May 21/28, 1996
Volume 42 Number 33

In this Issue
Teaching in Nursing: Dr. Malseed, Mr. Clark; Alumni Relations: Ms. Stachitas; Reappointment of Three Deans; Transfer of Penn Tower and Blockley; Deaths of Dr. Azikiwe, Mary Nichols; Reminder: '97 Phonebook Entries; Dr. Flexner: Memorial Tribute
SENATE: Added Nominations; A-3 ASSEMBLY: Call for Nominations; A-3 of the Month: Hugh Bradford; A Word of Thanks: Alumni Weekend Volunteers; Library: Volunteers Wanted to Test Systems
Comment: Feedback on Reengineering; in Research Administration (Snyder); Response to Mr. Snyder (Golding)
Speaking Out: Bookstore Staff Concerns; Ford Funding; Penn's Stance on ROTC; Correction
HONORS & Other Things: APS, National Academy, and Other Honors; a Sendoff for Manny Doxer, and the Sale of Old King Cole
OF RECORD: Desktop Hardware Standards
OF RECORD: Public Safety Data
403b Annuities Performance (3/31/96)
OF RECORD: Benefits Summary
Crime Alerts, CrimeStats; Wheelchair Tennis; Almanac During the Summer; Old Issues
Benchmarks: On Repairing the World, Dr. Kuriloff's Commencement Address
Pullout: Summer at Penn

Compass Features--Commencement '96

On the Cover

The weather reportedly honored the Class of '96 by reaching 96 (degrees Fahrenheit) at Commencement on May 21, but the turnout was undiminished as undergraduates (above) cheered their parents, their friends and themselves.

At right, in splendid robes designed to ward off medieval drafts, are (left to right) Penn's Chairman of Trustees, Dr. Roy Valelos; President Judith Rodin; and NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw, who gave the Commencement Address (see Compass Insert).

Dr. Peter Kuriloff's address to the graduates is below. In a mid-June issue Almanac will carry the Baccalaureate remarks of Dr. Rodin and the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris to complete this year's graduation coverage.


On Repairing the World

by Peter Kuriloff

As Chair of the Faculty Senate, I salute you!

Collectively, during your years at Penn, you have been taught by faculty possessing some of the finest minds in the country. You have learned much from them. Hopefully, all of you have had some wonderful, inspiring teachers.

My colleagues, your teachers, have made remarkable contributions to the world. They have broken the codes of ancient lan guages, invented the computer and the X-Ray, pioneered open heart surgery, redefined the ways we understand economic forecast ing, transformed the way we see art and read literature.

Despite their achievements, I know few of them who do not, on occasion, wake with fear in the night. Trembling and alone, they ask themselves questions that resonate through the ages: "What meaning does my life have?" "How do I go forward when, though I try to do good, I sometimes cause pain?"

At Penn, you have built a foundation upon which to excel as strong as any of us who have taught you. And, like us, no matter what your attainments, the same questions will arise. In the deepest, most desperate hours of the night, what can sustain you?

Here, the examples of some of my colleagues may help.

Consider one faculty member, who, together with other members of his church, thought of people with AIDS, homebound, too sick to make a meal. He, himself, delivered the first, homemade meal. From that simple idea, grew MANNA, an organization that now serves 168,000 meals a year. Or, think of the more than 40 professors who teach academically based, public services courses. Studying with these professors, education students help teachers develop curricula for urban schools, African American Studies stu dents apply W.E.B. Dubois' strategies for community uplift, nursing students teach injury prevention to middle schoolers, engineer ing students design toys for handicapped children. The list goes on and on.

These efforts look to the broken places of the world and seek to fix them. In the process, professors, students, people with AIDS, neighborhood people, weave their lives together in complex and textured fabrics, creating more vibrant communities that enriches them all. Being part of such a fabric can buoy you up, carry you through those long, chilling nights that must, inevitably, come to all of us...and bring you peace.

And, if some night, you do wake up filled with fear, even through you have been striving to repair the world, remember, you are not alone. Some of your favorite professors will be awake with you.

G-d speed and G-d bless.

As the incoming chair of the Faculty Senate, Dr. Kuriloff was the faculty speaker at Penn's 240th Commencement on May 21. He is a professor in the Educational Leadership Division of the Graduate School of Education.

Photographs by Tommy Leonardi

Return to Almanac's home page.