The Provost, Vice Provost for Education, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, and the Office of New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives are pleased to announce the Year of Innovation as the Provost’s Academic Theme Year for 2017-18 and Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators as the Penn Reading Project for 2017.

Innovation is key to advancing knowledge; innovators build on historic foundations as they move forward with new discoveries. We often associate innovation with technology and scientific advancements, yet it exists in every aspect of our intellectual culture. Above all, innovation is a central aspect of Penn’s history and identity: founded by Benjamin Franklin, one of history’s great innovators, Penn was designed from the outset to be different from other schools of its day and now includes innovation as a core principle of the Penn Compact 2020.

Penn’s academic theme years aim to provide a shared intellectual experience for the entire Penn community, with programming that is developed both centrally and in individual Schools and centers. We offer funding beginning July 1 to support theme year programs for the following year, and we invite current students, faculty, and staff to design collaborative program opportunities across our campus and community. More information about applying for Year of Innovation grants can be found at: