Penn Named Best College in the Country

Do you know what the best college in the United States is, per a website called College Factual? That’s right: Philadelphia’s own University of Pennsylvania. Number one! Better than Yale, Duke, Harvard, MIT, Brown, Stanford, Princeton, Dartmouth and Notre Dame, in that order. I bet it’s that “Let’s go Penn, exclamation point!” chant that put Penn over the top.

Bill Phelan, College Factual’s CEO, says his company’s ranking is better than others because it doesn’t rely on preconceived notions of the colleges. “These rankings are based on a pure and distinct focus on data,” Phelan told USA Today. “We don’t count previous reputations … providing a more unbiased view.”

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Singh Center Named One of World’s Best

Photo by Liz Spikol

Photo by Liz Spikol

Architectural Digest has named Penn’s new Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology, designed by Weiss/Manfredi, as one of its NINE BEST NEW UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS AROUND THE WORLD. Here’s how the magazine describes it:

Sensitive to the demands of biological research and the delicate equipment the building would house, Weiss/Manfredi worked to isolate vibrations and noise from a nearby subway line and mitigate other external environmental factors to create an efficient, beautiful research hub.

Hilariously, Penn Students Named Most Polite in Nation

If there’s one reputation Penn students have, it’s being impolite — especially to workers in the service industry. Penn kids reportedly tipped 40 cents at McGlinchey’s earlier this year. Other waiters and waitresses have similar tales of rudeness and cheapness.

And it’s not just food service. “I sit at this post and some of the kids just glare and keep it moving … no ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ or anything … where are some of their manners?” AlliedBarton security guard told the Daily Pennsylvanian in 2012.

But, apparently, Penn kids are nice to delivery people. Really nice. Best-in-the-nation nice.

A new survey from GrubHub and the Huffington Post’s Spoon University ranked the 10 nicest colleges in the country, based on how frequently students used “please” and “thank you” in the special orders box. Penn came out on top.

Really. Penn.

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Penn Museum Rediscovers 6,500-Year-Old Skeleton

penn museum uri skeletonThe Penn Museum recently announced it has re-discovered a skeleton in its own archives. The skeleton, which had been in a “coffin-like” box in the basement of the museum for 85 years, is thought to be about 6,500 years old.

The museum knew it had a “mystery” skeleton in the basement for years now, but it had lost the identifying information on it. It simply sat there, unidentified and untouched. It wasn’t until the museum began a project to digitize records from archaeological expeditions to Ur (what is now southern Iraq) in the ’20s and ’30s that it was able to identify the skeleton.

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Ex-Penn Employee Accused of Theft Hopes to Enter Diversion Program

Amy Wagner, the former recreation director at Penn’s Pottruck Fitness Center, waived her preliminary hearing on theft charges yesterday. Though the case is now headed to trial, Wagner’s attorney says she is paying back the money and hopes to enter a diversion program.

We told you about Wagner’s arrest last month. It actually happened in May, but wasn’t made public until a tip came in to the The Daily Pennsylvanian over the summer. The DP reported a source told the paper Wagner was accused of stealing treadmills and elliptical machines. The charges described yesterday included thefts of cash and goods from the lost and found box at Pottruck gym.

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HUP Named Top Local Hospital by U.S. News

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked hospitals in the Philadelphia region and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania took the top spot. Jefferson was second, and Christiana Care hospital in Newark, Delaware, was third. HUP’s data also includes Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Penn was nationally ranked in 13 different disciplines, including a No. 3 ranking in Ear, Nose & Throat. (Fun national ranking fact: In 1947, Penn finished the season ranked No. 7 in football.)

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Swarthmore Applications Drop Due to Extra 500-Word Essay, School Says

Applications to Swarthmore College dropped 16 percent this year, and the school has a culprit: The extra supplemental 500-word essay the school required in this year’s app. By contrast, applications at Penn — which dropped an essay this time — saw applications to the school rise 15 percent.

“Twice as many essays at twice the length was too much,” one prospective student who chose not to apply told the Inquirer. To be fair to Swarthmore kids, lots of people go there for math and whatever. But also it’s an extra 500-word essay for a liberal arts school. You’ll be writing much longer papers if you decide to attend the school!

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