August 27, 2013
Members of the Class of 2017 and transfer students were officially welcomed into the Penn community.
On the evening before the first day of classes, students streamed into The Palestra for Convocation, an hour-long ceremony of inspiring words from President Amy Gutmann, Provost Vincent Price, and others, and music from the Penn Band, Penn Glee Club, and Penn Sirens.
“Knowledge that helps humanity: This practical ideal propels your university,” said Gutmann in her speech to the crowd. “This is the spirit of Penn, a spirit that depends on the enthusiasm and energy you bring to your efforts here.”
The diverse Class of 2017 was admitted from the strongest applicant pool in Penn’s history. The class includes students from 48 states; 13 percent of the enrolled class hails from overseas.
Twelve percent of the students in the Class of 2017 are first-generation college students, and 13 individuals enrolled through Penn’s new partnership with the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP).
The ceremony, usually held on College Green, was moved indoors to “The Cathedral of College Basketball” because of the threat of rain.
After the ceremony, students gathered for a dessert reception.
Convocation is considered a bookend to the Penn experience. The next time the class will gather as a group is at Hey Day during their junior year, and then for a final time at Commencement in May of 2017.
More photographs are available on President Gutmann's Flickr Gallery
Photos by Stuart Watson