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Published on May 14, 2012
Penn President Amy Gutmann called the 2012 graduates an exceptional class that "does nothing by half measures," and cited four individuals whose perseverance and service illustrated their drive: Jibron Kahn, who overcame the loss of his father to become president of his class during both his junior and senior years; Katie McCabe, who volunteered in the West Philadelphia community and took groups of students on alternate spring breaks focused on civic service; Triston Francis, who overcame the adversity of an inner city upbringing to become Onyx president; and Zack Rosen, the Quaker basketball guard whose commitment to excellence led him to be named Ivy League Player of the Year.
"Our society and our world desperately need leaders who are less like Napoleon and more like Kahn, McCabe, Francis and Rosen," Gutmann said, explaining that these students embodied the principles of a "truly collaborative generation."
Gutmann said members of this graduating class are living in a new America, infused with the power of collaboration through technology. Already, she explained, some have created apps and websites to help tutor school children, find lost loved ones in a natural disaster and advance diplomacy.
Paraphrasing Penn's founder, Benjamin Franklin, Gutmann told the graduates, "If you are wrapped up in yourself, you make a very small bundle. ...You are no small bundles."