Convocation—held for the first time in Penn history inside the Palestra because of threatening skies—opened the academic year Tuesday evening with a program of inspiring speeches, musical performances and plenty of Penn spirit.
Steeped in tradition, the ceremony formally welcomed the Class of 2013 to campus and the Penn family. Convocation is one of only three instances when the entire Class of 2013 will assemble as a group—Hey Day and Commencement are the other two.
In her welcome address, Penn President Amy Gutmann encouraged students to pursue their personal and intellectual passions by asking what they can best accomplish for themselves, for Penn, for society and the world.
“We promise you a lot of intellectual adventures, and much fun along the way,” she said. “Just ask good questions, resist the lure of easy answers, and fearlessly march to the tune of your own personality, your own unique talents, and your own deepest passions, and you will do exceedingly well at Penn and beyond.”
Provost Vincent Price told students Penn has always been a leader in innovation, and it is now their turn to “renovate” the world.
Throughout the program, students heard musical pieces by Off the Beat, the Penn Glee Club and the Penn Band, before joining together in singing “The Red and the Blue.” The Convocation ceremony was followed by a dessert reception for students at Wynn Commons.
To watch a video of the ceremony, visit Penn's YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/univpennsylvania.
Originally published Sept. 9, 2009
Originally published on September 9, 2009