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Mayor Ed Rendell has accepted an invitation to speak at this year's Ivy Day, Senior Class President Matt Canner confirmed last night. Canner said Rendell is a perfect choice to speak at the annual event, where the Ivy Day plaque of the graduating class is presented. "[Ivy Day] is usually one of the more fun events during Senior Week," Canner said. "[Rendell] fits in with that because he has a very good sense humor and is a good speaker." Another speaking position for Senior Week was filled last week when Commission on Strengthening the Community Chairperson Gloria Chisum accepted an invitation to give the Baccalaureate address. Interim President Claire Fagin, who picked the Baccalaureate speaker with University Chaplain Stanley Johnson, said she believes Chisum is a good choice because of her involvement in the University over the past year. Fagin said Chisum is a most active alumna, devoting her "love and time" to the University. Johnson cited Chisum's involvement in the Commission as a major reason why she was chosen. "I think she's had a very significant role in the life of the University this year," Johnson said last night. "I think that with heading the Commission this year, it makes it a very appropriate choice." Fagin voiced similar sentiments. She said the Commission has a lot to do with students' increased involvement in the University. Fagin said Chisum's University involvement is indicative of the positive changes that the University is presently undergoing. "[The University] has been trying to reconcile students' views over the past year," Fagin said last night. "The Commission has exemplified this [change] and [Chisum] exemplifies the leadership of this." Because Chisum and the Commission have developed "the blueprint" for the future of the University, Fagin said she couldn't think of anyone better to give the Baccalaureate address. Chisum was unavailable for comment last night. The five recipients of honorary degrees are architect and urban designer Denise Scott Brown; photographer Mary Ellen Mark; Brandeis University President Samuel O. Thier; Emeritus Professor of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of the Witwasrand Philip V. Tobias; and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Commencement speaker Henry G. Cisneros. Ward Goodenough, emeritus professor of the Anthropology Department and chair of the University Council on Honorary Degrees, said the recipients were chosen because of their incredible accomplishments in the sciences, humanities, fine arts and performing arts. The council recommends the degree recipients to the University Board of Trustees, which makes the final decision. Goodenough said an individual's relation to the University is also a consideration when choosing honorary degree recipients. "We look at nominees from the point of view of their accomplishments and what connections they've had with Penn," Goodenough said. "[It is] more appropriate to give [an honorary degree] to someone who has had something to do with Penn than someone with equal qualifications who has not."

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