December 12, 2000
Volume 47
Number 15

MLK Day: A Day of Service

To the University community:

As in Decembers past at Penn, many of us are scrambling to cram months' worth of studying, eating, planning, eating, shopping, eating, reveling, and eating into the days leading to family reunions, holiday celebrations--and New Year's resolutions.

Some will resolve to shed some of the more visible signs of the holiday fun. Others will resolve generally to make better use of their time and take better care of themselves.

But 2001 can be special. It can mark the year in which more of us resolve to give more of ourselves to others, starting with our neighbors in West Philadelphia.

Why wait? Why not get into the swing of community service on January 15 as Penn observes Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as an official University holiday for the first time?

On that day, you can begin training to tutor children in reading (and receive an additional 10 percent discount on purchases from the Penn Bookstore). You can help beautify a neighborhood school. Or, beginning December 18, you can contribute to a book drive that will benefit children in West Philadelphia schools.

Following our holiday observance, Penn will host a commemorative 12-day symposium of events and workshops devoted to the theme, Keeping The Dream Alive in the New Millennium.

(For details on the symposium, and on all planned service activities and opportunities at Penn and throughout Philadelphia, visit www.upenn.edu/aarc/calendar.html, or call (215) 898-0104.)

Since becoming a national holiday in 1986, Martin Luther King Day has focused the University's energies and attention on community service while inspiring all of us to explore ways to realize Dr. King's vision of a "beloved community."

Observing Dr. King's birthday as an official holiday should inspire all of us to renew and re-energize Penn's mission to serve humanity.

We encourage the University community to join us in supporting Dr. King's enduring ministry of service by making his birthday both a day on, not a day off. Let's make 2001 not only a year for keeping our New Year's resolutions, but a year for making Dr. King's dream come true.

--Judith Rodin, President

--Robert Barchi, Provost

Rhodes and Marshall Scholars

Rhodes to Lipika Goyal

One of academia's most coveted honors has been awarded to a Penn student. For the first time in a decade, a Penn student has won a Rhodes Scholarship.

University Scholar Lipika Goyal, a twenty-one-year old, Biological Basis of Behavior major in the College, is one of 32 winners selected Saturday for the Rhodes Scholarship. Not since 1983 has Penn had both a Rhodes Scholar and a Marshall Scholar in the same year. College senior Ari Alexander, an American history major, has won a Marshall Scholarship this year. [See Honors for more]

Marshall to Ari Alexander

Ari Alexander, the Marshall Scholarship recipient, is among 40 students nationwide who have won the 2001 British Marshall Scholarship for two years of graduate study in the United Kingdom.

"It gives me enormous pleasure to extend my congratulations to Ari Alexander, recipient of the distinguished Marshall Scholarship. Ari exemplifies the quintessential Penn student: bright, highly motivated and deeply committed to social issues and discourse. He makes all of us proud, and I wish him the best as he embarks on this magnificent journey," said President Judith Rodin. [See Honors for more]

   With a goal of $350,000 to reach, Penn's Way has hit the 55% mark at $190,886. CLICK HERE for Penn's Way raffle winners and prizes.

SAS Term Chairs: Dr. Cvetic and Dr. Deift

Mirjam Cvetic, associate professor of physics, has been named the Class of 1965 Endowed Term Professor in SAS. Dr. Cvetic came to Penn in 1987. She received her Ph.D. in 1984 from the University of Maryland in College Park, and completed both her M.A. and B.S. from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. Her research interests span problems of elementary particle physics ranging from the study of basic interactions to the experimental tests of fundamental theories. With a background in basic theory as well as in phenomenology, she is in a position to pursue research that bridges the gap between basic theory and the experimental consequences of the these theories. Dr. Cvetic has published dozens of articles in scientific journals in the past decade. She has received numerous honors including the Career Advancement Award by NSF in 1995 and the Junior Faculty SSC Fellowship Award in 1991.  

This chair is one of several created in 1990 by the Class of 1965 to celebrate its 25-year reunion.  The professorship was designated by the Class of 1965 in honor of the College of Women, which existed for over 40 years as an independent college before merging with the College and other units to form what is now SAS. The Class of 1965 leaders responsible for their class gifts are Suzanne Denbo Jaffe CW '65, George A. Weiss W '65, and James Riepe W '65.

Percy Deift, professor of mathematics, has been named the Francis J. Carey Term Professor in Mathematics in SAS. Dr. Deift came to Penn in January of this year from NYU, where he served as a professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. His research interests include spectral theory, inverse spectral theory, integrable systems and numerical linear algebra. Dr. Deift earned his M.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Natal and his M.Sc. in physics from Rhodes University. He completed his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from Princeton University. In addition to his work at the Courant Institute, he has served as a visiting professor both at Caltech and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The NSF has funded his work since the late 1970s and honored him with the Special Creativity Award in 1997, 1998 and 1999. 

The Francis J. Carey Term Chair in Mathematics is the second of two mathematics term chairs created by William Polk Carey in honor of his brother Francis, who is president of the New York investment-banking firm of W. P. Carey & Co., Inc. Francis graduated from the College with a degree in mathematics in 1945 and from Penn's Law School in 1949, while William graduated from Wharton in 1953. In addition to his generous financial support, particularly to economics, William Carey provides valuable leadership in the Penn community.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 15, December 12, 2000