Donor Highlights

Eleanor Schewe, PhD

illustration of salmonella
Salmonella, the research topic of Dr. Schewe; illustration by Arwa Abbas, PhD.

The Department of Microbiology is incredibly grateful to Elenore Schewe, PhD, for a generous legacy gift from her estate.
After an encounter with the department in 1955 left Dr. Schewe feeling grateful for the support she received, she chose to make the Department of Microbiology a beneficiary of her will. Dr. Schewe first came to the University of Pennsylvania to conduct post-graduate work after receiving her architecture degree at Washington University, and went on to receive an MA and PhD in Biology from Bryn Mawr College.
Dr. Schewe had a long career spanning numerous fields—from working as an engineering draftsman, to conducting medical surgery research for tissue transplantation. She was called back to her hometown of Vandalia, Missouri to care for her mother in 1960 and pursued a career there as a book illustrator. Dr. Schewe’s generosity and desire to support her community through both her work and her philanthropy were evident. She actively supported women’s education, including the Association of University Women, and served as Mayor of Vandalia from 1986 – 1988.
The department is honored to be a part of Dr. Schewe’s incredible legacy and grateful for her decision to support our research. These resources allow us to continue to expand and enhance our vital research mission, in the department’s aim to improve our understanding of microbes, from pathogenic bacteria to viruses and the microbiome. Our work, propelled by philanthropy, will continue to address some of the most urgent threats to global health.
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