News briefs

Pro Bono

Singer/songwriter/social justice activist Bono will deliver the address at Penn’s 248th Commencement exercises May 17. The Irish musician, lead singer for the rock group U2, is also known for his work on behalf of causes such as AIDS, poverty and famine in Africa. In 2000, he co-founded the organization Debt AIDS Trade Africa to raise public awareness of three factors that stymie Africa’s development—crushing debt, the spread of AIDS and trade restrictions.

Preston steps down

School of Arts and Sciences Dean Sam Preston will return to teaching and research in the Sociology Department when his tenure ends in December. In a March 4 announcement, President Judith Rodin CW’65 and Provost Robert Barchi Gr’72,M’72,Hon’78 praised Preston for his accomplishments during his seven-year tenure as dean. On his watch, the school’s structural deficit was eliminated, support for graduate students increased, endowed chairs rose 42 percent, 183 new scholars joined the standing faculty and major improvements to classroom and research facilities were initiated.

All hail Gutmann

President-elect Amy Gutmann received a stirring welcome from the campus community and Trustees on Feb. 20. After the Trustees made their choice official with a quick vote, Gutmann paraded through campus (see photo), en route to a welcoming lunch in Houston Hall’s Hall of Flags. Among the well-wishers at the lunch was a surprise guest: Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell C’65, who, among other things, urged her to “do everything she can to raise the funds necessary to maintain Penn’s academic excellence—especially the Veterinary School.” City Councilwoman Janine Blackwell, who represents Penn’s district, also wished Gutmann well.

Originally published on March 18, 2004