University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann’s address to the graduating class of 2018

To the amazing Class of 2018: You look fabulous!
To our Trustees, our faculty, and the parents of our graduates: You look so proud! As well you should be.
Parents! You also look…. relieved!
You’ve earned that, too.
Congratulations to you all!
Everyone: Look around. From a distance, this appears to be a sea of black robed sameness.
But let’s take this opportunity to conduct an experiment. I ask all of our graduates at this time to please stand up.

Let’s see just how much sameness lurks underneath, below the surface. And don’t worry — this exercise will not include disrobing!
Graduates: today, on the surface, you all look a lot alike. But differences are hidden underneath. So, everyone with bare knees — all of you wearing shorts or skirts beneath your robes — please be seated.

To graduates with covered knees: If you are wearing a wristwatch, remain standing. …



The University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest universities in America and one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.

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