Penn held a picnic and concert on Friday featuring musicians Sheryl Crow and Jeff Tweedy to celebrate President Liz Magill’s inauguration as the University’s ninth president.
The celebration — which took place on Shoemaker Green on Oct. 21 — included free food from local vendors, giveaways of picnic blankets, and games, in addition to the live music. The formal inauguration ceremony and a procession down Locust Walk preceded the event, which was open to the Penn community and special guests.
The concert featured some of Magill’s favorite musical artists: Jeff Tweedy of the Grammy-winning rock band Wilco, and Sheryl Crow, a Grammy-winning country music star.
During Crow's performance, she told the crowd — including Magill, who was dancing with her husband, Leon Szeptycki — that she was excited to see the “wonderful Liz Magill bringing on change” and encouraged attendees to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
The picnic included offerings from several restaurants in the CookNSolo hospitality group — such as Zahav, Federal Donuts, and Goldie, tastings from Neuman’s Kitchen, and scoops of specially made "Penn-augural Berry Chocolate Chunk" ice cream from Bassetts Ice Cream. Attendees were greeted with embroidered red and blue blankets and tumblers.
Although the celebration included long lines to wait for the food and giveaways, students expressed excitement about the event and its openness to the Penn student body.
“It is a great crowd,” College first year Benji Elkins told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “We have people from all over to celebrate.”
Eileen Miller, a first-year graduate student in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, echoed this sentiment. “We haven’t seen this kind of community event before, so it has been really fun,” she said.
Students also mentioned that they are looking forward to seeing what Magill brings to the Penn community.
College sophomore Tess O’Brien said that “I hope that she makes some meaningful change to the administration.”
Some students reported that the festivities could be heard from inside David Rittenhouse Laboratory, where several classes were being held at the time. College sophomore Maya Williamson Shaffer said that she had not been aware of the event previously, but looked into it when she heard noise during a lecture in DRL.
The picnic and concert were followed by an invite-only academic symposium in Irvine Auditorium that featured Magill in conversation with United States Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.