University of Pennsylvania
private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



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University of Pennsylvania
private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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34th And Walnut Streets
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States

ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

University of Pennsylvania’s got some East Coast street cred as an Ivy League and one of the nine original Colonial Colleges.

At least we assume that’s how reputation is measured in the land of pastel sweater sets, boat shoes and people named Skip. We know for certain though that notable alumni include Noam Chomsky, Ezra Pound, Donald Trump, Gloria Alred and most importantly, Mark Pincus, the founder of gaming company Zynga, who gave us Farmville.

Most impressive though is that Benjamin Franklin founded the place. Big Ben was a wicked smart inventor who also loved to drink beer and have sex. And this seems to be the legacy at Penn as well, a school that inarguably has a brilliant student body, but also has a rowdy-to-the-point of dangerous history of drinking in frats and sororities, and most recently was in the news for a child abuse scandal covered up in the name of college sports. (Not that I'm accusing Ben Franklin of being involved!)

Bronzed statues of Benji can be found at several idyllic spots on the Penn campus, which is also home to an original Claes Oldenburg sculpture, Split Button. If the artwork is, as some (me) have suggested, a subtle joke about Ben Franklin’s weight, Oldenburg messed up big time. Because while we know Franklin from his numerous portly portraits in later life, we are to apparently believe he was the picture of health in his more youthful years. 

So much so that now there is a “Benjamin Franklin Diet Book,” which conveniently omits his struggle with the classic old white guy disease gout and the horrific sounding condition bladder stones. Both of which are made worse by rich diets and drinking alcohol.

Nevertheless, Penn has a beautiful and historic campus that should not be missed on a trip to Philadelphia. They have their own version of the idealistic '60s Robert Indiana sculpture LOVE....and maybe they have low-carb options now in the cafeteria.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn or UPenn) is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The University claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

Penn has four undergraduate schools as well as twelve graduate and professional schools. Among its graduate and professional schools are the first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881), and the first "student union" building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896). In 2019, the university had an endowment of $14.65 billion, the seventh largest endowment of all colleges in the United States, as well as a research budget of $1.02 billion. The university's athletics program, the Quakers, fields varsity teams in 33 sports as a member of the NCAA Division I Ivy League conference.

As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 14 heads of state, 64 billionaires, 3 U.S. Supreme Court justices, 33 U.S. Senators, 44 U.S. Governors, 159 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, 8 signers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, 12 signers of the U.S. Constitution, 24 members of the Continental Congress, and two presidents of the United States, including the current U.S. President, Donald Trump. Other notable alumni include 29 Rhodes Scholars, 15 Marshall Scholars, 16 Pulitzer Prize winners, and 48 Fulbright Scholars. As of October 2019, 36 Nobel laureates, 169 Guggenheim Fellows, 80 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and many Fortune 500 CEOs have been affiliated with the university. Penn has the highest number of undergraduate alumni billionaires of any school in the United States.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about University of Pennsylvania.