Category Archives: Alumni Weekend

My Top Penn List: Alumni Weekend 2014 Tweets

By: Casey Ryan, C’95

First of all I’d like to acknowledge my amazing colleague, Jason Strohl, for running a few stories in lieu of mine because I was going to miss the deadline. Thank you, Strohly, for covering for me.

It’s been a month since Alumni Weekend. I wanted to share with you some of the most enjoyable tweets and pictures (with #PennAW) from the wonderful weekend. (Note: the opinions and views expressed through these Twitter, instagram and other social media accounts are the opinions of those individuals and do not reflect the opinions or views of the University or myself).

10. @yPennAlumni: The truest #PennAW button that ever existed. pennalumni @penn @penn2004 @penn2009 http://bit.ly/1qL0ha2

9. @Penn: For their 5th reunion, @Penn2009 had the right idea for their class gift. #PennAW #ArmyofAmys @yPennAlumni https://twitter.com/Penn/status/468109660705533952

8. @gsh1984: What a great time teaching social media basics with @KarenLGlass #PennAW photo http://i.instagram.com/p/oGZXu0iYBh/

7. @CarlinAdelson: I saw people and it was terrific! #pennaw #by09 http://twitter.com/CarlinAdelson/status/468016479414521856/

6. @heatherette01: A little blurry, but a gem #freshmanyear #roomielove #penn09 #pennaw http://Instagram.com/p/oHqXqcP-46/

5. @IraHarkavy: Amazing day. Congrats to the Young Quakers, who competed against Harlem Lacrosse players at Penn Park #PennAW http://twitter.com/IraHarkavy/status/467807661560692736

4. @ErinnLCarey: This @penn alum from the class of ’54 still has his tuition bill! Grand total, including fees?? $342.50!! #PennAW http://twitter.com/ErinnLCarey/status/467785572665540608/

3. @PennMedAlumni: Our med alumni show off their #pennpride in a parade that leads into the newly completed #pennpark #maw2014 #pennaw http://twitter.com/PennMedAlumni/status/467707493502943232/

2. @thomaswnance: Best Friends Ever!! #PennAW #BenFranklinStatue @ College Green http://Instagram.com/p/oGsoFHKLYo/

1. @KieraReilly: Hi Ben! I bet lots of alumni will come by to say hi today. #PennAW http://4sq.com/S30uFU

There were two honorable mentions:

@jgoldner: When do I get to throw toast? #PennAW”

@johnbudd: First stop at reunion: Abner’s. #PennAW http://twitter.com/johnbudd/status/467425812912685056

I hope to see you come back to campus for Homecoming, October 30-November 1 and Alumni Weekend 2015 May 15-18 and tweet away.

 

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Filed under Alumni Weekend, Casey R., Reunions, Top Ten

The Newbie at Penn!

By: Ken B.

So I have been working for Alumni Relations for about a month and I must say, working at Penn has been like no other experience!

My first week was not like a normal week you would typically experience at a new work place. I think your first week would include some sort of orientation as well as an understanding as to what might be expected of you and maybe some training.

My first week included… Alumni Weekend. Alumni Weekend is the largest event Alumni Relations puts together every year to celebrate reunions, catch up with old friends, relive traditions and of course celebrate the induction of new alumni through the beautiful commencement ceremonies that take place during and at the end of Alumni Weekend.

So my tasks for my first week, after of course meeting many of my new colleagues with a quick, “Hi, my name is so and so and I.. Gotta go,” were to design a few different items for Alumni Weekend and to also design a group photo of everyone in Alumni Relations using the theme “Going Green.” The idea was to use Kermit the Frog and The Muppets as a base and the outcome was actually not bad at all.

BeingGreen

Another task that was assigned to me was to be the “Event Manager” of a particular that was located in Houston Hall (At the time, I had no idea where that was). The event was based around the understanding of #Hashtags and using social media. We had 41 Alumni attend!

One of my last tasks for Alumni Weekend was to carry the 1939 Alumni Flag for the 2014 Commencement Ceremony. This was by far the greatest honor that has ever been bestowed upon me. It was exhilarating and an honor to be able to walk out onto Franklin Field and see all of the faculty, family, friends and alumni cheer on the future Alumni of Penn.

