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After Three Years, Senior Still Hopelessly Confused About How to Spell Gutmann


Photo by Lea Eisenstein / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Reflecting back on the past three years, College senior Jason Klipp thought he had Penn just about figured out. He knew the fastest route through campus, the coolest classes in his major, and the best places to drop a deuce between classes. But on Wednesday, it became painfully clear that there was one aspect of Penn life he was never able to master: accurately spelling out the surname of our great leader, Dr. Amy Gutmann.

"I sat down to make a scathing meme to post in the Official Unofficial Penn Squirrel Catching Club. I typed 'Amy,' and then completely blanked out," Klipp recalled, shaking his head in frustration. "I could not for the life of me remember how 'Gutmann' was spelled. I had to Google it."

The issue, Klipp explained, stems from the double letters. Was it two Ts and two Ns?, he wondered to himself, or one of each? 

"No matter how you write it, it somehow looks correct and wrong at the same time," he lamented.

Klipp is not alone. Other seasoned seniors face similar problems when attempting to sound out the president's name. "I think I once knew how to spell it, maybe in sophomore year," said Hallie Gunther (E '19). "But now that I'm thinking about it, I really couldn't tell you anymore."

Another fourth-year student, who asked not to be named, citing concerns about privacy, is suspicious about the widespread confusion. "This reeks of conspiracy," he said, the blood visibly draining from his face. "Explain to me how it is that we see her name all the time—in our email inboxes, on school documents, and in news articles—and still, no one can say for sure that there aren't two T's in 'Gutmann?' There's no way this wasn't engineered." 

"Checkmate, skeptics," he added.

Gutmann and her representatives did not respond to calls and emails requesting a simple mnemonic device to help students remember how to spell her name.