Why is that plaque in 200 College Hall?

Illustration by Bo Brown

Dear Benny,
You recently mentioned “a tablet in 200 College Hall is dedicated to the ‘Sons of the University who died to uphold the laws of their country in the War of the Great Rebellion’” (a much better phrase than “the Civil War”) (“Ask Benny,” Current, Oct. 2).

Didn’t that memorial used to be at the north entrance to College Hall on the east side? If so, when did it move and why was it moved from the main entrance of the University’s main building to a relatively obscure location?
— Tablet Trivia Fan

Dear Plaque-Hunter,
Funny you should ask. I myself wondered why another plaque—the one dedicating the building, which had hung just inside the front door—was also moved there.

As with most questions historical, this one eventually found its way to University Archvist Mark Frazier Lloyd.

The tablets that once hung in the College Hall entryway—including the plaque dedicating the building—were moved to Room 200 during the first phase of the restoration, Lloyd said. The architect in charge of the restoration considered them an intrusion on the original entryway, and the University architect agreed.

Dear Benny,
I am in a committed relationship with my partner, “Tony,” who is terminally ill. Am I eligible to receive paid bereavement leave upon his death?
— You Can Call Me Al

Dear Longtime Companion,
Yes, if you’ve registered your partnership with Penn. In accordance with Penn’s non-discrimination and Paid Time Off for Death in the Family policies, employees may take up to five days off with pay upon the death of a University-registered same-sex domestic partner or the death of a spouse.

The amount of paid time off available for a death in the family varies with degree of relation. For full details, see www.hr.upenn.edu/policy/policies/609.asp on the Web.

Got a question for Benny? You can ask Benny about benefits, worklife issues, University history or trivia, or other matters pertaining to life at Penn. Send it via e-mail to current@pobox.upenn.edu or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106. A Current coffee mug goes to those whose questions we publish.

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Originally published on October 16, 2003