The Universitys Medal
for Distinguished Achievement: William A. Wulf, National Academy
University of Pennsylvania Medal for Distinguished Achievement was
conferred on Dr. William A. Wulf, president of the National Academy
of Engineering, at the Convocation of the School of Engineerings
Sesquicentennial. President Judith Rodin conferred the Penn Medal
at SEASs celebration at Irvine Auditorium on September 25.
Dr. Wulf delivered the Convocation Address.
Wulf is the twelfth recipient of Penns Medal, see below
for the prior recipients.
citation accompanying the University of Pennsylvania Medal for Distinguished
Achievement conferred on September 25 to William A. Wulf reads:
the moment you began solving your first problems as a draftsman
at the Teletype Corporation during your undergraduate years, you
have pushed the envelope of engineering education and practice.
Described by your peers as a "pioneer," "a Renaissance
Man" and "one of the premier computer scientists in the
whole world," you have enjoyed a distinguished and highly decorated
career in teaching, research, business, and public service.
earning an undergraduate degree in engineering physics and a masters
in electrical engineering, you received the first computer science
doctorate ever awarded at the University of Virginia in 1968.
have never looked back. Joining the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University
the following year, you began an academic career that would take
you to a full professorship at CMU by 1975, an endowed chair at
the University of Virginia, which later awarded you the highest
faculty appointment of University Professor.
research, which bridges programming systems and computer architecture,
has had a major impact on engineering education and application.
Among your many designing achievements are systems-implementation
languages, a highly successful minicomputer, the C.mmp multiprocessor,
the WM pipelined processor, and Hydra, one of the first operating
systems to explore capability-based protection.
also have known both the thrill of starting your own successful
company and the agony of meeting payrolls. In 1981, you founded
Tartan Laboratories, a company that developed computer programs
to translate high-level computer languages into highly efficient
you have achieved almost mythic stature among your peers, you have
performed valuable public service by serving as an ambassador for
the engineering profession, as well as a leading conscience for
engineering education. As the assistant director of the National
Science Foundation during the late 1980s, and, since 1996, as president
of the National Academy of Engineering, you have educated policymakers
and the broader public on the role that engineering plays in our
important, you have pushed the education establishment to reinvigorate
engineering curricula to keep pace with rapid changes in the profession
and with the growing needs of a diverse global society.
recognition of your groundbreaking accomplishments in computer science
and your inspired leadership in engineering education, the Trustees
of the University of Pennsylvania are proud to present you the Universitys
Medal for Distinguished Achievement.
Trustees inaugurated the tradition of presenting the Medal to those
who reflect "the highest ideals of the University," and
modeled the pewter medal on
the silver one worn by Penn Presidents for ceremonial occasions.
silver medal was a gift of the late trustee and alumnus Thomas S.
Gates, Jr., (A.B. 1928, LL.D. 1956). One face is engraved with the
University seal (top), the other with the "orrery seal"
(right) designed in 1782 by the 1757 alumnus Francis Hopkinson,
a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
medal has been given on only eight previous occasions: the first
to then Attorney General Janet Reno at the October 25, 1993,
dedication of the Law Schools Nicole E. Tannenbaum Hall; then
a week later, to three distinguished chemical engineersNeal
Amundson, Stuart W. Churchill, and Arthur E. Humphreyto
mark the centennial of chemical engineering at Penn; to the American
Philosophical Society in celebration of its 250th
anniversary in 1994; to the Hon. Walter H. Annenberg and
the Hon. Leonore Annenberg at a dinner that year marking
the end of the Campaign for Penn; to then Vice President Al Gore,
Jr., when he came to Penn in 1996 to participate in the 50th
anniversary celebration of ENIAC; to mathematiciansFreeman
J. Dyson and Cathleen Synge Morawetz in October of 1999
at the Mathematics Department Centennial celebration; and in November
of 2000 to Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor
as the Law School celebrated its Sesquicentennial.
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 6, October 1, 2002