News Briefs

2010 Commencement

From Students to Alumni

For nearly two-and-a-half centuries, Penn students have left the hallowed halls of the University ready to lead in the fields of business, arts, medicine and engineering. On Monday, May 17, the Class of 2010 will join those illustrious ranks, as Penn celebrates its 245th Commencement. The ceremony takes place at Franklin Field, 33rd and South streets, and is scheduled to feature an address by U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr., C’87. Gates to Franklin Field open at 8:30 a.m. and the graduate procession will enter the stadium at 9:30 a.m. The Commencement ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m.

If you can’t make it in person, you can watch it live on the web at or on the Penn Video Network Special Events channel (channel 24). For more information, including a list of honorary degree recipients, go to

A better mouse trap

PennVention isn’t your average student competition. It is an invention contest in which participants vie for a chance to win a portion of $60,000 in cash and in-kind services that will help bring their creations to market. This year, PD Solutions won the $5,000 Grand Prize for a novel Parkinson’s disease treatment that is longer lasting and less invasive than current treatments; U + Capital won the $2,500 Second Prize for Personal Equity Issuances, which allows students to fund their education through loans with equity-like repayment schedules; and the $1,000 Third Prize went to Flipables, innovative, low-cost footwear for gyms, spas and resorts.

The annual competition takes students through the process of moving an idea from conceptualization to commercialization. The Weiss Tech House provides the tools and resources necessary to help students develop and commercialize their products or services, and participants receive intensive business, legal, and technical mentoring services.

Past winners include MuscleMorph, which went on to win the grand prize in the Wharton Business Plan Competition, and SunSak, which debuted in 2006 on QVC to rave reviews.

To read more about the winners, past and present, visit the Tech House website:

Green is good

Penn continues to rack up the green accolades. First, the University has been named the top individual school in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009-2010 College and University Green Power Challenge for the fourth year in a row. Penn beat out 53 other schools by purchasing more than 192 million KwH of green power, or 46 percent of its power purchase. Collectively, the Ivy League is the overall college conference champion, with an annual green power usage of more than 225 million KwH—which has an environmental impact of eliminating annual CO2 emissions from nearly 31,000 vehicles. To learn more, go to

Penn has also been acknowledged as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible schools by a source that’s sure to be well known among prospective students— “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges.” The guide is the first comprehensive book to focus solely on the sustainability commitment of colleges and universities. Penn was selected because of its Climate Action Plan, its Eco-Reps training program and its significant green energy purchase. To download the guidebook, go to

Another strong showing

Once again Penn has made a strong showing in the annual U.S. News & World Report magazine ranking of graduate and professional-school programs. The School of Medicine is second in the nation; Penn Nursing is third; the School of Veterinary Medicine is fourth; and Penn Law is seventh.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science rose in the rankings this year, from 27th to 23rd, surpassing Duke and Yale. The Graduate School of Education maintained its 13th place ranking. Wharton is fifth in the rankings from its third place spot last year; and the School of Social Policy & Practice ranked 14th, compared to 13th in 2008, the last time it was ranked.

To read the full lists of ranked schools, go to the U.S. News & World Report website,

Originally published on May 6, 2010