Toss Your Caps! Philly Graduates From College Event Salutes “Class Of 2013”

Mayor Michael A. Nutter “capped off” the school year by celebrating the accomplishments of about 300 recent college graduates from regional colleges and universities today at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Mayor Nutter was joined by Chief Education Office Lori Shorr as well as academic leaders from the Philadelphia area for a kickoff program. The program was followed by a variety of class photo sessions, including a “class photo” of the tradition of tossing caps celebrating graduation.

Academic leaders described college as “a pathway to a better quality of life.”

“Today, we come together on this joyous occasion to celebrate a great milestone and the success of our college students,” said Mayor Nutter. “Congratulations to Philadelphia’s best and brightest, our college graduating class of 2013. This achievement serves as a foundation to promising careers in the professional world, as they pursue the lives they have imaged. Our graduates are inspirational and have demonstrated that they value a quality education that they received from our distinguished universities and colleges in the Philadelphia area.”

Prior to the program, students participated in a graduation procession from Eakins Oval on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and then took their place center stage on the museum’s steps for a huge “Class of 2013” graduation photo representing various area colleges and universities. Mayor Nutter and students also sported school t-shirts and graduation caps, taking part in individual photo sessions with the college classmates and the mayor. To commemorate the occasion, the graduates were treated to graduation gifts, refreshments and information on additional academic and career opportunities.    

Dr. Lori Shorr said the event illustrated the students’ commitment to education and to expanding their future career opportunities.

“I am pleased to report that since Mayor Nutter announced his bold education goal to increase the number of Philadelphians with a college degree, that the number has increased from 18 percent to 23.6 percent, according to the Census Bureau,” Dr. Shorr said. “I am optimistic that this upward trend will continue and we will reach his goal of doubling the college attainment rate to 36 percent by 2018. I want to thank the local colleges and universities who have joined the Mayor’s campaign to increase college attainment.”

The Philadelphia region is home to more than 101 higher learning institutions and 300,000 students. At least 35 colleges or universities participated in the class photos today. Some of the graduates who participated shared the moment with their families and shared stories of success, both professional and personal.  Some students said spending time with classmates and meeting graduates from other higher institutions provided an opportunity to compare notes, close a chapter of their lives, and celebrate at the end of a challenging school year.

The Campus Philly 2013 Opportunity Fair will take place at University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce St., on Thursday, June 20, from noon to 3 p.m. This fifth annual Opportunity Fair will connect recent college graduates with jobs, internships, networking, civic organizations and graduate/professional school opportunities. The fair brings together more than 50 businesses and hundreds of recent graduates. To learn more, visit

The Mayor’s Office of Education opened the PhillyGoes2College Office and a companion website, to provide information and referral services for students starting the college process.  The PhillyGoes2College Office is open Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visitors can stop by City Hall (Room 115), or call 215-686-0315.

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