Afternoon Tea with Eric Furda, Dean of Admissions!

eric furda

Friday, September 16th 4-5:30pm

Dean Eric Furda ’87 has been the Dean of Admissions at Penn since 2008, He began his career in admissions at Penn as regional director from 1987 to 1991, and later became executive director of undergraduate admissions at Columbia. He is also a sprint football legend.

Afternoon Teas with Philo provide an opportunity for anyone to interact with a distinguished visitor in an informal setting. Located in Philo’s Harrison Presidential Library, 4th Floor College Hall, teas generally consist of a short talk followed by a Q&A session. Treats and teas (of course!) will be served. All are welcome.

Kojo Minta ’11 ( 1987-2011) was one of Philomathean Society’s most active and passionate Tea Chairs, whose wit, thoughtfulness and brilliance became a standard of character in the Society. The Kojo Minta Memorial Tea Series is named in his honor.

Philo is a student group for those who like ideas. We host and arrange events, teas, discussions, debates, exhibitions, and more. Come visit us on our historical halls on the 4th Floor of College Hall!

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Meeting the Second: Mysteries in the Ancient World

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Friday, September 16 at 8:26 PM

Who were the Gnostics? The Sethians, the Orphics, the Hermetics, the Asklepions? This week’s literary exercise will explore these and other questions you didn’t know you didn’t know. Picking up where Mr. Freeman left off at Meeting the First, junior member Jeremy Cohen will take us on a journey through the fringes of the Roman Empire. Starting with a fragment of Plato’s Republic, we will reconstruct an eerie, enigmatic world and trace its threads to modern rites of pledging and initiation. Who knows? The secrets of Eleusis may help you get into Owls brunch.

Founded in 1813, Philo is a student-run literary society that arranges and hosts public events, teas, discussions, debates, exhibitions, and more. Check us out at

General Meetings are held eight Fridays a semester with food and potation. They feature Reports on the Society’s news and functions; a Stump Debate, by nature a whimsical and largely meaningless pancration; a Literary Exercise, wherein a member presents on a topic of their choice; and some vestigial slack-fill of arcane & unfounded traditions, best not taken seriously at all.

Please use the East Entrance of College Hall, by Fisher Fine Arts Library.

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Dr. Jane Goodall: The Philomathean Society Annual Oration

Dr. Jane Goodall with Motambo, an orphan at the JGI Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center.

Dr. Jane Goodall with Motambo, an orphan at the JGI Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center.

Thursday, September 29 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Harrison Auditorium at Penn Museum

We is proud to announce our 2016-2017 Annual Oration, featuring Jane Goodall! Following the Oration, there will be a book signing with Dr. Jane Goodall. A limited number of books will be available for purchase for $20.00 cash or Venmo.

As per Philo’s mission statement of increasing intellectual accessibility, the Annual Oration is free and public.

Jane Goodall began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in July 1960 in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa. To learn more about Dr. Goodall or the Jane Goodall Institute, please visit

In her lecture, Dr. Goodall will provide insight into the person behind the globe-trotting international icon: a UN Messenger of Peace, Dame of the British Empire, and the subject of countless articles and television programs around the world. She will discuss the current threats facing the planet and her five reasons for hope in these complex times, highlighting her 5th and newest reason for hope, the power of social media. Finally, she will encourage everyone in the audience to do their part to make a positive difference each and every day, reminding us that we all have the power to let our voices be heard through social media and other means.

Prior to her lecture, Dr. Goodall will receive the Krogman Award from the Penn Museum. This award is given to those individuals who are pioneering and transformative of knowledge within the related fields of human evolutionary studies. In the spirit and application of Krogman’s own work, the recipient’s research must be heavily data driven, synthetic, interdisciplinary and integrated into a life-long dedication to education and service to all humankind.

Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire.

A limited number of tickets will be released to those with valid PennCards on 36th and Locust at the following times. You must bring a valid PennCard to reserve a ticket. Each person may reserve up to 2 tickets.
Monday September 12th at 12pm
Thursday September 15th at 4pm
Wednesday September 21st at 12pm
Friday September 23rd at 4pm

Members of the public:

A limited number of tickets are available for free for members of the public. (1) We recommend you wait in line at the Penn Museum prior to the event, as a limited number of seats will be available on a first come, first serve basis. (2)
Enter the public raffle here:
The deadline to register is 4:00pm, Friday September 23. Winners will be notified by 9:00am, September 26th. Only winners will be contacted.

