Oct. 15 Is Inauguration Day for Amy Gutmann, New University of Pennsylvania President

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | juliemcw@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-898-1422September 22, 2004

PHILADELPHIA -- The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania will officially confer the presidency on Amy Gutmann Oct. 15.

Gutmann, who will serve as Penn's eighth president, is a world-renowned scholar committed to the core values of democratic societies life, liberty, opportunity and mutual respect -- and has a passion for improving access to higher education.

Gutmann, 54, assumed the office July 1, succeeding Judith Rodin.

"While the Inauguration formally marks my investiture as Penn's eighth president," Gutmann said, "it is also a chance for all of us to celebrate and reflect upon Penn's achievements, identity and future."

Penn is a top-ranked Ivy League university with 12 schools located on a compact urban campus in Philadelphia.  Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin as an institution for practical education, it was the first school of higher education in America whose sole role was not to prepare students as clergy.

A week of special events, receptions and performances will precede the inauguration day.  These include a Penn-West Philadelphia community partnership celebration day and school beautification projects on Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Sayre School, 58th and Walnut streets, and a special concert for students featuring The Roots with the Pat McGee Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, on Hill Field, 34th and Chestnut streets.

The Oct. 15 ceremonies will be preceded by a 10 a.m. procession of Penn dignitaries, trustees, scholars and invited guests along Locust Walk to Irvine Auditorium, where the installation will get under way at 10:30 a.m.   A luncheon will follow at 12:30 p.m. at Blanche Levy Park at College Hall Green for the Penn community, alumni, inauguration participants and guests.

At an Inaugural Symposium that afternoon, five panels of experts will explore issues central to Gutmann's vision and goals for her presidency.  Panelists will discuss how universities and Penn in particular can strengthen core democratic values in a diverse global community.  

With the locations to be announced, the specific panel topics include:

  • Creating and communicating knowledge in an unequal world, chaired by Andrea Mitchell, chief foreign affairs correspondent for NBC News, with panelists Elijah Anderson, sociologist, School of Arts and Sciences; John J. DiIulio Jr., political scientist, School of Arts and Sciences; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of Penn's Annenberg School for Communication; and Fernando Pereira, computer and information scientist, School of Engineering and Applied Science.  1:30-3 p.m.
  • Improving Lives by Investing in Science and Medicine, chaired by Barbara L. Weber, Abramson Cancer Center, School of Medicine, with panelists Arthur L. Caplan, bioethicist, School of Medicine; Michael L. Klein, chemist, School of Arts and Sciences; Mary D. Naylor, Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, School of Nursing; David S. Roos, biologist, School of Arts and Sciences; and Ralph L. Brinster, animal biologist, School of Veterinary Medicine.  1:30-3 p.m.
  • Educating Professionals as Engaged Citizens, chaired by Sarah Barringer Gordon, Law School, with panelists Thomas Donaldson, Wharton School; Sarah H. Kagan, Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence, School of Nursing; Laurie D. Olin, landscape architect, School of Design; and Dennis Thompson, Center for Ethics and the Professions, Harvard University. 3:15-4:45 p.m.
  • Leading and Learning from Local and Global Communities, chaired by Jon Huntsman, Huntsman Corp.,, with panelists Judith Buchanan, Community Oral Health, School of Dental Medicine; Michael Useem, Wharton School; Dennis Culhane, School of Social Work; and Margaret Beale Spencer, Graduate School of Education.  3:15-4:45 p.m.
  • Making the Most of Our Cultural Differences, chaired by Henry Louis Gates Jr., African and African-American Studies, Harvard University, with panelists K. Anthony Appiah, philosopher, Princeton University; Howard F. Chang, Law School; Ania Loomba, English, School of Arts and Sciences; and Barbara Savage, historian, School of Arts and Sciences.  3:15-4:45 p.m.

Attendance at any of the panels is free and open to the public, but prior registration is requested:  www.upenn.edu/inauguration.