The University of Pennsylvania (commonly known as Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City section of West Philadelphia. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology, though his proposed curriculum was never adopted. The university coat of arms features a dolphin on the red chief, adopted directly from the Franklin family's own coat of arms. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities, concentrating multiple "faculties" (e.g., theology, classics, medicine) into one institution. It was also home to many other educational innovations. The first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881) and the first "student union" building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896) were founded at Penn. With an endowment of $12.21 billion (2017), Penn had the seventh largest endowment of all colleges in the United States. All of Penn's schools exhibit very high research activity. In fiscal year 2015, Penn's academic research budget was $851 million, involving more than 4,300 faculty, 1,100 postdoctoral fellows and 5,500 support staff/graduate assistants.
Over its history, the university has also produced many distinguished alumni. These include 14 heads of state (including two U.S. Presidents); 25 billionaires – the most of any university in the world at the undergraduate level; three United States Supreme Court justices; over 33 United States Senators, 42 United States Governors and 158 members of the U.S. House of Representatives; 8 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence; and 12 signers of the United States Constitution. In addition, some 35 Nobel laureates, 169 Guggenheim Fellows and 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences have been affiliated with Penn. Many Fortune 500 CEOs have been affiliated with Penn.