Penn President Amy Gutmann to Receive Honorary Degree From Columbia

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Media Contact:Laura Cavender | cavender@upenn.edu | 215-746-6411April 20, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Columbia University at Columbia’s 258th commencement exercises on May 16 in New York City.

In announcing Gutmann as a 2012 honorary degree recipient, Columbia lauded her as “a national leader in facilitating greater access to higher education. She developed a no-loan guarantee that has become a national model, significantly expanded opportunities for low-income students and is a champion of civic engagement and the interdisciplinary spirit.”

In her inaugural address at Penn in 2004, Gutmann launched the Penn Compact, her vision for making Penn a global leader in teaching, research and professional practice, as well as a dynamic agent of social, economic and civic progress.

As Penn’s president, she continues to be an active scholar, publishing her 16th book, The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It, with co-author Dennis Thompson, next month.  Gutmann chairs the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues after being appointed by President Obama in 2009, and serves on the boards of the Carnegie Corporation, the National Constitution Center and the Vanguard Group.

Others receiving honorary degrees at the Columbia ceremony are Muhal Richard Abrams, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master; Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile; Shu Chien, a National Medal of Science recipient; novelist Jean Franco; and social activist Gloria Steinem.

Additional information about the ceremony at Columbia is available at http://news.columbia.edu/oncampus/2732. 

Additional information about Amy Gutmann is available at http://www.upenn.edu/president/meet-president/biography .

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