Photo: Phil Roeder / Flickr
Ever since Penn declared a 3.9 percent tuition increase, Quakers have been complaining about the University and how it treats its students: phrases like “stingy,” “not worth the money,” "too stressful," and “not Harvard” have all been overheard. Amy Gutmann addressed these concerns this week, announcing that Penn is undertaking a new initiative to recognize Penn alums and show the student body that, no matter what you do at Penn, the school cares about you and is thankful for you.
“Not all Penn grads make it,” Gutmann said. “Some just graduate without any clue how to tie their shoes, or how to deal with world affairs and understand basic economics. But they still matter.”
Unsuccessful, ill-adjusted alumni have been forgotten over the years – but not anymore. Penn is honoring failed Penn grads by inscribing their names into loose bricks across campus. Some 200 alums, completely forgotten by the world, will have their names scrawled onto the loose bricks to commemorate their glaring failure to contribute anything to society.
“Some of these alumni have dedicated their lives to truly worthless careers, if they even have careers,” said the University administrator in charge of the initiative. “Many have worked for years to lower the self esteem of their children, so they can feel better about themselves. Among our awardees we have zero Oscar winners, no Nobel laureates, not a single PhD holder, CEO, or Director of anything. Absolutely none of them can play the flute or touch their toes. They didn't even give us money.”
"We believe it is finally time for these alumni to get the attention that, frankly speaking, they just don't deserve," she added. "Penn is a place for everyone. We care about our students now and forever."
It is wonderful to see the University take steps towards highlighting those ignored in our history. Next week, Amy Gutmann will livestream a ceremony of herself cutting a small ribbon in her New York apartment to celebrate the unveiling of the bricks. All are welcome to tune in.