Author: Amanda M. D’Amico, The Penn Fund
Ten days ago, the campus was alive – soon-to-be graduates marched down Locust Walk, parents and alumni watched with pride and Denzel Washington and President Amy Gutmann spoke to an exuberant crowd.
Since last Monday, the population on campus has drastically decreased – only staff, faculty members, and a fraction of the student population have stayed behind for the summer.
While some of our neighbors in West Philadelphia might be pleased that there aren’t hordes of students clogging up the sidewalks and slowing down the line at Fresh Grocer, without the students, the campus has lost a lot of what makes Penn Penn. The University’s academic prowess is unchallenged – it is a world-class institution with outstanding faculty members and researchers. Every day, Penn makes strides towards new discoveries and inventions and towards building a better world. But what makes Penn truly a great place to be is the feeling on campus, and the students provide that.
Penn just isn’t the same without students lounging on College Green, rushing in and out of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, and throwing a Frisbee around outside of their college house. Penn students make the campus more than offices and a business – they make Penn a home.
We’ll have to wait until Convocation for Penn to have that feeling again (and take advantage of the shorter lines at the food trucks in the mean time). I know that at least one staff member will be counting down the days until September 4, and I’d bet that most of the other staff members will be too.