Sean Penn to Speak at USC Mann’s 2024 Commencement

The humanitarian, actor and director will address the graduating class at the Mann School’s 117th commencement ceremony.

Academy Award-winning actor, filmmaker and philanthropist Sean Penn will deliver the keynote address at the USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ 2024 commencement on Saturday, May 11.

The ceremony will honor 351 graduates who have earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in pharmacy, pharmacology and drug development, regulatory science and related fields, along with 26 residents and 34 fellows.

In addition to Penn’s world-renowned acting and directing career spanning 50+ films — including Oscar-winning roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008) — he is also the co-founder and chairman of the global humanitarian nonprofit organization CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort).

Driven by an ethical imperative to save lives and aid vulnerable communities, Penn originated CORE to distribute aid in Haiti following the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. More recently, CORE partnered with USC Mann and Los Angeles agencies to operate the country’s largest COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution mega-site at Dodger Stadium. Currently, CORE is providing vital humanitarian relief to those in need amid the dire crisis in Ukraine, Haiti, Sudan and beyond, while also continuing impactful programs in the United States that focus on emergency response and preparedness, addressing climate change and health access.

“Sean Penn worked selflessly with us to raise the awareness needed to stop COVID-19’s spread. He also showed the importance of uniting diverse communities in times of a healthcare crisis,” says USC Mann Dean Vassilios Papadopoulos. “With his support of our mission and bringing people together to save and improve lives, I know that our graduates, their families and guests will be inspired by his remarks.”

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