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The Benjamin Franklin Society (BFS) welcomed 392 guests to the New-York Historical Society on March 16 for an evening of conversation and celebration. The reception honored leadership annual giving donors, including alumni, students, parents, and friends of Penn.

Among the BFS donors were 16 current seniors, whose young alumni leadership has already commenced—cap and gown forthcoming.

Lee Spelman Doty, W’76, Development Committee Chair, Board of Trustees, welcomed BFS members and thanked them for their meaningful support. She went on to introduce the event’s guest speaker, Geoffrey Garrett, Dean of the Wharton School.

“Be an entrepreneur to make the world a better place,” Dean Garrett told the captive audience, speaking on the importance of innovative entrepreneurship in today’s economy.   

Guests continued the evening in the Smith Gallery, making their way to the special exhibition, “Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York.” Through artifacts and interactives, the exhibit explored New York’s pivotal role in the Digital Age, long before the rise of Silicon Valley.

The exhibit also featured parts of a digital artifact with a special connection to Penn: the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer). Designed and built at Penn Engineering, the ENIAC served as the first general-purpose computer of our time. This year marks the 70th anniversary of its completion.

A night spanning tech, business, and history, the event was true to the essence of Penn and its dynamic community of supporters.  

To view pictures from the reception, visit the BFS Instagram and photo album.