3401 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Penn Dental Medicine congratulates the Class of 2013. Following is information for graduating students and their families on this special day of celebration.
Penn Dental Medicine’s commencement ceremony will be held Monday, May 13 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. Bekir Karabucak, Associate Professor of Endodontics and Director of Advanced Dental Education; Dr. Olivia Sheridan, Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences and Assistant Dean for Admissions; Dr. Sherrill Adams, Professor in the Biochemistry Department; and Dr. Heywood Kotch, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences and Assistant Dean for Clinical Operations.
Commencement will conclude between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
This year’s commencement speaker will be R. Seth Williams, District Attorney for Philadelphia: On November 3, 2009, with more than 75 percent of the vote, The Honorable Williams became the first African-American District Attorney in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. District Attorney Seth Williams is a true Philadelphia success story. Growing up as an orphan he was eventually adopted by a devoted and loving family. He grew up in a hard-working West Philadelphia neighborhood, the only child of Imelda Williams and the late Rufus O. Williams, who emphasized the importance of community service throughout his life.
After graduating from Central High School in 1985, the D.A. attended Penn State University, where he served as President of the Black Caucus and later as President of the Undergraduate Student Government.
From Penn State, Mr. Williams went on to law school at Georgetown University, where he graduated with distinction as a Public Interest Law Scholar in 1992. After graduation, his dedication to public service brought him home to Philadelphia, where he joined the District Attorney’s Office.
In 2003, he left the DA’s Office and joined the Philadelphia law firm of Zarwin Baum. In 2005, Mr. Williams was appointed Inspector General of the City of Philadelphia. As Inspector General, he was responsible for the investigation of corruption, fraud, abuse, and employee misconduct among municipal workers and companies doing business with the city. He left the position of Inspector General in 2008, to return to private practice, with praise from Mayor Michael Nutter for his groundbreaking work as the city’s municipal corruption watchdog.
Since taking office in 2010, the District Attorney has placed major emphasis on crime prevention; being smart on crime as opposed to just being tough on criminals. His recent accomplishments include transitioning the court system into six geographic zones or bureaus so Philadelphia can adopt community-based prosecution. As DA, he developed the Small Amounts of Marijuana program (SAM), which saved the city over $2 million dollars.
In 2010, District Attorney R. Seth Williams received the prestigious USA Eisenhower Fellowship award. The Eisenhower Fellowship is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that fosters international understanding and leadership through the exchange of information, ideas, and perspectives among emerging leaders throughout the world. He has also been selected for the prestigious Aspen Institute – Rodel Fellowship Program for Public Leadership. The program is only open to 24 U.S. political leaders – 12 Democratic and 12 Republican – deemed as “rising stars” in their communities. The two-year fellowship is designed to briefly break down partisan barriers and provide officeholders with an opportunity to step back from their daily responsibilities to consider broader questions of good governance.
The Honorable R. Seth Williams continues to serve his community as an educator and volunteer. He is an adjunct professor at both Temple University and Villanova University and is proud to serve his country as a Major in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Army Reserve. District Attorney Williams also serves on the boards of several local and national organizations, including Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the Cardinal’s Cabinet of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the St. Martin de Porres Foundation, and the West Philadelphia Y.M.C.A. He was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
The District Attorney lives in West Philadelphia and of his many accomplishments, he is proudest of his three daughters- Alyssia, Taylor, and Hope.
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 135th 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.
The University-wide ceremony will be held, rain or shine, on Monday morning, May 13 in Franklin Field (33rd and South Streets).The gates to Franklin Field will open at 7:00 a.m., and it is recommended that attendees arrive as early as possible. Every guest will be required to go through airport-style magnetometers, and certain items will be prohibited from Franklin Field, including but not limited to oversized bags, bottles, tripods and umbrellas. Guests should enter through the southeast gates (intersection of South St. and Convention Ave.) to Franklin Field and will be seated in the southeast, east, and northeast stands of the stadium. Guests with tickets for disability seating should enter at the southwest gates (on 33rd and South Sts.), and can also enter the stadium at 7:00 a.m.
The procession of degree candidates will start to enter the field at about 8:30 a.m. The ceremony is still scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. and end at approximately noon. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and this year’s Commencement speaker is Vice-President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Tickets are not required for admission.
Students should arrive at Hamilton Village, at 39th and Locust Walk (next to Harrison House), no later than 7:45 a.m. The student procession will step off at 8:00 a.m., and the first students will enter the stadium at 8:30 a.m. The student procession will also be required to go through airport-style magnetometers, and the same item restrictions will apply. Cell phones and small cameras will be permitted, but do not bring anything that will not fit in your pockets.
Students walking down Locust Walk with their classmates, dressed in caps and gowns, with Penn Dental Medicine’s huge toothbrush in tow is quite a spectacle and something students (and their families) will always remember. For more information, please go to the University’s Commencement web site.
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: