Ask Benny: Historic John Morgan lights shine again

Dear Benny,
I’d like to know what happened to the lighting fixtures that used to hang in the first-floor corridor of the John Morgan Building.

Dear Curious,
They’re right back where they used to be—along with new fixtures created to match the antique originals.

The original fixtures were removed for restoration and rewiring in the wake of the September 2000 steam-pipe leak that seriously damaged the building’s hallways and artwork. Eric Weckel, executive director of space planning and operations for the School of Medicine, said that the John Morgan restoration project staff worked closely with Lecturer in Urban Studies and Historic Preservation George Thomas to return the building’s corridors to their original 1903 appearance. That task included ordering eight new replicas of the original light fixtures to replace ones that had been lost over the years, as well as historically accurate shades for all of the fixtures. The new and restored lights were installed in early May.

Dear Benny,
I would like to take language courses at Penn, and I’m eligible for the tuition benefit. But the courses only meet during the day. Can I take them anyway?
—Speaking in Tongues

Dear Tongue-Tied,
If your supervisor permits it, you can. Human Resources’ Tuition Assistance Policy, on the Web at, states that employees are still expected to fulfill all their work obligations while taking courses, but may take courses that meet during working hours if they have received prior approval of their immediate supervisor and made arrangements to make up for lost time or undone work. Supervisors can deny such requests if they feel the employee’s presence is essential during working hours. In addition, please note that English as a second language is not covered.

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Originally published on June 20, 2002