March 27, 2001
Volume 47
Number 27

Commencement Speaker: U.S. Senator John McCain

John S. McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona and recent presidential candidate, will deliver the Commencement address at Penn's 245th Commencement on Monday, May 21. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. at Franklin Field. Approximately 6,000 degrees will be conferred.

Sen. McCain, 64, has been an outspoken advocate for the reform of government institutions and has won national recognition as a voice and force for tax reform and campaign finance reform. A Republican, he is widely popular among Democrats, independents and minority voters in his home state, and mounted a strong challenge to George W. Bush for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination.

Sen. McCain, now in his third term, is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and has become a recognized leader on telecommunications and aviation issues.

Sen. McCain will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Other honorary degree recipients are:


  • Dr. Peter C. Doherty, Nobel Laureate and immunologist whose research in the signaling and recognition mechanisms of the cellular immune system has been vital in helping to avoid rejection in organ transplants.
  • Mr. Andrés M. Duany and Ms. Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, internationally distinguished architects who founded "The New Urbanism" movement, which has revolutionized the way cities are viewed and redeveloped.
  • Dr. Daniel Kahneman, an award-winning psychologist whose work in the field of human decision making has influenced fields such as economics, marketing, the social sciences, and political science.
  • Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, an educator and leader, has won national acclaim for her efforts to open higher education--particularly elite private institutions--to students from all economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

This year's Baccalaureate speaker will be Reverend Dr. Floyd H. Flake, former (six term) U.S. Representative, and the senior pastor of the 10,000-member Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Queens, New York, where he has served since 1976. Under Dr. Flake's leadership, the church has become a model for faith-based development across the country.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony, an interfaith program that includes music, readings and prayers, will take place in Irvine Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, May 20. There will be two consecutive ceremonies at 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Ed. Note: CLICK HERE for more on the Honorary Degree recipients, including the Commencement Speaker. CLICK HERE for more on the Baccalaureate Speaker. For commencement information see the website: www.upenn.edu/commencement or call the hotline: (215) 573-GRAD.

Total Undergrad Charges: 4.9% Increase for 2001-02

Total undergraduate charges for tuition, fees, room and board at Penn will increase 4.9 percent for the 2001-2002 academic year from $32,996 in 2000-2001 to $34,614 in 2001-2002. The increase was approved on Thursday by the Board of Trustees.

Tuition and fees for undergraduate students for the 2001-2002 academic year will increase 5.8 percent, from $25,170 to $26,630, and average residential charges will increase 2 percent, from $7,826 to $7,984, yielding an increase in total charges of 4.9 percent.

Total student charges at Penn for the 2001-2002 academic year are expected to be in line with those at other institutions in the Ivy League, based on charges already announced at Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale. Including this increase for 2001-2002, Penn's average annual increase in total student charges has been 3.9% over the past four years, which is average for its peer group.

"Tuition is a vital source of revenue at Penn," President Judith Rodin said. "It provides the resources we need to pay world-class faculty, support our academic programs and maintain our facilities and campus. As always, for students who cannot afford to pay the entire bill, we make it possible for them to attend Penn through financial aid."

In the coming year, Penn will continue its longstanding need-blind admission policy, admitting students based on academic achievement without regard for their ability to pay.

"We have had a competitive financial-aid program for many years and are very proud of the financial assistance we are able to offer our students," Dr. Rodin said. "Nearly 40 percent of this year's entering class received financial-aid packages consisting of a combination of University grants and loans. We are continuing our commitment to reduce the debt burden on our students by increasing the number of institutional grants offered to students and reducing loans. In fact, 25 percent of freshmen receiving financial aid this year received grants alone--and no loans whatsoever--and we expect that percentage to increase next year."

Penn continues to experience exceptional demand from the nation's top high school graduates. Last year, the University received 18,800 applications for 2,350 places.

"We have implemented a number of key strategic initiatives that have combined to make Penn a top choice for the nation's best students and faculty," Dr. Rodin said. "Some of those initiatives include the continuing recruitment of internationally-recognized faculty, recently approved plans for a new Genomics Institute, the completion of the Perelman Quadrangle, the renovation of the Quadrangle student housing complex, and state-of-the-art fitness and recreation facility," Dr. Rodin said.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 27, March 27, 2001