John Legend, a nine-time Grammy Award-winning soul artist, philanthropist, and Penn alumnus, will deliver the address at the University's Commencement on Monday, May 19, Vice President and University Secretary Leslie Laird Kruhly recently announced.
Named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2009, Legend’s platinum-selling debut album in 2004, “Get Lifted,” propelled him onto the world stage. His celebrated career as one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of his generation has led to music industry awards and performances at high profile events, including at the White House.
“John Legend’s original and uplifting music is truly universal, inspiring people here at home and across the globe. As strikingly, his influence as a dedicated humanist already extends beyond his remarkable music,” Penn President Amy Gutmann says. “Through his philanthropic work in improving access to education and combating poverty, he provides us all with a striking example of the positive impact that Penn grads have in engaging with their community, beginning remarkably early in their careers. Legend has used his great talent and intellect to galvanize and inspire others not only through his acclaimed art, but also through his action-oriented humanitarian outreach, a gift to the world that makes everyone in the Penn community proud.”
Originally published on March 13, 2014