When I arrived at Penn, I knew that the caliber of staff and faculty was outstanding. In my 18 months here, I have seen daily examples of your loyalty and talent, but, without question, your efforts during the Blizzard of '96 were superlative.
The blizzard stalled the city for some 48 hours. But, thanks to our dedicated staff and faculty, major components of the University, including HUP and the Vet Hospital, remained operational even during the height of the storm.
Since the blizzard, I have heard countless stories of remarkable staff, faculty, and volunteers who walked to work, despite several feet of snow and drifts; who stayed on campus overnight, sleeping in shifts; and who offered their services and four-wheel drives even though they were not considered "essential personnel."
Employees who truly deserve a special commendation are those in our physical plant. In the space of six days they logged more than 3,000 hours of labor. An energetic crew of 37, plus four employees from an outside contractor, cleared the campus of 9,000 tons of snow. In a startling comparison, the University disposes of less than 9,000 tons of waste annually. To ward off ice, 65 tons of salt--which arrived in three tractor trailers--were strewn throughout campus. The efforts of our physical plant permitted business to quickly return to normal at Penn.
As many of us well know, out of every crisis rises a hero. I am proud to say that at Penn we have not one, but a legion of heroes.
I thank you all for your extraordinary efforts.
-- Judith Rodin, President
William L. Kissick, Chair;
David K. Hildebrand, Past Chair; and
Peter J. Kuriloff, Chair-elect,
of the Faculty Senate
January 30, 1996
Volume 42, Number 18
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