May 16, 2011
Under gray, overcast skies, nearly 6,000 graduates of the University of Pennsylvania’s 12 schools marched down Locust Walk and into Franklin Field for Monday’s 255th Commencement ceremony.
In a nod to this year’s Commencement speaker, internationally renowned actor and director Denzel Washington, Penn President Amy Gutmann drew on the movies for some of her inspiring words to graduates. She said that “The Social Network” shows us that virtual relationships are no substitute for real ones, “Avatar” reminds us to respect nature, and “The King’s Speech” teaches us to judge individuals not by their rank, but by their merit.
Other 2011 Penn honorary degree recipients included Renée C. Fox, the Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences at Penn and a pioneer in the field of medical sociology; Mo Ibrahim, the mobile communications entrepreneur who founded Celtel; Nicholas D. Kristof, columnist at The New York Times, and Sheryl WuDunn, senior managing director, Mid-Market Securities, and president of the social investing consultancy, TripleEdge; Ei-ichi Negishi, the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and Joyce Carol Oates, award-winning author, poet and playwright.
- Commencement Spotlight
- Amy Gutmann Commencement Address
- Video: Amy Gutmann Commencement Speech
- Video: Denzel Washington Commencement Speech
- Video: Denzel Washington Greets Students
- Photos: View all photos from Commencement
Photos by Steve Minicola & Scott Spitzer, Office of University Communications
Video by Penn Video Network & Kurtis Sensenig, Office of University Communications