Presidential Messages

A Message to the Community on Our Ongoing Planning Efforts

May 21, 2020 - With the semester’s end and our moving, bittersweet virtual Commencement for the Class of 2020 only days behind us, we are writing to update you on our planning and preparations for the fall.  At this time, predictions for the fall of the pandemic’s progression and our society’s capacities for testing, contact tracing and treatment are sufficiently uncertain that we cannot say with perfect clarity what the fall semester will look like.

Thanks to Penn Faculty for the Past Semester and Thoughts on Planning for the Fall

May 20, 2020 - With Commencement now behind us, we wanted to take the opportunity to once again thank each and every one of you for the absolutely outstanding job that you did in moving your coursework online and for ensuring that our students had a rich and fulfilling conclusion to their academic year. This was a monumental achievement, done on very short notice, executed with grace and unwavering determination. We have always been extraordinarily proud of Penn’s faculty, but never more so than today.

Thanks to Penn Staff for the Past Semester and Thoughts on Planning for the Fall

May 20, 2020 - With the spring semester and Commencement now behind us, we wanted to reach out to every member of the Penn staff to offer our profound thanks for the extraordinary job that all of you have done in helping the University navigate the enormous challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

University of Pennsylvania’s 264th Commencement

May 13, 2020 - In recognition of their achievements and the extraordinary circumstances the Class of 2020 has faced, we are committed to celebrating Commencement like we have never done before. On behalf of the Trustees, Officers, and Deans and their faculties, we would like to invite all members of the Penn community to join us in a very special – and fun – online celebration of the Class of 2020 at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020.

Message to Penn Faculty and Staff Regarding University Operations

April 29, 2020 - Since March 16, 2020, Penn has been operating in an unprecedented environment. We commend the dedication, ingenuity, and humanity demonstrated by members of Penn’s community. Thank you for all of your hard work and your patience as together we navigate this extraordinary time.

Planning for the Fall Semester

April 27, 2020 - As we approach the end of the spring semester, we write to update you with the latest information on our planning and the important elements that will influence the decisions about how we move forward during this pandemic.

Penn Will Not Apply for CARES Act Funding

April 23, 2020 - As is true for all universities in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the University of Pennsylvania. Penn has experienced a substantial increase in costs to support students in the move from campus to online learning, combined with lost revenue across many areas of the University.

A Message to Undergraduate Students Regarding Summer Savings Grants

April 21, 2020 - Around the world, individuals, families, businesses, and institutions are facing the immediate financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that many of you have concerns about the summer. While some employers continue to offer remote work—including Penn’s summer work-study program—various other opportunities are no longer available, leaving undergraduate students and their families who are eligible for need-based financial aid without essential summer income that they had been anticipating.

Support for Graduate & Professional Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 17, 2020 - We write today because we know that this crisis has also impacted graduate and professional students in other ways, and we want to share several new initiatives to address these broader issues and provide you with support both immediately and in the longer term.

Finding Meaning Amid Misfortune

April 14, 2020 - In an audio message, President Amy Gutmann urges the Penn community—from Camden to California, Canada to Kuala Lumpur—to make the very best of this new way of life.

Dear Penn Healthcare Colleagues, Friends, Leaders, and Heroes

April 9, 2020 - Just like me, the world looks to your example. The everyday courage and stamina you show under intense pressure, the lives you save, and your unwavering commitment to clinical care, research, and education. Having exchanged leadership lessons and “war stories” with peers worldwide, I know for a fact that nobody in the world does it better than Penn Medicine.

Penn Provides an Additional $4 Million of Support to Communities, Small Businesses and Workforce Impacted by COVID-19

March 30, 2020 - The University’s dedication is on top of the $1 million employee assistance fund announced earlier this month by Penn Medicine.

Thank you, Penn Medicine

March 30, 2020 - In recent days I have heard from countless people across our University and our region, describing the gratitude and awe that has filled them as they witness the courage, commitment, and compassion—in addition to an inspiring range of professional expertise—that are being displayed every hour of every day by the team at Penn Medicine. I write to you on behalf of this University and our entire community to say thank you.

Thank You, Penn Faculty From Amy Gutmann

March 26, 2020 - I have long known that the talent, dedication and collaboration of Penn’s faculty is unsurpassed in the world but it has never been more evident—and more stress-tested—than this past week when everyone worked so hard to do so much to help our students continue their education during a global crisis unlike any we have witnessed in our lifetimes. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that each of you has contributed to continue our students’ education.

A Personal Message from Amy Gutmann

March 18, 2020 - In light of the disruption our graduating students are going through, we all want to do more, not less, to celebrate and honor you.  The day of your scheduled Commencement, May 18, should not pass without recognizing that you are now Penn graduates, which we will do virtually.  We also will celebrate and honor you in person with Commencement ceremonies on Penn's campus when it is safe and feasible to do so.

A Message to the Penn Community on Major Changes to Commencement

March 16, 2020 - To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of the University—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic—we are cancelling this year’s on-campus Commencement events and moving them to a virtual ceremony that will be broadcast online.

Update from Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett on Campus Planning Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 12, 2020 - We are deeply committed to the safety and health of our students, faculty, postdocs, staff, patients and visitors.  That is why we announced our intentions yesterday to move as many people as possible off campus as quickly as possible and to complete the semester with virtual classes.

Coronavirus and Important Changes to Our Operations for the Remainder of the Semester

March 11, 2020 - The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, presents our world, country and University with a unique public health challenge that is all the more disquieting because of the uncertainties associated with its spread. We write today with the latest update on the additional steps we at Penn will take in dealing with this unprecedented challenge, guided by current data and expert advice. We will continue to communicate with you and update our plans as new data and evidence emerges.