November 14, 1902, the first issue of what is now The Pennsylvania
lot of ways it bore little resemblance to the current incarnation.
For one thing, it had a different name: Olde Penn. And it
wasnt a magazine at all, but a newspaper, eight more or less tabloid-sized
pages long, published every Saturday during the academic
year and available by subscription for $1 annually or for 5¢ a copy.
In other respects, it was pretty similar. The story lineup would
be familiar to any current readerarticles on new campus buildings
and an archaeological expedition, sports news, book reviews, etc.
(For more details, please see Decade
University was already a century-and-a-half old when its alumni
magazine was born, but just 30 years had passed since the move to
West Philadelphia. The creation of the campus we know today can
be traced in the Gazettes pagesalong with some projects
that fortunately never got beyond the drawing board, like the University
Tower at 36th and Locust proposed in 1948. Along with that physical
expansion came the Universitys development into an institution
of true national and international stature, with a faculty and student
population to match. Perhaps most of all, the magazine is a treasure
trove of information about Penn traditions and rituals, student
attitudes, and daily life on campus over the course of a tumultuous
its admittedly a cliché, examining the back issues of the Gazette
is like paging through an old photo albuma bit of embarrassment,
quite a few surprises, and, mostly, fascination with all that has
changed and stayed the same.
some pictures from the album.