“By combining clinical research and education with programmatic solutions, SP2 ensures that our graduates are equipped to redefine the possibilities for the clients they serve.” —Ann Nolan Reese

Ann Nolan Reese is a dedicated child advocate and founder of the New York-based Center for Adoption Policy. Her generous gift to the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) is now bringing needed attention to those at the other end of the aging spectrum.

“My family recently faced the decline and death of my mother in the U.S. and my mother-in-law in Amsterdam,” Ann says. “Of all the caregivers with whom we interacted in both countries, it was the geriatric social worker who had the greatest impact on our parents’ quality of life.”

The Ann Nolan Reese Penn Aging Certifcate (PAC) will develop a new cadre of social workers especially trained to “address the needs of the elderly who have complex health issues, but want to maintain independence and dignity,” Ann says.

Ann shares with SP2 Dean Richard Gelles the belief in developing evidence-based solutions to today’s complex social problems. SP2 students in the PAC program will earn a Master in Social Work degree with a concentration in services to older adults and their families. The only social work concentration of its kind in Pennsylvania, PAC will place students in internships at community-based senior centers, VA hospitals, and retirement communities, as well as in positions at agencies working at the policy level.

A member of SP2’s Board of Overseers [Link to: People > Board of Overseers], Ann also avidly endorses the School’s other transformative social outreach programs. From providing services to Philadelphia non-profits and correctional institutions, to a partnership with China’s Beijing Normal University, these programs provide opportunities for local and global engagement for SP2 students and extend the knowledge and expertise at the School.

A dedicated alumna and a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women, Ann credits her time at Penn with teaching her “the power of a collective voice.” She adds, “I tell prospective students that a degree from Penn is only the beginning of a lifelong relationship with the Penn community.”