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At Martin Meyerson's memorial service, Amy Guttman discusses how the past president has impacted her life and leadership Credit: Lauren Rubinfeld

Correction appended

If you are looking for an example of what a "full" life looks like, you'll find it with Martin Meyerson.

Meyerson, Penn President from 1970 to 1981, succumbed to prostate cancer this past June at the age of 84. A memorial service was held in his honor last Friday inside the Harrison Auditorium of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Although student attendance was in short supply, the auditorium was packed with Meyerson's friends, family, colleagues and admirers.

Seated upon a stage adorned with flowers, notable academic luminaries commented on the life that was and the effects that still linger.

"Today, we gather at the University of Pennsylvania to celebrate a life lived to the fullest and so beautifully to scale," President Amy Gutmann said, noticeably moved during the ceremony. "The more I learned about Martin, the more I admired him. The more I learned from Martin, the more I loved him."

Among Meyerson's accomplishments are his creation of the School of Arts and Sciences, the freshman seminar program and the College House system, as well as overseeing the transformation of College Green to Blanch Levy Park.

Meyerson also strove to implement the first affirmative action program at Penn.

With a slideshow of pictures of Meyerson's life in the background, former Penn President Vartan Gregorian reminisced about the more humorous moments in Meyerson's life.

Gregorian's wife, Clare Gregorian, recalled that "Martin had the most adorable smile. He was a wonderful story teller."

Though the mood was somewhat somber, the general atmosphere of the elaborate rotunda was one of deep-seeded respect and adoration for a man who, according to Gregorian, did "so much for so many for so long."

As the ceremony came to its conclusion, Meyerson's eldest son, Adam, closed with a reading from Genesis: "And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good."

Meyerson is survived by Margy, his loving wife of 61 years, as well as two sons, two daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.

Correction: This article incorrectly lists Vartan Gregorian as a former Penn president. He is in fact a former Penn Provost and former president of Brown University

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