Front Page Flashback

Here’s a look at news published in Almanac at this time of year, over the past six decades. Prior to March 1971, Almanac was a monthly publication. See for more Penn history.

caption: December 2008: Easing the Burdens Placed on Patient Families: Penn Medicine to Build Philadelphia’s First Adult Transplant House

Penn Medicine recently announced the creation of the Clyde F. Barker Transplant House, a “home away from home” designed to help ease the unique economic and emotional stresses of transplant families. Modeled after the Ronald McDonald Houses and named for the physician who performed the first kidney transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1966, the Barker Transplant House will be located at 3940 Spruce Street and will offer comfortable, convenient accommodations in a supportive community setting—all at a nominal cost.


caption:December 1998: Council: Forum Focuses on Women’s Safety, Asian/Pacific American Student Needs

At Council on December 9, President Judith Rodin led off with the appointment of Dr. Robert L. Barchi as Provost and gave the first of several tributes to Dr. Michael Wachter for his service as Interim Provost. Dr. John Keene announced SEC’s adoption of a policy on consultation (Almanac December 8, 1998), and said it will come before Council in January. Except for Dr. David Brownlee’s appearance to take questions on the College House system that had been deferred from October’s meeting, and a Facilities Committee report delivered by Dr. Vukan Vuchic (to be summarized in a future issue), the topics of the Open Forum predominated: women’s safety, the needs of Asian/Pacific American students, and the naming of University properties.

Glee Club: “We Wish You ...”

The Penn Glee Club, led by Bruce Montgomery, will appear on the Christmas day episode of the NBC Today show singing several holiday carols.

PNC: Webcasts

The Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community (PNC), as part of its mission to promote “a robust and diverse public culture in which reasoned & reasonable discourse can flourish,” will sponsor a live webcast this week through its internet site,

Ivy Basketball by Satellite

For the first time in its history, Ivy League basketball—both men’s and women’s—will be broadcast nationally on television.


caption:December 1988: Impending Changes, Community Impacts

Barbara Stevens, executive assistant to President Sheldon Hackney, will leave Penn March 1 to become Executive Director of the New Haven Downtown Council.

She played a central role in the establishment of the West Philadelphia Youth Improvement Corps (WEPIC), which provides year-round education and work experience to more than 120 area teenagers.


caption:December 1978: Summing Up by Eliot Stellar

In 1978, Eliot Stellar retired from being Provost of Penn to return to teaching and research. Before his departure, he wrote a letter summing up his experience and highlighting his aspirations for the University’s future.

“The summing up begins with basic axioms and principles. First and foremost is the fundamental premise that we are an independent and secular research university, dedicated to both the development of knowledge and its transmission to succeeding generations of students. Everything else we do is in the service of those two goals. Second is our commitment to academic quality and excellence in the achievement of these goals. Since we have been realistic enough to know that we cannot do everything well, we’ve lived by the principle of selective excellence, which means that we have to eliminate or reduce certain worthwhile activities in order to be able to put our resources and our energies into our best and most important activities. Third, since we are fortunate enough to be on one campus and to have a tradition of interdisciplinary cooperation, we have fostered the concept of One University and made it a practice.”


caption:December 1968: Advisory Board Named For Chemical Senses Center

A physiologist who is a world authority on the sense of taste has been named director of the recently organized Monell Chemical Senses Center at the University and an 18-member national advisory council has been appointed.

Dr. Luther L. Terry, the University’s vice president for medical affairs and chairman of the Monell Center’s national advisory council, announced the appointment of Dr. Morley R. Kare to the director’s post and as an ex-officio member of the advisory council. Council members are from the fields of medical, dental and veterinary education, nutrition, public health and governmental agencies, and industry.


caption:December 1958: Library to be Six Stories High

The first unit of the projected University Library, construction of which is expected to begin August 1959, will be a six-story building consisting of basement, ground and first floor, three book stack levels, and a top floor. It will be located on the axis of College Hall and be bounded by 34th, 36th, and Walnut Streets. Buildings now on the site, including the Horn and Hardart Restaurant, will be demolished. Also slated for removal when construction is close to completion is the Franklin Society Building.

The new library will house a capacity of 1,250,000 volumes and seat as many as 1,275 students. Among its features will be 15 classroom seminars, 128 study carrels, and, for the staff, a working space double the present facilities.