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2014 Commencement

Monday, May 19, 2014 @ 1:00 PM — 3:00 PM

Irvine Auditorium
3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Penn Dental Medicine congratulates the Class of 2014. Following is information for graduating students and their families on this special day of celebration.

School of Dental Medicine 136th Commencement Ceremony

Penn Dental Medicine’s commencement ceremony will be held Monday, May 19 in Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce Street, beginning at 1 p.m. Students are asked to be there by 12:30 p.m. for line-up and last-minute details. Caps and gowns are required and should have been ordered through the bookstore.

Penn Dental Medicine faculty officiating this year include: Dr. Denis F. Kinane, Morton Amsterdam Dean, Professor of Pathology and Periodontics; Dr. Uri Hangorsky, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Program for Advanced Standing Students; Dr. Joy Abt, Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences and Director of Fixed Prosthodontics ; Dr. Elliot Hersh, Professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Pharmacology; and Dr. Beverley Crawford, Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences and Director of Diversity Affairs.

Commencement will conclude between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Commencement Speaker
Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella (ret.)
Joseph M. Torsella served as U.S. Representative to the United Nations for UN Management and Reform from April, 2011 to January, 2014.

Ambassador Torsella was the architect and chief public spokesperson for the Obama Administration plans, released in 2012, for reform of the $36 billion UN system. In his tenure, the US reversed a decade-long trend of unbridled growth in UN budgets (including securing only the second UN budget reduction in 50 years), brought new transparency to the UN through webcasting of meetings and publication of UN audits, and won milestone reforms toward ending sexual exploitation and abuse of civilian populations by UN peacekeepers and ending the exclusion of Israel in UN bodies.

Previously, Torsella served as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, leading the Board to pass a landmark accountability measure implementing rigorous statewide requirements for high school graduation.
From 1997 to 2003, Ambassador Torsella was the founding President and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a non-profit museum and education center dedicated to explaining and celebrating American ideas and ideals. In that position, he steered the $185 million project from early concept to successful opening. He returned to the Constitution Center for a second term as CEO from 2006 to 2009, persuading President George H. W. Bush to join the Center as its Chairman, and working to establish the Center’s international program, including democracy education work in Afghanistan.

Torsella also has been a small business owner and, in 1992-93, served as a Deputy Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, where he led many of the management reforms that closed that city’s $1.2 billion cumulative deficit. He has been active in civic life, including chairing Philadelphia’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, and has written and spoken widely on both historical and contemporary issues.

Ambassador Torsella is a former Rhodes Scholar and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate (B.A., History/Economics, 1986) of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Carolyn P. Short, a partner at Reed Smith LLP, have four children and live in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.

Tickets for the Penn Dental Medicine Commencement Ceremony
All students will receive seven tickets for the Penn Dental Medicine commencement. Tickets and invitations will be available from the Office of Student Affairs. Graduating students will be notified when the tickets are available for pick-up in the Office of Student Affairs. Each guest must have a ticket to enter Irvine Auditorium. However, graduating students do not need a ticket.

Seating at Penn Dental Medicine Commencement for Guests with Disabilities
Please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 215-898-4550 regarding disability seating for the Penn Dental Medicine Commencement.

Penn Dental Medicine 136th Commencement Reception
The reception will be held at Penn Dental Medicine, in the Robert Schattner Center and adjoining gardens, 240 South 40th Street, immediately following the ceremony. All School clinics are closed for the day.

University-Wide Commencement

The University of Pennsylvania’s 258th Commencement will be held on Monday, May 19, 2014, in Franklin Field, located at 33rd and South Streets. The ceremony will be held rain or shine. Students should report to Hamilton Village (Superblock), 39th and Locust Walk, no later than 8:45 a.m.

The gates to Franklin Field will open at 8:30 a.m. for guest seating. Guests will be seated in the southeast, east, and northeast stands of the stadium. Guests should enter at the southeast gate (corner of South Street and Convention Avenue). The procession of degree candidates will enter the field at about 9:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 10:15 a.m. upon the arrival of the academic procession (the President’s party and the faculty) and will conclude at approximately 12:00 noon. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and our Commencement speaker, John Legend, C’99, Grammy-award winning songwriter and musician; Founder, Show Me Campaign. Tickets are not required for admission.

Candidates for degrees in May, as well as graduates who completed degree requirements in August or December of 2013, are encouraged to attend Commencement and to march in the student procession. Academic regalia is required.

Family members and friends who are unable to attend the Commencement ceremony may view the ceremony live over the internet. Learn more about the webcast.

Tips for those planning to attend the Commencement ceremony can be found on The Penn Current’s website.

In the Event of Inclement Weather
Commencement will be held at Franklin Field rain or shine. Students are free to wear rain gear over their gowns since they will be seated on the field. Please be advised that the dye in the gown may stain clothing when wet. Guests should come prepared for all weather conditions, including rain and hot sun, since Franklin Field is an outdoor stadium. Only a limited amount of covered seating is available for families and is located in the top rows of the lower stands under the overhang. In the event of severe weather conditions, the procession across campus may be delayed or cancelled.

In the Event of Extreme Weather
In the event of dangerous weather conditions that threaten personal safety (such as a severe thunderstorm, lightning, or tornado) the ceremony may be delayed. Persistent dangerous conditions will cause the Commencement to be moved indoors to the Palestra, where seating will be limited to degree candidates only. These steps would be taken only in extreme circumstances. Announcements about severe weather arrangements will be available at Hamilton Village, on the University’s emergency information line (215-898-MELT), the Commencement hotline (215-573-GRAD), radio station KYW (1060 AM) and the Commencement website.

Seating for Guests with Disabilities
Seating for guests who use wheelchairs, as well as those with limited physical mobility or medical conditions, will be available both on the field and in the lower stands. Please be aware that the stadium is bench seating. Due to space constraints, guests with disabilities who are seated on the field may be accompanied by one escort only. Arrangements for disability seating may be made completing the Request for Disability Seating form beginning March 1st. An email confirmation will be sent within five days of submitting your request. Starting April 1st, you can call (215) 898-7369 (voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD) between noon and 5 p.m. if you have any questions. There is no guarantee that an accommodation can be made if the request is received after April 30th. Tickets will be mailed at the beginning of May. Commencement information materials are available in alternate formats upon request. Advance notice is required.

Parking Information & Campus Map
It is strongly recommended that you take public transportation, if possible, and allow plenty of extra time to get to the stadium. The influx of guests to campus for graduation coupled with the regular morning rush hour traffic creates tremendous congestion in the area around the University on Commencement morning. Guests are urged to allow extra time to reach the campus. Parking on and near the campus is limited. For campus map, see Travel and Lodging Information. For those who must drive to campus, parking facilities are available at the following locations:

  • Walnut 38, University garage — the northeast corner of 38th and Walnut Streets (enter on 38th Street)
  • Sheraton University City, Hotel garage — 36th and Chestnut Streets
  • Walnut 40, University garage — 40th and Walnut Streets
  • Chestnut 34, University garage (limited parking) — 34th and Chestnut Streets (enter on 34th Street)
  • Walnut 32, University garage — 32nd and Chestnut Streets
  • Ludlow 34, University lot — Ludlow St. (south side) between 33rd and 34th Streets
  • Penn Park lot — 31st and Lower Walnut Street (accessed off of Chestnut Street)

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The Robert Schattner Center
University of Pennsylvania
School of Dental Medicine
240 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6030