On the evening of April 24, the Benjamin Franklin Society (BFS) welcomed 318 members and guests to the Rubin Museum of Art to share conversation and hors d’oeuvres among some of Asia’s finest artworks and antiquities. The reception was a celebration of the University’s leadership annual giving donors, including alumni, parents, students, and friends of Penn.
School of Social Policy & Practice Overseer and BFS member Larry Wieseneck, W’87, PAR’18, greeted the crowd and shared his thoughts on the significance of their contributions before introducing the night’s special guest speaker, John L. Jackson, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice.
Dean Jackson gave an inspiring speech that touched on his appointment as the first Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professor, which he referred to as a mandate to break down academic silos and “run over borders to wherever the questions took us.” He highlighted the three pillars of the Penn Compact 2020—Inclusion, Innovation, and Impact—relating them to his experience advising a first-generation student who graduated with a Ph.D. after submitting the first doctoral thesis in an audiovisual medium. For Dean Jackson, the Penn Compact ensures that scholarship at Penn is rigorous and groundbreaking while also engaging with society as a whole, and this scholarship is only possible with the generous support of BFS members.
During the reception, guests had the opportunity to explore multiple exhibitions at the Rubin, including Gateway to Himalayan Art and Masterworks of Himalayan Art, exquisite collections of paintings, sculptures, and illustrated manuscripts that showcase the vibrant cultural traditions of the Himalayan regions of Nepal, India, China, and Mongolia.