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Mar 25, 2014 07:42 AM EDT

Grace Calhoun Appointed New UPenn AD

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University of Pennsylvania has appointed M. Grace Calhoun the school's new Athletic Director, effective July 1.

Currently, Calhoun serves as the director of athletics and assistant vice president at Loyola University Chicago. During her tenure at the university, Calhoun created several new partnerships, opened student facilities and employed new coached. She also helped identify and retain sponsors that invested in the university.

Provost Vincent Price said that Calhoun will join UPenn with years of experience and a wide range of skills at every level. Price added that Calhoun embodies the school's value of concentrating on athletics and recreation as a valuable part of college experience. The school officials have always hoped to see their student-athletes excel both in the classroom and on the field.

"In addition to her many outstanding professional accomplishments, Dr. Calhoun's experience as an Ivy League student and athlete gives her a valuable leg up in understanding the culture at Penn that values student-athletes for their impressive combination of academic and athletic talents, skills and virtues," Penn President Amy Gutmann said in a statement.

Calhoun's athletic career began as a track and field athlete and academic captain at Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1992 with a degree in electrical engineering. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration and an M.S. in exercise and sport sciences from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from Lehigh University.

Calhoun served as an athletic administrator at Dartmouth College and other management roles at Indiana University, Saint Francis University and the University of Florida.

"Penn has a rich history and tradition of athletics few institutions can parallel. With the vast expansion and improvement of Penn's athletics facilities under Steve Bilsky and the generous support of alums and friends through the Campaign for Penn Athletics, I am fully confident that all programs are poised to achieve new levels of eminence while enhancing the spirit and excitement of the campus," Calhoun said.

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