Cosponsors: The Penn Museum, SPEC, Penn Sustainability Office, Penn FRES, Penn Medicine, SAC, SSAP, CAS, and Penn UA

Feel free to contact Michael Freeman ( with any questions.

For parking information on Penn’s campus, please visit

*Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute do not endorse the handling of wild chimpanzees. The chimpanzee featured in this photo is an orphan living at the Jane Goodall Institute’s sanctuary in Africa.*

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Friday Afternoon Tea: Professor Heather Sharkey

4pm Friday, September 9

Dr Heather Sharkey’s work explores colonialism and cultural contact, nationalism, and Abrahamic relations. She is currently working on her latest monograph, “Identity and Community in the Modern Middle East.”

Professor Sharkey is a recipient of the Charles Ludwig Φ’51 Distinguished Teaching Award from the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Marshall scholar, and has taught at MIT, UMass Amherst, and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris.

Dr. Sharkey’s publications include “Living with Colonialism: Nationalism and Culture in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan,” “American Evangelicals in Egypt: Missionary Encounters in an Age of Empire”, and most recently, “Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Modern Middle East”.

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Solistimum II: The Truth is Out There

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8pm Wednesday, September 7

Duped by Duffer twins and wishing Barb hadn’t been abandoned? For this night only, the Philomathean Halls become The Upside Down, a region where we follow slasher movie rules and New Testament punishments are enacted on teenagers who engage in illicit activities. There’lll be enough Christmas lights to make Winona Ryder shriek for her lost boy, enough neon and synth to make Bernard Sumner cry. Snacks and music will follow in the the Carpenter style.

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Meeting the First: Magic in the Ancient World


8:33pm Friday, September 9

Cult temples and curse tablets and theurgy, oh my! To kickstart a year of raucous cranial hell-raising, junior member Michael Freeman will be delivering a literary exercise on the history of ancient magic. Presenting a virtual tour of an exhibit of his own creation at the Penn Museum, he’ll enlighten us all on ancient Greek magical practice through a presentation of magical artifacts.

To enter College Hall, please use the East Entrance by Fisher Fine Arts Library.

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Solistimum I: Bannedemonium

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10pm Saturday, August 27

As we ascend to the new school year, all are welcome to descend up to Philomathean Halls for a night of themed revelry.

Philo will be celebrating banned and censored media, from Puff the Magic Dragon to Naked Lunch. There’ll be a playlist of your favorite banned songs, piles of snacks modeled on censored monographs, and a viewing of Where The Wild Things Are, one of the cuter books once banned in many schools.

Solistimae are casual get-togethers with food and drinks for the public to explore Philo Halls. They are hosted and overseen by the First Censor. To enter College Hall, please use the East Entrance by Fisher Fine Arts Library.

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Philo: Tour the Mormon Temple!

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3pm Saturday, September 3rd

The Philomathean Society has arranged a tour of the newly constructed Temple of the Latter Day Saints. After half a decade of construction and $200,000,000, this is an exceptionally rare opportunity; upon its dedication on September 18th, only Mormons are allowed in the Temple, which is expected to serve 50,000 Mormons in the tristate area.

We will be taking SEPTA from College Hall at 3:00pm. Try to bring your own token!!

All are welcome. Send an RSVP to

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Philograd 2016

Another year in Philo Halls, we bid farewell to the Class of 2016. Photography as usual began promptly and barely at 5:30ΦST. After an Ethiopian dinner in West Philadelphia, we descended back up to Philo Halls where Heather Tang ’19 spun her Bowl Oration to usher in the Senior Member Orations in Latin, French, Arabic, Hebrew and Chinese. The Charles F. Ludwig Award was awarded to AO Director Leo Page-Blau, while the John Frederick Lewis Memorial Award was given to Yueqi Yang for her literary exercise 剩女 “Left-over” Women in China. Toasts on the Stump lasted the night.


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Spring Senior Member Reception

philo senior memeber reception

Descend on Philo Halls for our annual Spring Senior Member Reception on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 12pm – 4pm! No RSVP is necessary for the phun, just make sure to enter College Hall through the East Entrance near Phisher Phine Arts Library where a presiding Junior Member can grant you ingress.

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