News Briefs


Penn Earns Epa Honor

Penn is again being acknowledged for its commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Penn as the nation’s leading purchaser of green power among higher learning institutions. In the 2008-09 academic year, Penn led all colleges and universities participating in the EPA’s Green Power Challenge with a purchase of nearly 193 million kilowatt hours of green power. This represents 46 percent of Penn’s annual electricity usage. According to EPA estimates, Penn’s purchase is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power about 19,200 average American homes each year, or has the equivalent impact of reducing CO2 emissions of more than 25,000 passenger cars annually.

Penn, Harvard and Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies also received the 2008-09 Collective Conference Champions Award, which recognizes the Ivy League and its participating schools for having the largest collective green power purchase among all participating conferences.

The EPA’s Green Power Partnership has tracked and recognized the highest green power purchasers in the nation since April of 2006; Penn has been the No. 1 school for the past three years.

To read more about the EPA’s program, go to

Class of ‘09

The University holds its 253rd Commencement on Monday, May 18 at Franklin Field. The ceremony begins—rain or shine—at 10:15 a.m. upon the arrival of the academic procession and concludes at noon. Eric E. Schmidt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Google gives this year’s Commencement address.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony will take place the day before, on Sunday, May 17 at 1:30 and 3 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium. This is a 50-minuet interfaith program that includes music, readings, prayer and a speech by Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones, professor of ethics and preaching at Andover Newton Theological School, Newton, MA. Students whose last names begin with A through K are invited to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony; students whose last names begin with L through Z may attend the 3 p.m. ceremony.

For more information on all events, including a schedule of school ceremonies, go to:

Make an impact

The University’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy is inviting the Penn community to collaborate on its latest project, due out in June of this year. Researchers, community leaders and others are encouraged to share ideas about smart, effective options to support those in need. The end result will be an investment guide that outlines specific ways philanthropists can have a large-scale social impact and help curb the effects of the economic downturn in the areas of housing, health and hunger. A blueprint for the guide is available at the Center’s website:

To learn more about the Center’s work, go to

Penn Medicine among top in nation

The Penn School of Medicine was recently ranked among the top three research-oriented medical schools in America by U.S. News & World Report. Penn is ranked third in the survey, behind Harvard and Johns Hopkins, which come in at first and second, respectively.

Penn was also ranked in the top ten in four specialty programs, including Internal Medicine (#4), Drug/Alcohol Abuse (#6), Women’s Health (#6) and Pediatrics (#2). Two of Penn Medicine’s Ph.D. specialty programs also ranked among the top ten: Immunology and Infectious Disease (#7) and Microbiology (#8). The School of Medicine was also ranked #12 among the top 50 medical schools for students going into primary care.

“Penn’s ranking in the survey reflects the continued dedication and commitment to excellence among our faculty and staff,” says. Arthur Rubenstein, dean of the Penn School of Medicine. “We are proud to continue our national leadership in medical education, patient care and research.”

Originally published on May 7, 2009