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Penn Admissions Blog

Integrity Matters
Dean Whitney Soule | December 10, 2021

Integrity isn’t just about being honest. It’s about being authentic. It’s about recognizing what makes you, well… YOU… and honoring yourself in what you say and what you do.

Whoever you seem to be, be really” - Ben Franklin, Diplomat, Inventor, Philosopher and the Founder of Penn

This fall, Penn initiated an Integrity Matters campaign, inspiring the whole Penn community to talk about those moments when we are challenged to choose between either who we believe we are or a version of ourselves that compromises our values.

“One of the best ways to achieve integrity is to strive to become the person you claim to be.” Adam Grant, Wharton Faculty Member, Best Selling Author of Think Again.

When you apply to Penn, we want to get to know you, the real you. We know that’s pretty challenging because you are so much more than your transcript, your activities, the topic of your essay, and what your recommenders choose to say. Even if the materials in the application don’t show all of you, they can still work to authentically represent you. If each of the things you share in your application is actually something you care about, and you tell us about it in the way you communicate in your day-to-day life, then those details can represent you well.

“The Penn community is one of passionate, driven, and immensely intelligent people, and for our campus to serve its purpose as a hub for the sharing of ideas, innovation, and the cultivation of tomorrow’s leaders, the creation of a supportive, honest learning community is crucial. Gabbi Thomas, University Honor Council President, Class of 2022, College of Arts and Sciences, International Relations Major

We’re looking for real people, with all of their unique ideas, talents, and curiosities to contribute to our community. Penn is a place where Integrity Matters.


About the author
Dean Whitney Soule

I’ve worked in college admissions for over 30 years, and I focus on building bridges between what ‘has been’ and what ‘can be’ so that the whole process can become less complicated yet still effective for students to find their way into college.  I especially love meeting new students when they arrive each year because it’s so fun to match them to the stories and information that we know from their applications!

I love coffee, running, snacking all day, and laughing.  I also adore dogs.  I spend a lot of time with my nutty English Bulldog, Stella, and I can be very easily distracted by silly dog memes. My favorite location on Penn's campus is the entire stretch of Locust Walk, and I love authentic Philly cheesesteaks. You can reach me at

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