April 4, 2000
Volume 46
Number 27

Honorary Degree Recipients

Click on the recipient's picture for his/her profile.

The University of Pennsylvania will award six honorary degrees at its 244th Commencement, on Monday, May 22, at Franklin Field.

In addition to Seamus Heaney, poet, critic and translator, whose selection was announced by President Judith Rodin in Almanac March 28, the recipients and the degrees they will receive are:

  • John N. Bahcall, Ph.D., Richard Black Professor of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; Doctor of Science.
  • Mary Douglas, D.Phil., retired professor of social anthropology, London University; Doctor of Humane Letters.
  • Ronald Dworkin, LL.B., Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London and Sommer Professor of Law and Philosophy at NYU; Doctor of Laws.
  • Wynton Marsalis, Pulitzer Prize winning jazz artist, composer, and educator; Doctor of Music.
  • The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, C'65, former mayor of Philadelphia; Doctor of Laws.

For the recipients' profiles, click their pictures (above) or click here

SAS 2000 Dean's Forum: John Updike

John Updike, world renowned novelist, poet, essayist and literary critic will be reading from his most recent novel, Gertrude and Claudius, an imagined prequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet, on April 13, at 4:30 p.m., Room 17 Logan Hall.

John Updike is the great contemporary chronicler of the American middle class. He is the master of four genres: novel, short story, poetry and essay. In each, he deploys his exquisitely lyrical style and remarkable intellectual engagement with America's moral and spiritual problems to probe the inner lives of families and the mundane concerns of husband, wife, children, home and job. The author of numerous best-selling books, his popular reputation rests primarily on his work as a novelist. In his celebrated tetralogy about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, he created one of the immortal characters of American literature.

John Updike was born in 1932 in Shillington, PA. He was an English major at Harvard and editor of the Lampoon. The New Yorker published his first professional story in 1954 and continues to regularly publish his poems, stories, essays and reviews. In his most recent novel, Gertrude and Claudius, Updike takes everything he has learned about modern familial dysfunction and masterfully applies it to Elsinore Castle. "The book," says Richard Eder of The New York Times, "illuminates questions about Shakespeare, about what a classic means and also the unexplored hills and forests that lie on either side of the path art pushes through them."

The SAS Dean's Forum offers the University community and the general public the opportunity to meet with leading intellectual figures that exemplify the liberal arts tradition. The Dean's Forum also recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students in the arts and sciences for their academic performance and intellectual promise.

This program is free and open to the University community and the general public. For more information, contact Carrie Stavrakos at cstavrak@ben.dev.upenn.edu or (215) 898-5262.

In addition, today, Dr. Daniel Traister, curator of Research Services of the Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library, will give a talk, U&S: Updike Reads Shakespeare, at 4 p.m. at Kelly Writers House.

In Graduate Rankings, Some Move Up, Some Hold Steady

The annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of "America's Best Graduate Schools" in the magazine's April 10 issue show that four of Penn's schools moved up in the standings including two that showed dramatic improvement--Social Work and Graduate School of Education (last year's rankings are in parentheses).

  • #2 School of Veterinary Medicine (#3)
  • #11 School of Social Work (#18)
  • #11 Graduate School of Education (#20)
  • #33 School of Engineering and Applied Science (#35)

Three schools at Penn retained their position:

  • #2 School of Medicine
  • #2 Nursing
  • #12 Law School

U.S. News does not rank all schools all years. Nor does it rank Arts and Sciences as a unit, but gives selected individual disciplines. Among the six departments of SAS that the magazine does rank, five at Penn made the top twenty:

    • #9 Economics and Psychology
    • #11 English
    • #12 History and Sociology

GSFA's department of Architecture ranked #9.

U.S. News began ranking graduate programs in 1987. The magazine's rankings are reportedly based on a combination of objective and reputational measurement.

Wharton is ranked #3 (#2) but in the specialty programs Finance was ranked #1. In the specialties of the MBA programs Wharton placed in the top ten for:

    • #1 Finance
    • #2 Marketing, and Entrepreneurship
    • #3 International Business
    • #4 Quantitative Analysis
    • #5 Accounting, General Management
    • #7 Production/Operations Management, and
    • #8 Management Information Systems and in Nonprofit Organizations.

In addition, the Executive MBA Programs ranked #2.

In the School of Nursing specialties that ranked in the top ten are:

    • #1 Nurse Practitioner-Adult, and in Gerontological Specialties
    • #2 Nursing Service, Administration Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult/Medical-Surgical, and Psychiatric/Mental Health specialties
    • #4 Nurse Practitioner in Family, and Pediatric specialties

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 27, April 4, 2000