Penelope Perkins Wilson, a longtime friend and supporter of Moore College of Art & Design, passed away at 97 years of age on February 10, 2021.
Mrs. Wilson’s most valued personal interest was education. She became involved at Moore while her daughter was a student at the College. She became a board member in the early 1970s and was chair emerita of the Board of Trustees. Her involvement as a longtime board member transformed the physical spaces in and around the College, such as the addition of Wilson Hall and the renovations of Stahl Hall and the Campus Commons.
“Penny Wilson was my hero. She remained clear, cogent and true to herself through and through,” said Moore President Cecelia Fitzgibbon. “I can still hear her voice and recall her unwavering acuity. She cared deeply about the College and the things that no one can see, the HVAC system and the building infrastructure. She was a generous supporter of the College, a true advocate. We all miss her.”
Mrs. Wilson created the Penny Wilson Challenge to provide challenge funds to encourage alumni to give to the Annual Fund and to provide significant matching funds that helped alumni to create endowed scholarships of their own. She was a lead sponsor of the Visionary Woman Awards since its inception in 2003. She gave many other gifts for a multitude of purposes.
Mrs. Wilson was passionate about art, history, horses, conservation and architecture. In addition to Moore, she generously supported the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Historic Sugartown, Westtown School, Chatham Hall, the Montana History Foundation, the Sweet Grass Community Foundation, the Forest History Society, the Cradle of American Forestry, Bennington College, the Chester County Community Foundation, Chester County History Center, Chester County Hospital, the Natural Lands Trust, Wave Hill, the Glynwood Center, the Audubon Society, the National Parks Conservation Association.
A wonderful sense of humor, spontaneity, and a pragmatic approach to the exigencies of life were her emblems, and she shared them generously. She supported the education not only of her five daughters, but the majority of her 14 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. She is survived by her daughters: Linn Krieg, Suzanne Wilson, Wendy O’Brien, Elizabeth Gonzalez, and Victoria Wilson-Charles; as well as 14 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, a host of nieces and nephews, and by her sister, Anne Perkins Cabot. Her brother, George, died in 2008.