At one point during the inauguration, as representatives of Penns 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 W65 WG67, chairman of Penns Board of Trustees, remarked from the podium, Its a gray day outside, but its very sunny in here.
The threat of heavy rainwhich however, held off for most of the daycaused the cancellation of a planned procession down Locust Walk before the ceremony. Instead, participantswho included Penns former presidents Dr. Judith Rodin CW66 Hon04, Dr. Claire Fagin Hon94 (who served as interim president), Dr. Sheldon Hackney Hon93, and Martin Meyerson Hon70; trustees; flag bearers representing Penns 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, Gutmanngathered in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall before the ceremonys start at 10:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, the audience, clutching color-coded ticketsfrom red (first several rows) to yellow (balcony)quickly filled Irvines 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 www.upenn.edu/ secretary/inauguration/webcast.html.) In the front row, Gutmanns 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 regaliain which red, turquoise, maroon, gray, orange, and other shades accented the mostly blackand 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 Universitys 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 Rodins 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 Penns 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 www.upenn.edu/gazette for complete texts of these remarks.)
Penn Law Professor Charles W. Mooney, chair of the faculty senate, called Gutmanns election the fulfillment of the facultys greatest hopes for a scholar and leader of impeccable credentials. Undergraduate Assembly Chair Jason A. Levine emphasized Gutmanns gifts as a motivator for students to take on ambitious intellectual pursuits and serve in the community even in the first months of her tenureand 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 W67 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 Gutmanns 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 C65 Hon00 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, Were 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 Gutmanns stature, despite the fact that it represented a test of my character, since Penns gain [came] at Princetons expense. She called Gutmann a true daughter of Princetonsome restiveness from the audience thereeven though her colors are now red and bluefollowed by hearty applause.
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