^Penn became a degree-granting institution of higher learning in 1755. In preparation for this expansion in mission, William Smith was hired in 1754 to become the new provost. Neither George Whitefield nor Benjamin Franklin formally held this title.
^Benjamin Franklin is the founder of the institution which grew to become the University of Pennsylvania. Franklin first convened a board of trustees for an organizational meeting on November 13, 1749. They opened a secondary school, the Academy of Philadelphia, in 1751. A collegiate charter was obtained for the College of Philadelphia in 1755 and post-secondary instruction began shortly thereafter. It was the College of Philadelphia which ultimately was renamed the University of Pennsylvania in 1791. Penn considered 1749 to be its founding date until 1899, when the board of trustees voted to retroactively revise its founding date to 1740 in order to make the university older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746. The 1740 date was selected because, in that year, a group of Philadelphians joined together to build a large preaching hall for the use of traveling evangelist George Whitefield who toured the American colonies delivering well attended open air sermons. The grand building was erected but, due to a shortage of funding, the interior was not furnished and the hall sat unused until Franklin's group purchased it in 1750. Thus, Whitefield himself was not involved in the school which eventually became Penn, but is listed here as a placeholder to signify the period that the preaching hall raised by his followers sat dormant between 1740 and 1750.
^As described in more detail in the appended notes, a charity school was planned by followers of George Whitefield but it never opened before the building was purchased by Benjamin Franklin's group in 1750. The structure itself was known as the "New Building" but the associated educational trust itself was never named.
^Franklin's formal title was president of the board of trustees, first of the "Academy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania" until the college was founded, and then of the "College, Academy and Charity School of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania."
The Chief administrator prior to 1930 was provost. The provost had oversite of the College faculty, except for law and medicine, until the administration of William Pepper.In several steps, over the course of Provost Pepper's tenure, all faculties began to report to the Provost.
Penniman continued as provost after 1930, in a diminished role after reorganization.