September 8, 1998
Volume 45
Number 2

'You are cordially invited...'

...to a host of back-to-school celebrations:


Convocation is at 7:30 p.m. on College Green (rain location: The Palestra).

On the 8th and 9th...

The Ellen and Howard C. Katz Fitness Center will hold ribbon-cutting ceremonies with President Rodin on Tuesday, September 8 at 3 p.m. in Gimbel Gym. As of Wednesday, September 9, the center will be open Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to midnight, and noon-6 p.m. on weekends.

On the 10th...

Civic House, the University's new community service and living-learning collaborative, hosts its opening ceremony at 3914 Locust Walk, the former police headquarters. The festivities start at 4 p.m. with brief statements by President Rodin and others representing the University community. The Faculty Director, Peter Conn, will answer questions, student-members of the House will lead tours, and refreshments will be served until 6 p.m. (more on Civic House...)

Sansom Common's gala opening, a block party at 36th and Walnut Streets from 4:30-7 p.m. with live music and special promotioins by retailers. Ribbon-cutting by President Rodin is at 5:15 p.m. (for more details see September at Penn).

On the 11th...

Dr. Rodin cuts another ribbon (at 3:30 p.m). and welcomes the University community back to the "New" Library. Student musical groups perform during the 3-7 p.m. event at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center (see September at Penn and see Dr. Rodin's Welcome Back).

On the 17th...

University City District kicks off Go West! Go International! 3rd Thursdays with gallery openings, food, dance...with transportation from one venue to another. (see September at Penn).

Photo courtesy of Facilities Management

 Community House: Dr. Connolly of Music

Dr. Thomas Connolly, professor of music and a noted medievalist, has been named Faculty Master of Community House in the Quad, completing the roster of 12 Masters in the redesigned system of College Houses. He will is joined by his wife, Dr. Margaret Connolly, who has taught in the English departments here and at NYU and who recently completed a three-year post-doctoral teaching fellowship in the humanities at Villanova University; and by their 13-year-old son, Stephen.

"Tom is a terrific choice for Community and another wonderful example of Penn's finest faculty providing leadership in our 1998 comprehensive College House system," said Interim Provost Michael Wachter. "I'd particularly like to thank the student and faculty members on the Community House search committee who worked quickly to fill the position with another fine teacher and scholar."

Professor Connolly succeeds Dr. Stephen Gale, who resigned as Faculty Master of Community House to focus on his continuing responsbilies as associate professor of regional science in SAS and director of the Dynamics of Organization program.

Dr. Connolly is a medievalist with interdisciplinary interests in medieval music, iconography, the symbolism of music in the visual and literary arts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and music in the thought of Ludwig Wittgenstein. Dr. Margaret Connolly, is currently writing about George Meredith, Virginia Woolf and comedy.

An Australian citizen, Dr. Thomas Connolly was educated at St. Patrick's College and State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, and subsequently received his Ph.D. in Musicology from Harvard University (1973). He arrived as an assistant professor at Penn in 1973, became associate professor in 1979, and was named full professor in 1994. He is a former chair of the music department and has been a Faculty Fellow and Acting Master of Van Pelt College House. He has received major fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Dr. Connolly has also served as the Director of Penn's program in Bologna, the Bologna Cooperative Studies Program.

"I am deeply impressed by the splendid team of Faculty Masters and House Deans that Penn has assembled to lead its new College House system," said Dr. Connolly. "I expect this team to work a quiet but authoritative transformation in undergraduate education at Penn, by opening students more fully to the rich intellectual world of the University at- large."

Note: For a photograph and profiles of the 12 new House Deans, please click here.

U.S. News Rankings: Penn's No. 6...

Penn ranks sixth among the best national universities in the newest U.S. News & World Reports guide to America's Best Colleges (www.usnews.com). Up a notch from last year's seventh place tie with Dartmouth, Penn is now tied with Cornell and Duke for sixth. Yale rose from third place to join Harvard and Princeton for a three-way tie at No. 1 among 228 national universities.

. . . and PennMed's No. 11

HUP ranked eleventh among 6,400 U.S. hospitals in the cover story "America's Best Hospitals: Where to Find Top Medical Care in 16 Specialties" in U.S. News July 27, 1998. It is up from 14th place last year. HUP scored in 12 specialties: Cancer (17), Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery (20), Endocrinology (16), Gastroenterology (13), Geriatrics (17), Gynecology (12), Neurology & Neuro-surgery (9), Orthopedics (25), Otolaryngology (11), Pulmonary Disease (14) , Rheumatology (14) and Urology (16). Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, home of Penn pediatrics, held its number two slot as Boston's Children's Hospital remained in first place.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 2, September 8, 1998