Psychology Professor Angela Duckworth to Give Penn’s 2017 Baccalaureate Address

Angela Duckworth, the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, will give the Baccalaureate Ceremony address during Penn’s 2017 Commencement.

The Baccalaureate Ceremony is a 50-minute interfaith program that includes music, readings, prayers and a guest speaker. There will be two ceremonies held on Sunday, May 14, in Irvine Auditorium to accommodate all who wish to attend, at 1:30 and 3:00 p.m. Tickets and academic regalia are not required. 

Duckworth is the founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. Her research focuses on grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and well-being.

A 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, she serves as a faculty director for Wharton People Analytics, an initiative that helps organizations adopt the latest insights from social-science research. She has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams and Fortune 500 CEOs.

Duckworth joined the Penn faculty in 2007 as an assistant professor of psychology, becoming a full professor in 2015. She also holds secondary appointments in the Graduate School of Education and the Wharton School.

Duckworth completed her Ph.D. in psychology at Penn as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in 2006. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she earned an M.Sc. with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University in 1996. She completed her undergraduate degree in advanced studies neurobiology at Harvard in 1992, graduating magna cum laude.

Published in 2016, her first book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” was a New York Times bestseller.

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