THREE HUNDRED YEARS after Hannah Callowhill Penn successfully negotiated the boundary that separates Pennsylvania and Maryland, the widow of the state’s namesake, William Penn, has been rewarded with a place of honor in the state Capitol. Earlier this month, Gov. Tom Corbett and his wife, Susan Corbett, unveiled a portrait of Hannah Penn, created by artist Ellen Cooper of Media and paid for with private funds. It will hang in the governor’s reception room until summer, when Hannah Penn's likeness will join portraits of her husband and other governors that line the walls of Mr. Corbett’s offices. The display acknowledges her unsung but important place in state history, but the more significant honor is in lesson plans that will be used to teach students in the state how she managed the colony of Pennsylvania from England for 14 years after William Penn suffered a debilitating stroke.
RETIRING UNIVERSITY presidents don’t have to wait 300 years for their honors. University of Pittsburgh chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg and Carnegie Mellon University president emeritus Jared L. Cohon will receive the Elsie Hilliard Hillman Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service next month. Mr. Nordenberg, who will step down from his leadership role in August but continue teaching at Pitt’s law school, and Mr. Cohon, who was CMU’s president from 1997 until last year, were selected because of their record of cooperation and joint success at the Oakland institutions that grew in size and improved in stature under their stewardship.
THE MOST POPULAR steward on the planet right now is Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Gov. Corbett, a Republican, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a Democrat, traveled together to Rome last week for the ceremonial signing of a contract for the church’s 2015 World Meeting of Families. The formal agreement between the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia means the conference, established in 1992 to strengthen families, will be held in the City of Brotherly Love Sept. 22-27, 2015. The politicians extended an invitation to Pope Francis to attend, but no decision is expected until next year. Pennsylvania would consider a papal visit an honor of historic proportion.