22 Oct UPenn – University of Pennsylvania
UPenn is the shortened version of the more formal University of Pennsylvania full name given to the private college located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school that is also commonly referred to simply as Penn is a prestigious school that predates the formation of the United States of America.
UPenn was originally known as the Academy of Philadelphia when the Church of England influenced school first opened its doors in 1740. Being one of the nine oldest institutions of higher learning in North America garners UPenn the privilege of being among the select few schools that can claim membership in the group known as the Colonial Colleges. Seven of the nine Colonial Colleges went on to become members of the highly touted academic grouping known as the Ivy League when eight schools officially formed an athletic conference by that name in 1954.
Many schools are named after their founders or significant donors and despite a very high profile founder in Benjamin Franklin this was not the case at UPenn which chose to go with a very simplistic and appropriate title. Upenn enthusiasts curious about the etymology of the world Pennsylvania will be interested to know that the word is derived from the name British King Charles II chose for the land he gave William Penn when repaying a debt owed to William’s father, Admiral William Penn Sr. The word “Pennsylvania” means Penn’s Woods, a name William Penn Jr. was initially uncomfortable with for understandable fear of embarrassment over the allegation that he had named the state after himself. King Charles II refused to change the name and the stubbornness of his 1681 naming decision has lasted centuries with no end in sight.
Being the practical man that he was Benjamin Franklin intended for UPenn to concentrate as much on commerce and business as the arts and theology. While it is now commonplace for highly regarded universities to offer
Today UPenn is one of the biggest private universities in America with a student population of well over 30,000.
While it is difficult to predict the impact of future globalization and internet influence on higher education you do not have to be a scholar to realize that there will never be another school with the rich history and historic influence found at UPenn.