Denzel Washington, Six Others to Receive Honorary Degrees at Penn’s 255th Commencement

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | | 215-898-4820May 6, 2011



WHAT:           University of Pennsylvania’s 255th Commencement ceremony


WHO:            Academy Award- and Tony Award-winning actor Denzel Washington will give the address and receive an honorary doctor of arts degree.

Other honorary degree recipients are Renée C. Fox, the Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences at Penn and a pioneer in medical sociology; Mo Ibrahim, the mobile communications entrepreneur who founded Celtel, which brought cellular telephone service to more than a third of the population in Africa; Nicholas D. Kristof, columnist at The New York Times; Sheryl WuDunn, senior managing director of Mid-Market Securities and president of the social investing consultancy Triple Edge; Ei-ichi Negishi, the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and Joyce Carol Oates, award-winning author, poet and playwright.


WHERE:            Franklin Field, 33rd and South streets, Philadelphia


WHEN:            Monday, May 16, 2011

The procession of honorary-degree recipients and about 5,000 graduates enters Franklin Field at approximately 9:30 a.m.; remarks begin around 10:15 a.m.           

Notes to journalists:

A complete listing of individual school ceremonies and speakers is at

Live television trucks will be permitted to park on the south side of the 3200 block of South Street, against the curb line by Penn Museum.

Reporters and photographers should check in by 9 a.m. at the Franklin Field ticket office at the main entrance on 33rd Street for media passes to enter Franklin Field.

A media platform and mult-box will be available.