So as my first week here at Penn came to a close, I asked myself “Can every week been this awesome?”

kengown

 

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My 25 Year Penn Reunion: Living an “As Is” life in a world that only wants “So Perfect!”

Author:  Lisa Niver Rajna, C’89

Wandering on Madison Ave in Manhattan last week, I noticed paparazzi everywhere. After asking, a woman told us, with tears in her eyes, that JLo was eating lunch. I would have missed her. She did not look “So Perfect” but she is stunning. As I left New York City for Philadelphia for my twenty-five year college reunion, I have been thinking about what have I done and what do I want for the next twenty-five years!

In a life filled with product placement where JLo is lifting her Coca-Cola glass so many times per hour on American Idol, our lives have been given a structure that we might not purchase if it were not so insidious.

In As Is by Rachel Michael Arends, the story is told through several narrators and Arends is able to share deep perspectives about how people with different lifestyles lock themselves into their own cage about money, sexuality, and professions of what they think that want and should own and should do.

Through Arends’ intriguing characters, we are able to wonder and wander. Is it a good choice to be an artist? Is it okay to defer your dream to care for your father? Most of the interactions and characters would have accepted the decisions of their friend or family member if they had only been told. Fear made nearly every character in this book withhold their personal truth.

Hiding themselves made them seem like a cheap imitation of what they could have brought to the table. Choosing to be courageous and wish for what they really wanted and reach out to receive it often only comes after tragedy and hardship but hopefully Rachel Michael Arends’ novel gives you the hope to share your story and live a life painted fully without regrets.

Early in the novel, Gwendolyn says: “On television it can look glamorous, and perhaps some people would love this lifestyle. But I don’t,” I wondered what didn’t she like? And who was she really?

Wandering the parade and picnic at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought what would life be like if we did not pretend. Gwendolyn believes that Armand “actually enjoys being So Perfect all the time,” it gave me pause to think about who do I know who resembles that remark and do they feel like Gwendolyn that “it just seems wrong, incongruous, and unnatural,” and more of a cage than a life.

There were many buttons to wear at Reunion: “I met my wife at Penn,” “<3 Penn,” and “Don’t worry, I don’t remember you either!” Maybe several alums felt like Gwendolyn: “I find it scary and unnerving when strangers approach me as if we’re old friends. I don’t like to worry about what I wear, if my hair and makeup look good enough (according to Armand they never do), what I say, or how I say it. I prefer to stay at home behind our high fences, inside our security system.”

w/ Joyce Lim Twomey

w/ Joyce Lim Twomey

 

She has been told by Trey, her producer, “I’m lucky to have this job, that anyone in her right mind would want it.” At an Ivy League institution, in marriage or in many other settings, we are sold that line about being lucky. I went to medical school because I was smart in science. Like Gwendolyn I felt, “I don’t want to let anyone down…[but] I’m beginning to fear that I’ll be trapped in this mansion forever.” We sometimes become embroiled in a labyrinth or career and we seem to be stuck. Breaking out of the mold and consciously taking a different path can be a struggle but isn’t the freedom, to be who we really are, worth it?

When we become lost from our selves, we often need someone like Gwendolyn’s sister, Megan, to ask us: “What’s your plan? Are you going back there?” We all want to have someone in our life that we can tell as Gwendolyn does, “You’re like an island of sanity in the craziest day I’ve ever had.” It is possible we have those people already if we would only be honest with them about how we feel and what we need. Most of us keep our wounds and concerns a secret only sharing what we think looks “So Perfect” to the constant measuring up on Instagram and Pinterest.

When one character with a cane walks on a floor above Gwendolyn with a sliding sound, she muses, “It’s strange to think of carrying your damage on the outside where everyone can see it.” What if we shared our fears and foibles on Facebook and not just our fairytales that come true? Carrie, a character who is a fan of Gwendolyn on television but becomes a true friend in the story, shares, “The biggest thing I’ve learned over the course of this year is that life is one big surprise after another, and maybe I should loosen up and try my best to roll with it.” As I walked the parade on Saturday standing in between the two wonderful women who were my college roommates, I realized that I am so lucky in both an “as is” and “so perfect” way to have walked this road surrounded by people who know what I look life in real life and want to be friends anyway! Whether there are tears of joy or sadness, they have always run to my side, whenever I am ready to share this rollercoaster of life.

