Skip to main content
Penn Notables

Penn Signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

Signers of the Declaration of Independence with Ties to the University of Pennsylvania

Benjamin Franklin (PA) Founder; Trustee 1749-1790; had four alumni grandsons
James Wilson (PA) A.M. (hon.) 1766; LL.D. 1790; Faculty 1772; 1779; 1790-1798; Trustee 1779-1798; had alumnus son
Benjamin Rush (PA) Medical Student ca. 1766; Faculty 1769-1813; had two alumni sons
George Clymer (PA) Trustee 1779-1813; had Academy alumnus son
Robert Morris (PA) Trustee 1778-1791; had two alumni sons
Francis Hopkinson (NJ) A.B. 1757; A.M. 1760; LL.D. 1790; Trustee 1778-1791; also Academy 1751-1754; had alumnus son
Thomas McKean (DE) A.M. (hon.) 1763; LL.D. 1785; Trustee 1779-1817; President of Trustees; had alumnus son
William Paca (MD) A.B. 1759; A.M. 1762; also Academy 1752-1756; had Academy alumnus son

Others who played an important role:

  • Charles Thomson, not officially a Signer but a counter-signatory of the first printing in his role of Secretary of the Continental Congress, was a member of the Academy faculty 1750-1755 and LL.D. (hon.) 1784.
  • Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration, was grandfather of a student in the Medical School.

Signers of the Constitution with Ties to the University of Pennsylvania