Penn GSE Kicks Off Yearlong Centennial Celebration

Incoming Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman, front row, center, poses with students during the school's celebration of its Centennial. Grossman will begin her term in January. (Photo by Hillary Wiesel)


Red and blue cupcakes, giant balloons in the shape of “100,” and a Penn GSE courtyard filled with excitement were all part of the School’s Centennial kickoff celebration on Friday, September 19. Students, faculty, and staff gathered in the courtyard behind the GSE building at 3700 Walnut Street to wish the School a happy 100th birthday, launching a series of Centennial events that will continue throughout the 2014-2015 academic year.

At the celebration, Penn GSE Dean Andy Porter welcomed and thanked the GSE community for their accomplishments during his more than seven years as dean. He also congratulated Dr. Pam Grossman, Penn GSE’s incoming dean, who attended the event. Grossman will begin her term on January 1, 2015, leading the second half of the Centennial celebration and taking Penn GSE into its second century.

Penn GSE Dean Andy Porter welcomes students, faculty and
staff to the kickoff event for the school's Centennial
celebration. (Photo by Mi Jiang)

Music, a birthday cake, a raffle of five Penn GSE Centennial sweatshirts, and a social media photo contest with the hashtag #PennGSE100 rounded out the festivities, which took place just over one hundred years from the date in 1914 when Penn appointed Frank P. Graves the first dean of the School.

Known as the School of Education in 1914, Penn GSE had ninety-seven students, three faculty, and nine courses in its first year. Today it is a world-class professional school with nearly 1,300 students, offering degrees in thirty fields of education.

The theme of Penn GSE’s Centennial is 100 Years of Leading in Education. Throughout the year, the School will highlight the qualities that have made its legacy of leadership possible: Innovative Ideas, Passionate People, and Making a Difference.

The next Penn GSE Centennial events are on Tuesday, September 30. On campus, GSE and the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions will present a Centennial Kickoff Lecture featuring Louis W. Sullivan, M.D. Also on that date, a gathering of alumni and prospective students will take place in Boston.

Visit for events and other opportunities to participate in the yearlong celebration.