A grand sendoff for the Class of '99

Photo by Tommy Leonardi

For many, it's a familiar spectacle: The bleating of the bagpipes. The colorful banners of the organized classes stretching back nearly to the dawn of the century. The whimsical decorations on the graduates' caps. And all the pomp and circumstance the Office of the Secretary can arrange for the occasion.

And yet each year, Commencement is as fresh and exciting as it is for the seniors marching for the first time. The new graduates get to take with them once-in-a-lifetime memories, while the returning alumni get to rekindle theirs as they reunite with distant classmates and take their places in the annual Alumni Day parade.

In addition to the Baccalaureate Service, the Commencement ceremony, and the school graduations - all listed below - Commencement weekend also features a full schedule of events for returning alumni, including the annual Alumni Run 5k road race on Saturday, May 15, and a series of alumni/faculty exchanges on a host of current topics. The alumni/faculty exchanges, listed in the day-by-day listings, are open to the community, but seating is limited for each exchange. Full information about Commencement 1999 is available on the Web.

Sunday, May 16


  • BACCALAUREATE SERVICE: Speaker: Rabbi Gerald I. Wolpe, Director, Finkelstein Institute, Jewish Theological Seminary of America. 3 p.m. at First District Plaza, 38th and Market streets; brass concert at 2:15 p.m. precedes service.


  • WHARTON UNDERGRAD/ EVENING: Speaker: Emily M. Bogdanoff (W'99). 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Franklin Field, 33rd and South streets. Reception in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, follows ceremony.

  • SCHOOL OF NURSING: Speaker: KYW-TV news anchor Pat Ciarrocchi. 10 to 11:30 a.m. at First District Plaza. Reception immediately following Commencement in the Nursing Education Building lobby, 420 Guardian Drive.

  • WHARTON GRADUATE: Speaker: Edward Crutchfield, CEO, First Union Corporation. 1 to 3:30 p.m. at Franklin Field. Reception in Lehman Brothers Quadrangle and Vance Hall, 37th and Spruce streets, follows ceremony.

  • LAW SCHOOL: Speakers: Justice Yvonne Mokgoro (GL'90), Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Honorary Fellow Andre Dennis. 2 p.m. at the Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets. Picnic lunch immediately following Commencement in Meyerson Hall galleries, 34th and Walnut streets.

  • ENGINEERING DOCTORAL: Speaker: Michael D. Zisman (GEE'73, GrE'77), executive vice president for strategy, Lotus Development Corporation. 5 to 6 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Museum, 33rd and Spruce streets. Reception in Museum's Mosaic Room and adjacent gardens follows ceremony.

  • WHARTON DOCTORAL: Speaker: Dean Thomas P. Gerrity. Ceremony and reception 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Upper Egyptian Gallery and Chinese Rotunda, University of Pennsylvania Museum.

  • COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES: Speaker: New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial (C'80). 7 to 9 p.m. at Franklin Field.

  • SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Speaker: Kenneth I. Shine, M.D., president, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. 7 p.m. at the Academy of Music. Reception at the Park Hyatt at the Bellevue, Broad and Walnut streets, follows ceremony.

Monday, May 17


  • COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY: Speaker: Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. 10:15 a.m. at Franklin Field. Procession begins in Hamilton Village (Superblock) at 8:45 a.m.; Franklin Field opens for guest seating at 9 a.m.


  • BIOMEDICAL GRADUATE STUDIES: Reception immediately following Commencement in Austrian Auditorium, Clinical Research Building, 422 Curie Blvd.

  • COLLEGE OF GENERAL STUDIES: Ceremony and reception immediately following Commencement in Class of 1952 Plaza, 36th St. across from Logan Hall.

  • FELS CENTER OF GOVERNMENT: Ceremony and reception at 12:30 p.m. at the Class of 1965 Terrace Room, Logan Hall, 249 S. 36th St.

  • GRADUATE DIVISION OF ARTS AND SCIENCES: Speaker: Janice Madden, Ph.D., vice provost for graduate education and professor of regional science and sociology. 1 p.m. in Hamilton Village, 39th St. and Locust Walk. Reception in Class of 1920 Commons follows ceremony.

  • ENGINEERING UNDERGRAD/ MASTER'S: Speaker: Interim Dean Eduardo D. Glandt. 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Palestra, 33rd St. below Walnut. Reception on the west lawn of the Towne Building follows ceremony.

  • GRADUATE SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS: Speaker: Romaldo Giurgola, partner, Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp Architects. 1:15 p.m. at Furness Plaza, between Meyerson Hall and Fisher Fine Arts Library on 34th St. Picnic lunch in Meyerson Hall Galleries precedes ceremony.

  • GRADUATE SCHOOL OF EDUCATION: Speaker: Constance E. Clayton, Ed.D., interim dean, MCP Hahnemann University School of Public Health. 2 p.m. at First District Plaza. Picnic lunch from noon to 2 p.m. at the GSE plaza, 37th and Walnut streets, precedes ceremony.

  • SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK: Speaker: John J. Callahan, Ph.D., assistant secretary for management and budget, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Museum. Reception at 4 p.m. in the Museum's Chinese Rotunda.

  • ANNENBERG SCHOOL FOR COMMUNICATION: Speaker: Edward Keller, president, Roper Starch Worldwide. 2:30 p.m. in Room 200, College Hall. Reception in Annenberg Center Plaza follows ceremony.

  • SCHOOL OF VETERINARY MEDICINE: Speaker: Claire M. Fagin, Ph.D., F.A.A.N., R.N., Leadership Professor Emerita and dean emerita, School of Nursing. 2:30 p.m. at Zellerbach Theatre, Annenberg Center, 3680 Walnut St. Reception in Annenberg Center Plaza follows ceremony.

  • SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE: Speaker: Michael C. Alfano, D.M.D., dean, New York University College of Dentistry. 5 p.m. in Harrison Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania Museum. Reception at 7 p.m. in the Museum's Chinese Rotunda.

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Originally published on May 13, 1999