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Baccalaureate Speaker

March 27, 2012, Volume 58, No. 27

Nipun MehtaOn Sunday, May 13, Nipun Mehta will be Penn's guest speaker for the Baccalaureate Ceremony which is an interfaith program that includes music, readings, prayers and a guest speaker. Two consecutive ceremonies will be held in Irvine Auditorium, in order to accommodate all those who wish to attend. Students whose last names begin with A–K are invited to attend at 1:30 p.m.; those whose last names begin with L–Z are invited to attend at 3 p.m.

Mr. Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace (formerly CharityFocus), an incubator of projects that works at the intersection of volunteerism, technology and gift-economy. What started as an experiment with four friends in the Silicon Valley has now grown to an global ecosystem of over 350,000 members that has delivered millions of dollars in service for free. Mr. Mehta has received many awards, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the President's Volunteer Service Award and Wavy Gravy's Humanitarian award. He is routinely invited to share his message of "giftivism" to wide ranging audiences, from inner city youth in Memphis to academics in London to international dignitaries at the United Nations. He serves on the advisory boards of the Seva Foundation, the Dalai Lama Foundation, and Greater Good Science Center.

By the third year of his computer science and philosophy degree at UC Berkeley, he started his software career at Sun Microsystems. In 2001, at age 25, he quit his job to become a "full time volunteer." His mission statement: "Bring smiles in the world and stillness in my heart."

Related: Penn's 2012 Commencement Speaker and . . . Honorary Degree Recipients

Almanac - March 27, 2012, Volume 58, No. 27