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SPEC announced that Serena Williams will be speaking at the University on Wednesday, Nov 4th. | Courtesy of Edwin Martinez/Creative Commons

For the first time, Penn will welcome the six-time Wimbledon championship winner, Serena Williams, to speak at the University on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium. Williams was invited by the Social Planning and Events Committee to Represent Undergraduate Minorities, or SPEC-Trum, as well as SPEC Connaissance, which brings diverse speakers to the college.

Williams will chat with a professor for an hour and will answer questions from the audience chosen via Twitter for 20 minutes. Questions are to be tweeted to @upennspec using the hashtag #SerenaAtPenn.

Wharton junior and SPEC Connaissance Director Alex McClelland said that Williams is a good candidate to speak to Penn students because of her philanthropic work, strength, talent, race, gender and success.

“She is probably one of the greatest female players ever and just an overall positive role model in the media,” McClelland added.

College junior and SPEC-Trum Director Jonathan Muruako said that the reason the two committees collaborated on this event was to have a bigger influence.

“Serena is legit. She is killing it,” Muruako said.

Wharton junior and SPEC Connaissance Director Caroline Wills agreed.

“She is not only killing it on the court but also making a huge impact across the world in serving communities,” Wills said.

She went on to say that everyone knows about Williams’ tennis career. As result, she may be more excited to discuss her philanthropic activities and her fashion line.

College senior and SPEC-Trum Director Kelechi Okereke said Williams has been through tremendous adversity but didn’t let anything hold her down.

“She is super humble and that was very appealing to us,” Okereke added.

College junior and SPEC Connaissance Director Caroline Pitofsky noted that SPEC’s mission matches well with Williams’ qualities. “She is someone who can bring a different perspective to the Penn community,” she said.

Students can obtain tickets to hear Williams speak in a number of ways.

Three-hundred and fifty tickets will be sold to Penn students for $10 each on Locust Walk, starting on Monday at 10 a.m. Students will be required to show their PennCard in order to purchase tickets.

There will also be 700 tickets for Penn students available online at However, only 175 tickets will be sold on the following days and hours: Monday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 12 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. Once the sales go live, a link will also be posted on the UPenn SPEC Facebook page. In addition, 100 tickets will be sold to the public for $50 each on Monday at 10 a.m. and will remain available until they run out.

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