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Benjamin Franklin's Way
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October 13, 2009, Volume 56, No. 07

Class of 62 Walk
Photograph by Marguerite Miller

Benjamin Franklin’s Way—funded by the Class of 1962 Alumni for its 45th reunion— contains numerous axioms by Penn’s founder, incorporated into a series of granite pavers throughout the length of the 37th Street walkway from Spruce Street to Walnut Street. The Trustees approved the resolution to construct the walkway in February 2009; the project was completed over the summer by the landscape architecture firm Lager Raabe Skafte and the contractors, the JPC Group, who upgraded the sub-axis with brick and granite paving, granite curbs, pedestrian lighting, tables and chairs, and landscaping. This was a continuation of the tradition started by the Class of ’62 which gave Penn the now iconic Ben on the Bench as its 25th reunion gift in 1987.

A new garden at the rear of the Penn Women’s Center, at 37th and Locust Walk, was also completed recently.

Below is a list of Franklin’s 18th century axioms on education, effort and conduct, that have now become part of the 21st century campus:

  • Well done is better than well said
    1737

  • Tart Words make no Friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a Gallon of Vinegar
    1744

  • Genius without Education is like Silver in the Mine
    1750

  • He that teaches himself, hath a fool for his master
    1741

  • He’s a Fool that cannot conceal his Wisdom
    1745

  • A true Friend is the best Possession
    1744

  • Haste Makes Waste
    1753

  • Diligence is the Mother of Good-Luck
    1736

  • There are no Gains, without Pains
    1745

  • Being ignorant is not so much a Shame, as being unwilling to learn
    1755

  • An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure
    1735

  • Little Strokes, Fell Great Oaks
    1750

  • When the Well’s dry, we know the Worth of Water
    1746

  • Doors of Wisdom are never shut
    1755

  • Half the Truth is often a great Lie
    1758

  • He that cannot obey, cannot command
    1734

  • Distrust and caution are the parents of security
    1733

  • Don’t throw stones at your neighbours, if your own windows are glass
    1736

  • Lost Time is never found again
    1748


Almanac - October 13, 2009, Volume 56, No. 07