At one point during the inauguration, as representatives of Penn’s faculty, students, and staff offered warm words of welcome to Dr. Gutmann and peers in the worlds of scholarship and higher education praised her gifts as a scholar, teacher, and leader, James S. Riepe W’65 WG’67, chairman of Penn’s Board of Trustees, remarked from the podium, “It’s a gray day outside, but it’s very sunny in here.”

The threat of heavy rain—which however, held off for most of the day—caused the cancellation of a planned procession down Locust Walk before the ceremony. Instead, participants—who included Penn’s former presidents Dr. Judith Rodin CW’66 Hon’04, Dr. Claire Fagin Hon’94 (who served as interim president), Dr. Sheldon Hackney Hon’93, and Martin Meyerson Hon’70; trustees; flag bearers representing Penn’s classes, alumni clubs, and diversity-alliance groups; speakers at the ceremony and the symposium; and delegates from academic institutions and learned societies; as well as Riepe and, of course, Gutmann—gathered in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall before the ceremony’s start at 10:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the audience, clutching color-coded tickets—from red (first several rows) to yellow (balcony)—quickly filled Irvine’s side aisles and those seats in the middle not reserved for members of the procession. (The ceremony was also broadcast in Huntsman Hall and the Towne Building on campus; the webcast can still be seen at secretary/inauguration/webcast.html.) In the front row, Gutmann’s husband and daughter, Dr. Michael Doyle, the Harold Brown Professor of Law and International Affairs at Columbia University, and Abigail Gutmann Doyle, a doctoral student in chemistry at Harvard, stood talking with friends and accepting congratulations.

When the processional music struck up, the audience rose to watch the procession enter in their academic regalia—in which red, turquoise, maroon, gray, orange, and other shades accented the mostly black—and take their places in the audience or on stage. The last to come, preceded by Leslie Kruhly, the secretary of the University, who carried the mace symbolizing the University’s authority, were Riepe and Gutmann. She paused a moment on the stage, beaming at the audience as they applauded her, before taking her seat for the invocation by University Chaplain William C. Gipson.

Then Riepe, who had headed the 20-member search committee composed of trustees, faculty, and students that recommended Gutmann to become Rodin’s successor last January, stepped to the podium. “It is my great honor to welcome you to the inauguration of Amy Gutmann as the eighth president and 24th chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania,” he said, going on to describe presidential inaugurations as occasions “heavy with the weight of tradition” but also a time of new beginnings, whose solemnity “symbolizes the awesome responsibilities Penn’s president will bear for the well-being of this community of scholars and learners, and for its contribution to society at large” and whose joyfulness “symbolizes our enduring love for this educational community.”

He then introduced the speakers who were there to offer greetings to Dr. Gutmann. (Please visit our website at for complete texts of these remarks.)

Penn Law Professor Charles W. Mooney, chair of the faculty senate, called Gutmann’s election the fulfillment of the faculty’s “greatest hopes” for a scholar and leader of “impeccable credentials.” Undergraduate Assembly Chair Jason A. Levine emphasized Gutmann’s gifts as a motivator for students “to take on ambitious intellectual pursuits and serve in the community” even in the first months of her tenure—and expressed the (joking) hope that “when we beat Princeton, perhaps we can coax you into helping us tear down the goalpost,” while Simi R. Wilhelm, chair of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, offered a “collective and warm welcome [from] the next generation of scholars and teachers.”

Rodney V. Robinson, chair of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly, assured the president that his constituents were “ready to roll!” And Sylvie M. Beauvais, who chairs the Weekly Paid Penn Professional Staff Assembly, asserted that Gutmann “will lead us in creating a compassionate community.”

Penn Alumni President Paul Williams W’67 welcomed Gutmann on behalf of “Penn alumni here today, as well as over 250,000 Penn alumni worldwide, who are here in spirit.”

Williams called the inauguration “a unique moment for all to reflect on our heritage and the profound contribution Penn has made to our lives and to the society at large” and expressed appreciation for Gutmann’s “recognition of the strategic role loyal Penn alumni may play in the task of bringing Penn to the next levels of achievement.” The alumni, he said, seek to advance the credo of life-long learning, to foster mutual respect and civility, and to celebrate “diversity in every domain of the University.”

These ambitions and goals are perennial, but demand “a new vision to guide us going forward,” he added. “President Gutmann, thank you for accepting that mission. Thank you for embracing that pragmatic, inventive spirit that is so uniquely Penn.”

Looking back on the “enormous progress” Penn made in the past decade in helping the city and state address the “challenges that exist beyond the walls of ivy,” Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell C’65 Hon’00 admitted that, “When we learned that Dr. Rodin was leaving many of us thought, ‘Oh my gosh, are we going back?’”

Instead, under Gutmann, Rendell added, “We’re going forward at warp speed.” Noting that he has been described as someone with “boundless passion and boundless energy,” the governor added that, nevertheless, “my energy and my passion was outstripped in a few short moments,” after meeting with Gutmann. “I was tired,” he said.

Representing the learned societies, Frank H. T. Rhodes, president of the American Philosophical Society, called Gutmann “the ideal leader for Penn in the 21st century” and, citing her leadership roles in several scholarly societies, “one of us,” which he said was a “very good omen for the future” of both the learned societies and Penn.

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman, with whom Gutmann had served as provost, expressed delight that Penn had shown the “wisdom to entrust its presidency to a scholar, teacher, and leader of Amy Gutmann’s stature,” despite the fact that it represented a “test of my character,” since “Penn’s gain [came] at Princeton’s expense.” She called Gutmann a “true daughter of Princeton”—some restiveness from the audience there—“even though her colors are now red and blue”—followed by hearty applause.

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2004 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 10/29/04

A Marriage “Meant to Be”
Amy Gutmann Inaugurated
as Penn's Eighth President

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Greetings, President Gutmann
Words of welcome from Penn’s faculty, students, administration and staff, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, learned societies, and institutions of higher education.

Inaugural Speech:
From Excellence to Eminence

Rising to the Challenges
of a Diverse Democracy