Liz Magill was officially inaugurated as Penn’s ninth president on Oct. 21, 2022. The ceremony took place in the morning and was followed by an academic symposium with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Her inauguration also coincided with Homecoming weekend when thousands of alumni returned to campus, fusing both celebrations in one. While crowds gathered to witness Penn football’s historic 6-0 winning streak, the game was interrupted by Fossil Free Penn protestors, delaying the second half by over an hour and resulting in 19 student arrests.
In a clash of tradition and change, here’s a look into the historic Inauguration of President Magill and Homecoming weekend of 2022.
Magill was joined by Judith Rodin and Ambassador Amy Gutmann, former Penn presidents from 1994 to 2004 and 2004 to 2022, respectively, at the inauguration ceremony.
A procession consisting of Penn faculty, the University Board of Trustees, and others departed College Hall for Irvine Auditorium where the ceremony was held.
Protestors from the Coalition to Save the UC Townhomes stood on Penn Commons as well as in front of Irvine Auditorium with signs as the procession and guests walked by.
Magill was officially inaugurated by Chair of the Board of Trustees Scott Bok.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by a picnic reception on Shoemaker Green which featured a variety of local food and two of Magill’s favorite musical artists, Jeff Tweedy and Sheryl Crow.
Magill joined U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan in an Academic Symposium in the afternoon during which they discussed the importance of free speech on college campuses. “It’s really important to a democracy that we be able to speak to each other about sensitive issues. If it can't happen in the university, where can it happen?” Kagan said.
Magill was joined by a group of faculty and students for a dog walk featuring her own goldendoodle, Olive.
Penn football went into Saturday’s game against Yale with an undefeated record of 5-0.
Penn scored a touchdown right before halftime, creating a loud wave of cheers in the stadium and bringing the score to 10-10.
At 2:36 p.m., Fossil Free Penn protesters began running onto the field, eventually unveiling three large orange banners saying “Divest,” “Save the UC Townhomes,” and “Pay Pilots.”
The protestors were met with intermittent cheers and boos from the crowd in the stadium.
The protest delayed the game for an hour, during which a group was escorted off the field by Penn police officers and university administrators.
At 3:27 p.m., Penn police officers began arresting the 19 students left on the field, eventually leading them out of the stadium in zip-tie handcuffs and towards the Penn Police station at 40th and Chestnut streets.
Fossil Free Penn held a press conference outside the Penn Police station following the arrest of the 19 students, eventually spilling into the street which led police to shut down the section of Chestnut Street between 40th and 41st streets.
The 19 arrested students were released over the span of a few hours in the evening, having been cited for trespassing.
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