The University of Pennsylvania is pleased to celebrate the
300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth.
Penn is proud to be a founding member of the Benjamin Franklin
Tercentenary Consortium, an organization
created in 2000 by the American Philosophical Society, The
Franklin Institute, the Library Company of Philadelphia,
the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the University.
The Tercentenary consortium’s projects form the official
national celebration for America’s first founding father
to reach 300. Mark Lloyd, Director of the University
Archives and Records Center, notes Penn has five great reasons to celebrate Benjamin Franklin:
1) No other colonial college in America can claim a
founder even remotely as significant or as famous
2) Franklin’s “Idea of an English School” was
a profoundly original and innovative break from
the norms of European collegiate education – the
idea that a liberal arts education could be obtained
entirely in English – one
that was eventually accepted in American colleges & universities.
3) Franklin saw the purpose of higher education as
leading to effective public service, certainly
a theme we celebrate.
4) Franklin embraced the modern ideas that empirical
study and application of the inductive method can lead
to a better
and more accurate understanding of humankind
and its environment AND that energetic, creative pursuit
of these intellectual
activities can improve the lives of all. In combining
these ideas, Franklin effectively defined the modern
and its core mission, the advancement of knowledge.
5) Franklin embodied the American ideal, that by
hard work and personal talent any person can
achieve great and appropriate
fame and recognition.
Return often to this page to see what exciting programs Penn
is offering for this celebration.
On and off campus events
the Age of Franklin
A documentary history of Penn's origins and its early years
from 1740 to 1791.
Official site of Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.
Alumni Relations celebration
Ben, Penn and the World