Study: Penn Ranks Fifth Worldwide for Producing “Unicorn” Founders

Photo: iStock/f11photo

Photo: iStock/f11photo

While it may be overrated to judge a startup by its valuation, the idea of the unicorn—a company valued in the billions—persists.

And a recent study, by the UK software company Sage, sourced on information from TechCrunch and Crunchbase, ranked the world’s universities according to the number of unicorn founders they produced. The study found that the University of Pennsylvania ranks fifth globally for producing what they’re calling “unicorn founders.”

So who’s on the list? Read more »

It’s Official: Joe Biden Is a Penn Professor

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn's Dr. Amy Gutmann, launches a "moonshot" initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15th, 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden, pictured with Penn’s Amy Gutmann, launches a “moonshot” initiative to hasten a cure for cancer at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia on January 15th, 2016.

Joe Biden is now a Penn professor.

Penn officially announced on Tuesday what had been reported and rumored and talked about on an open mic by Biden himself: that the former vice president would join the faculty as the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor and lead the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, which will be located in Washington, D.C., and have an office on Penn’s campus.

“At Penn, I look forward to building on the work that has been a central pillar of my career in public office: promoting and protecting the post-WWII international order that keeps the United States safe and strong,” Biden said in a release. “The Penn Biden Center and I will be engaging with Penn’s wonderful students while partnering with its eminent faculty and global centers to convene world leaders, develop and advance smart policy, and impact the national debate about how America can continue to lead in the 21st Century.” Read more »

Amy Gutmann Is Brilliant, Boring, Inclusive, Safe, Distant, Warm, and Able to Stand on Her Head.

Photograph by Justin James Muir

Photograph by Justin James Muir

One afternoon in early December, Amy Gutmann, dressed in a puffy blue coat, exits her office and traverses Locust Walk to her next appointment, a quarter mile away. It’s a five-minute jaunt for an able-bodied adult who isn’t the president of the University of Pennsylvania. Alas, that rules out Gutmann, who is approached by students wherever she goes. They encircle her like puppies swarming their owner. One student strikes up a conversation about food insecurity on campus. Another asks for a hug. Someone promotes a dance show. “I can’t make it, but good luck,” Gutmann replies cheerfully. A bespectacled pupil named Katrina, short of breath, doesn’t even know what to say.

“I’m just amazed that I see you in person, that’s all,” says Katrina, who sounds like she’s speaking to Hamlet’s apparition. “People always joke: Amy Gutmann, a sighting is like Where’s Waldo?” Read more »

Report: Penn Used Maintenance Workers to Drown Out Christian Protesters

Penn’s campus is frequently full of protesters. When I was in school there, student protests generally consisted of anti–Iraq War campouts, Israel/Palestine protests (on both sides), and, of course, anti–affirmative action “bake sales” from College Republicans. But students on campus are a captive audience, and so you’d also often get protesters with banners of aborted fetuses, Lyndon Larouche followers passing out incomprehensible literature, and Brother Steven, a near-daily presence who was later accused of soliciting sex from a minor.

Brother Steven would preach against gays and lesbians and promiscuity in general, and this year similar preachers have gathered on Penn’s campus. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that three times this school year Christian preachers have been on campus “railing against Muslims, the LGBTQ community, and Jews.” (“Got AIDS yet?” one of the signs said, which I guess is a “Got milk?” reference.)

But, the paper reports, this time Penn did something different. A maintenance worker told a reporter from the paper he was directed to park a vehicle nearby. The maintenance vehicle was loud enough to drown out the protests. Read more »

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