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G. Holmes Perkins, Dean & Architect

G. Holmes Perkins

Educator, urban planner, and architect G. Holmes Perkins, Emeritus University Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, who remade architectural instruction at Penn in the second half of the 20th century, died peacefully at his home in Chestnut Hill August 25 at the age of 99.

Nationally, Dean Perkins' educational leadership earned him election as Chancellor of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1964. He received the AIA Medal in 1977 as a "distinguished architect, urban planner, and educator." The text of the award noted his role at Penn, where he "assembled a remarkable faculty which included many of the acknowledged giants of the profession," where "his influence, his guidance, and his vision have been instrumental in developing and nurturing an entire generation of outstanding architects." Finally, the award named him as "a major figure in the development of the design movement known as the Philadelphia School." He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1972 by Penn for his contribution to the institution. Among the many honors awarded to him, he was especially proud of the Topaz Medallion—the AIA/ASCA Joint Award for Excellence in Architecture Education, which he earned in 1979.

Click here for the full obituary of Dean Perkins.

Ms. Pond, Assistant to President

Marion Pond, retired executive assistant to the late President Emeritus Gaylord P. Harnwell, died of a heart attack on August 7 at the age of 82.

Ms. Pond, earned a degree from Tayler Business School in 1941 then joined Penn in 1942 as secretary to the dean of the school of education.

She served as secretary to President Harnwell from 1953 until he retired from the presidency in 1970. She worked with him for an additional 11 years as his executive assistant until his death in 1982. She then went to work in the Sweeten Alumni Center as an executive assistant until she retired in 1987.

As part of the Celebration of 125 Years of Women at Penn, Ms. Pond contributed the following: "I remember that women who worked at Penn in 1942 wore ‘uniforms': cashmere sweater with pearls, woolen skirt, black stockings, and black shoes with low heels. That was the expectation, and there was pressure to conform. When I worked for President Harnwell, I once apologized for taking an extended lunch hour because the lines were extremely long in the Houston Hall balcony cafeteria. He exclaimed  that he never noticed that where he sat downstairs; I pointed out that women weren't allowed to eat there. He said he never knew that, and shortly thereafter, that rule was eliminated. I remember women students were begrudgingly accepted, and had to attend classes for women only, at the College for Women. Also the Dean of Women had a  rule that girls in gym clothes must wear a raincoat or otherwise cover up in public."

Ms. Pond is survived by her cousins, Jane Horrock and Sue Stowers.

Mr. Sheehan, Secretary Emeritus

D. Sheehan

Donald Thomas Sheehan, Secretary Emeritus and retired Vice President of the University, died on August 12 at the age of 93 from complications following a stroke.

Mr. Sheehan was Secretary of the University from 1975-1976 becoming Secretary Emeritus in 1976. He became the first director of Public Relations in 1954 when he joined Penn. He continued in that capacity with a new title, director of communications, concurrent with his responsibilities as Secretary.

He was the co-founder and consultant to the award-winning annual Wharton Seminar for Business and Economic Writers. He also served as a consultant on public relations to the National Board of Medical Examiners, The Wistar Institute of Anatomy & Biology, The University Museum and the Institute for Environmental Medicine.

Mr. Sheehan was born in Winsted, Connecticut in 1911 and received a B.S. in education from Syracuse in 1935. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1942-1946 receiving the Bronze Star for his contributions to the overseas public relations program. He later served as Chief of Plans and Policies in the Air Staff public relations office at the Pentagon. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 1971. He was active in the formation of the USO in 1941. As a special consultant to the U.S. Commissioner of Education in the immediate post-war period, Mr. Sheehan advised on the development of the Citizen's Federal Committee on Education. During the Korean Conflict, he served as Assistant Administrator of the Federal Civil Defense Administration with special responsibility for the agency's volunteer recruitment and citizen participation programs. In 1963 when the Test Ban Treaty was before the Senate, Mr. Sheehan served as a consultant to the national Citizen's Committee for a Nuclear Test Ban, which had been formed in support of this international agreement. From 1946 to 1951 he was associated with the John Price Jones Company, Inc, fund-raising and public relations counsel to institutions of higher education, health, welfare, and civic organizations, and other philanthropic agencies. From 1957 to 1973, he was on the faculty of the Graduate Program, College of Business Administration, Drexel University, where he taught a course in public relations and management.

He was a member of the National Press Club, the Public Relations Society of America and Pi Gamma Mu, an honorary social science fraternity. He was also an Honorary Associate Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors, Cliveden of the National Trust, Inc.

Mr. Sheehan is survived by his wife, Betty.

Mr. Wallace, Architect

D. Wallace

David Alexander Wallace Jr., former professor of planning and urban design, died on July 19 at his home. He was 87. His wife died on the same day.

Mr. Wallace was born in Chicago and raised in Philadelphia. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture from Penn in 1940 and 1941 respectively. He taught planning and urban design first at the University of Chicago and then at Penn from 1962 until 1979. He was a founding partner of the Philadelphia planning and design firm Wallace, Roberts and Todd, LLC, and remained there until his retirement in 1992. Mr. Wallace served in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II.

Mr. Wallace is best known for his work on Baltimore's Charles Center, and Inner Harbor as well as Philadelphia's Liberty Place, and the Hudson riverfront. "David Wallace was a giant in his field," said School of Design Dean Gary Hack. "The work he did in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore was a model of how cities should revitalize their waterfronts." He also established a model strategy for overall redevelopment of downtown Philadelphia and prepared a master plan for the moribund Lower Manhattan district in response to  the erection of the World Trade Center. Mr. Wallace is also known for inventing an urban design and growth modeling procedure that evaluated existing conditions, determined the susceptibility-to-change, forecast the probability-of-change, and proposed a design response.

Mr. Wallace received the 2003 Distinguished Leadership Award for a Professional Planner from the American Planning Association and recently co-wrote the book. Urban Planning My Way, published by the American Planning Association Planners Press.

Dr. Weygandt, Engineering

C. Weygandt

Dr. Cornelius N. Weygandt, emeritus professor of engineering died on August 8, at the age of 99, five days short of his 100th birthday.

Dr. Weygandt was a native of Philadelphia and received his B.S.E.E. degree from Penn in 1928, a master's in electrical engineering from MIT in 1933, and his Ph.D. from Penn in 1947. He began his career at Penn in 1935 as an instructor in the Moore School. He became professor in 1954 and served as Section Head of the Instrumentation and Control Section in the Moore School. In 1973 he received a secondary appointment in bioengineering. He became emeritus professor of systems engineering in 1975. He continued to teach electrical engineering courses for six years after his retirement. In 1998 the School of Engineering and Applied Science introduced an award in his name to be given annually to a senior whose "qualities and potential transcend academic performance alone."

Dr. Weygandt worked with J. Presper Eckert in the 1940s on improvements to ENIAC. His work improved the accuracy of the differential analyzer by inserting an electronic component into an otherwise mechanical device. Dr. Weygandt also worked at the Bockus Research Institute, applying control theory to the cardiovascular system to understand the mechanism of blood pressure regulation.

Other projects he worked on included the development of a flight trainer for the Air Force, a weapons communication system for the Army, and a navigation system for the Navy.

He is survived by his wife, Marion Christy; daughter, Betty Davies; son, Neil; two grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Memorial Service: Dr. von Vorys

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, September 30 for Dr. Karl von Vorys, professor of political science, who passed away on April 1 (Almanac April 13, 2004). The service will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Terrace Room of Logan Hall. The Penn community is invited to attend.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136  or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 2, September 7, 2004


September 7, 2004
Volume 51 Number 2


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