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Honors for President Judith Rodin

The Philadelphia Award For 2003

"Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania, scholar, author, teacher, catalyst for neighborhood change, trailblazer in higher education, champion of public education, and builder of bridges among people of all backgrounds," has been named winner of The Philadelphia Award for 2003. The award is presented to a citizen of the region who has done the most to "advance the best and largest interest" of the community.

Dr. Rodin, the first woman to head an Ivy League institution, receives Philadelphia's highest honor for advancing a multitude of initiatives that have positively impacted Penn, its neighborhood and the entire Philadelphia region, according to William J. Marrazzo, chair of the Philadelphia Award Trustees, and President and CEO of WHYY.

Mr. Marrazzo said, "She is being recognized for her unwavering commitment to elevating the economy of West Philadelphia and the quality of life for its residents; for her leadership roles in galvanizing Philadelphia's higher education institutions in order to keep the region's brightest graduates here and for promoting the region as a high-tech business location."

When Dr. Rodin accepts The Award at a ceremony this September, she will join the ranks of a prestigious group of distinguished leaders who have won the Award. The Award, which bestows a $25,000 honorarium, was established in 1921 by Pulitzer-Prize winning author and philanthropist Edward W. Bok.

"I am enormously honored to be named as this year's winner of The Philadelphia Award," Dr. Rodin said. "This prestigious award is deeply meaningful to me, as it recognizes the recipient's commitment to improving the life of our community, a role that I have embraced throughout my ten years at Penn. From the beginning of my tenure, I have striven to demonstrate Penn's commitment to its community, through a host of programs and initiatives to help spur economic development, educational opportunity, business growth and quality of life enhancements. I am also deeply honored to join the company of so many distinguished former recipients, who, like me, share a deep love for Philadelphia and its citizens." 

2004 Models of Excellence Award

Vice President for Human Resources John Heuer made the following remarks at the Models of Excellence ceremony on May 6 when he presented an Award to President Rodin.

"Dr. Rodin, we are going to miss you on this stage. You have provided extraordinary leadership, guidance, and support for this program, and supported so many others, that have enriched staff experiences at Penn." 

During your tenure as President:

You created a more positive work experience at Penn by encouraging and participating in many appreciation and recognition activities, including:

  • The annual spring picnic,
  • An expanded length of service awards program,
  • The Models of Excellence Program.

You responded to staff members' professional development aspirations by supporting:

  • Our Career Coach program,
  • Learning and education activities,
  • Performance appraisal feedback.

You supported:

  • A modification of our retirement plan, bringing our weekly paid staff into the same plan as our monthly paid staff and our faculty parity that they had requested for years.

You encouraged a more supportive work environment by endorsing:

  • Flexible Work Options;
  • A Workplace Issue Resolution Program;
  • The expansion of our free counseling program for faculty and staff grappling with personal life challenges (the EAP)

You showed your concern for work and family issues by supporting programs on campus for family members, including:

  • The Fall Penn Family Day, 
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day,
  • Snow Day Child Care,
  • A program to provide information and support to staff dealing with dependent care issues, from pre-school to elder care challenges.

For all this and so much more, we want to recognize you as a Model of Excellence for the University of Pennsylvania.

NYU and Brown Honorary Degrees

Dr. Judith Rodin received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from New York University at their 172nd commencement on May 13. She was one of five recipients.

Dr. Rodin will also receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Brown University's 236th Commencement on May 31. She will receive her degree along with eight other recipients.

Click here for the honorary degree from Penn which was conferred at Commencement.

School  of Veterinary Medicine's Bellwether Medal

During the groundbreaking ceremonies for the School of Veterinary Medicine's new Teaching and Research building on April 17, Dean Alan M. Kelly presented President Judith Rodin the School's Silver Bellwether Medal. Dean Kelly thanked Dr. Rodin for her contributions to the School and the University, reading the following citation:


Resolved, Judith Rodin as President you have expanded the scope of possibilities for the University of Pennsylvania's students, staff and faculty, while simultaneously including the citizens in the surrounding west Philadelphia area. The School of Veterinary Medicine congratulates you on your unique visualization and leadership that has enhanced the University in higher education, research and client care; Penn is now at the apex of the Ivies. As never before you have brought passion and verve to Penn,

Resolved, Judith Rodin through your insight and support the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appropriation for the School has more than trebled. This was a direct result of your fair-mindedness. Equally important, was your presence at appropriation hearing in Harrisburg whereupon you reinforced the School's request for State funds. Your presentations at these hearing were distinctively scintillating and you greatly impressed the assembly with your intellect and eloquence. You gathered immense respect among the Commonwealth's General Assembly. In so doing, time after time, you paved the way for approval of the School's funding appeal,

Resolved, Judith Rodin your effective lobbying of the Governor for "brick and mortor" funds led to this glorious day of groundbreaking for a new Teaching and research Building; we are enormously grateful. It is safe to say that we would not be here today without your vigorous support in Harrisburg.
Resolved, Judith Rodin for all of your magnanimous contributions tot he University of Pennsylvania we are immeasurably thankful. We, however, shall fondly remember the Rodin Years as a time of special friendship to the School of Veterinary Medicine.

As a token of our immense appreciation and esteem, I am pleased to award you the School's highest honor, the Silver Bellwether Medal.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 34, May 25, 2004