsylvania is also responsible for inventing the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC), the first general-purpose electronic computer. The ENIAC was constructed and operated at The Moore School of Electrical Engineering, now part of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The school still has on display four of the original 40 panels of ENIAC, which represents one-tenth of its original size.
The university has an annual budget of about $6 billion. Its endowment is about $5.7 billion. The University of Pennsylvania is heavily involved with research, operating more than 165 research centers and institutes. As of 2011 its research staff included more than 4,000 faculty and 1,100 postdoctoral fellows, plus some 5,400 academic support staff and graduate student trainees. Its research budget is $814 million, making it a nationally ranked research university. – less