Campus Buzz

Commencement roundup: The weather couldn’t have been better and the spirit was celebratory at Penn’s 247th Commencement May 19. The tenor of the times, however, was manifested in the more subdued form that celebration took. Out were the stuffed animals and other whimsical mortarboard decorations; in were green ribbons—symbolizing a commitment to seek socially and environmentally responsible work after graduation—and national flags, especially Israeli flags, worn by about 50 graduating students in silent protest of Archibishop Desmond Tutu’s pronouncements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Tutu was just one of several high-profile speakers at Penn graduation ceremonies. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer urged Law School graduates to consider careers in public service and government—“If the democratic process is to work, lawyers have to participate,” he said. CNN reporter/anchor Wolf Blitzer’s assessment of the state of American journalism at the Annenberg graduation can be summed up thus: Iraq War coverage very, very good, Jayson Blair very, very bad. Other grads got to hear from novelist Lorene Cary (C/G’78, College), Gov. Edward G. Rendell (C’65, Fels Institute), Judge Marjorie O. Rendell (CW’69, Nursing) and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala (Education).

They could have gone anywhere…: but Temple chose Larry Icard, associate professor of social work and director of the Center for Intervention and Practice Research, to become dean of its School of Social Administration, starting in September. Icard’s appointment marks the third time in as many years that a Social Work faculty member has been tapped to head a school of social work, a testimony to the quality of education and research taking place at the school.

They’re on board: Congratulations to the incoming officers and new members of the Penn Professional Staff Assembly board—Chair-Elect Andrew Atzert, associate director of custom programs, Wharton Executive Education; Vice Chair-Elect Kate Ward-Gaus, health educator, Office of Health Education; and at-large members Cpl. Joe Fischer, Public Safety, Ty Furman, student performing arts coordinator, and Isabel Sampson-Mapp, associate director for staff, faculty and alumni volunteer services, Center for Community Partnerships.

Happy campers: There’s still time to sign your children up for one of the many sports, recreational and educational camps offered at Penn this summer. From the Al-Bustan camp at the Morris Arboretum to the Museum’s Anthropologists in the Making camps to the Quaker Soccer Camps for young women, there’s a camp to match your child’s interests. For information about Penn sports camps, visit /camps/penn-camps.html online; for the Recreation Department’s PennKids camp, visit; for the Museum camp, visit; for Al-Bustan, visit

Originally published on June 12, 2003