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This past week and weekend, the Philomathean Society — both Penn’s oldest student group and earliest literary society — celebrated 200 years on campus with a host of events, culminating in a ticket-only gala Saturday night.

The week’s festivities began on Wednesday night with a performance of works by Johannes Brahms and Sergei Rachmaninov by the award-winning Daedalus Quartet —the University’s “quartet-in-residence” since 2006 — and Wharton seniors James Kwak and Radhika Mahidhara.

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The society held its bicentennial meeting Friday, a lead-up to the cornerstone of the weekend’s celebrations the following Saturday. During the day, Philomathean Halls — located on the fourth floor of College Hall — opened to welcome alumni from as far back as the 1930s and 1940s.

Later that night, Philo members and guests proceeded to Houston’s Hall of Flags for a gala dinner. Professor of History Emeritus Daniel Walker Howe of the University of California, Berkeley delivered a keynote speech for the occasion.

Last semester, the Philomathean Society invited renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins to give the organization’s bicentennial Annual Oration.

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