J. Peter Skirkanich: Trustee, Overseer and Friend
August 24, 2009
PHILADELPHIA –- J. Peter Skirkanich, a Penn trustee and Engineering School overseer, as well as founder and president of Fox Asset Management, a New Jersey investment management and counseling firm with more than $2 billion in assets, died on August 14th of a heart attack in St. Petersburg, Russia. His wife Geri and two of their three children (their son Jack and their daughter Brett) were with him. The Skirkaniches live in Florida and New Jersey.
At one time, Skirkanich and his wife pledged the largest individual gift in the School of Engineering and Applied Science history: $10 million to build Skirkanich Hall, a 58,400-square-foot laboratory facility, now Penn’s home for bioengineering and one of the most celebrated new buildings in the region. It became part of the school’s $57 million bioengineering initiative.
Skirkanich also endowed the Skirkanich Professorships of Innovation to hire young faculty and the Peter and Geri Skirkanich Endowed Scholarships for engineering undergraduates. He believed that the investments in bioengineering and biomedical engineering will yield path-breaking achievements in medicine and health.
Skirkanich financed his Penn education with savings from jobs during high school, summers and college and from educational loans. At Penn he played varsity football and belonged to the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Penn Engineering joins his family, friends and co-workers in the mourning of this great loss. A memorial fund has been set up in his memory.