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Baccalaureate Speaker: Sr. Mary Scullion
March 25, 2008, Volume 54, No. 26



Sister Mary Scullion, instrumental founder of Project HOME, will be Penn’s guest speaker for this year’s Baccalaureate Ceremony. The Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 18, in Irvine Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. (for graduates whose last names’ begin with A through K) and again at 3 p.m. (for graduates whose last names’ begin with L through Z).

Sr. Mary has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. In 1985, she was co-founder of Woman of Hope, which provides permanent residential and support services for homeless mentally ill women. She also helped found the Outreach Coordination Center in 1988. The Center is an innovative program coordinating private and public agencies doing outreach to chronically homeless persons in Center City.

In 1989, Sr. Mary and Joan Dawson McConnon co-founded Project HOME (Housing, Opportunities, Medical care, Education) a nationally recognized organization that provides supportive housing, employment, education, and health care to enable chronically homeless and low-income persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Under their leadership, Project HOME has grown from an emergency winter shelter to 455 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment to formerly homeless persons. Project HOME also prevents homelessness in a low-income neighborhood in North Philadelphia, which includes after school programs, greening vacant lots, adult learning classes, economic development, and home ownership for the working poor. Project HOME has leveraged over $50 million in equity towards housing development.

Sister Mary has received numerous awards including the Liberty Bell Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Prudential National Nonprofit Leadership Award, and the 1992 Philadelphia Award. In 2002, Sr. Mary and Ms. McConnon were awarded the Ford Foundation’s prestigious “Leadership for a Changing World” Award.




Almanac - March 25, 2008, Volume 54, No. 26