Higher ed as ‘hubs for common ground’

At the Wharton Global Forum in Shanghai, Penn President Amy Gutmann said high-quality higher education has the potential to transform lives, communities, and the world.

Penn President Amy Gutmann (center) and M. Grace Calhoun, the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W’69 Director of Athletics and Recreation (on Gutmann’s right), join friends and alumni of Penn at the Wharton Global Forum in Shanghai for International Women’s Day.

Penn President Amy Gutmann capped a trip to Asia with a stop in Shanghai at the 53rd Wharton Global Forum (pictured). Speaking on March 8, International Women’s Day, Gutmann said it is a day when people reflect on the progress women have made in areas like civic life and business—but real gaps, especially in education opportunities, persist. 

Higher education can be that change agent. “Few if any investments in the world have greater power than higher education to drive peace, prosperity, and technological, medical, and social advances,” Gutmann said. High-quality higher education has the potential to transform lives of individuals, and also “the fortunes of their families, the prospects of their communities, and the fate of our world.”

“When we pour our passion, our focus, and our resources into growing educational opportunity for everyone, our colleges and universities become something truly unique. They become engines for understanding. They serve as hubs for common ground.”