Arends’ character, Armand, realizes that “As Is,” could be his “motto for acceptance. Not an excuse to settle necessarily, but a reminder that at a certain point, you just need to say, OK, enough is enough! I’m sick of chasing the dream of perfection and that’s not a failure.”

Gwendolyn does believe in fate, as she says, “You have to. I just saw a falling star out the window and I wished for you. When I looked up, there you were!” In some ways like the movies, we want to say, “I wished for you” and for the person to appear. What if you are really wishing for yourself to stand up, take up space and live your dreams? I wish for you that you are inspired to pause and think about your own parade and find a path that leads you to yourself and the fulfillment of your best dreams.

w/Barbara Yorke

w/Barbara Yorke

About the Author: Lisa Niver Rajna (CAS 1989) was honored to walk in graduation on May 19, 2014 with her classmates from twenty-five years ago! Learn more about her journeys at WeSaidGoTravel.com and ScienceisntScary.net.

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Commencement, Lisa N.R., Memories of Penn, Penn Alumni Travel, Penn Park, Reunions, Traditions

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Author: Janell Wiseley

 

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Filed under Academics, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Alumnni Education, Campus Life, Commencement, Janell W., Leaving Penn, Locust Walk Talk, Memories of Penn, Reunions, Sweeten Alumni House, Traditions, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten

Advanced Moving Screening for Penn Alumni

Want to see Blended before it hits theaters and learn how it was made? Make the movie part of your Alumni Weekend experience!

Friday, May 16: 4:30pm-7pm
Rave Cinemas University City 6
230 S. 40th Street

Join producer Mike Karz (C’89, W’89) for a screening of his new Warner Brothers  movie, Blended. The film, a PG-13 romantic comedy, marks the third collaboration between stars Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. Stay after the screening for a Q&A session with Mike, whose credits include  “New Year’s Eve,” “The Nut Job”, and “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment”, and Peter Decherney, Penn Professor of Cinema Studies and English and Director of the Cinema Studies Program.

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Filed under Alumni Weekend

What’s a Hashtag?

Join Alumni Education and two members of the Class of 1984 during an Alumni Weekend workshop to find out!

Saturday, May 17: 9am-10am
Golkin Room, Houston Hall

#WHAT’S A HASHTAG?
Social Media in the 21st Century:  Find out what everyone’s talking about!

Social media has democratized the way in which everyone conducts business in the 21st century.  Find out how you can utilize social media in your business ventures, volunteer positions and your personal life.

This one-hour workshop will provide an entertaining introduction to the world of social media, explaining what social media is, how it used, the basic tools of social media and why it’s helpful to understand the basics.  Workshop basics include an overview of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google Plus.

Presenters:
Gwen Shields Hoover, ENG ’84
Vice President, Client Relations, Altitude Marketing

Gwen Shields Hoover, a 20-year PR veteran, joined Altitude Marketing in 2008 as a partner responsible for the firm’s public relations practice.  Today she is responsible for client relations and account management as well as public relations, social media and digital marketing operations. A valued leader of Team Altitude, Hoover manages the strategic and tactical aspects of corporate identity, marketing, advertising, digital marketing and media relations in the various industries in which her clients conduct their businesses.

Karen Glass, C’84, W’84
President, Glassworks Entertainment + Marketing

Karen Glass is a seasoned entertainment and media executive with over 20 years of experience in the distribution, marketing, development and production of films and television. Currently, Ms. Glass runs Glassworks Entertainment + Marketing, a full service film, television and marketing enterprise.  She is currently working as a marketing consultant to pluto.tv, a new curated digital video platform.  

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Filed under Alumni Weekend, Alumnni Education, Alyssa D.

Come back to campus this May 16 – 19, 2014

Author: Kelly O’Connor

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Come back to campus this May 16 – 19, 2014 to catch up with friends and celebrate all things Penn!

Registration opens Monday, March 3rd.

Check the Alumni Weekend website for event details and updates.

New for 2014 – The Parade of Classes and Alumni Picnic will be held at Penn Park!

blogPennParkblogGUIDE_parademap

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Filed under 20th Reunion, 5th Reunion, Alumni Benefits, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Class of 1993, Class of 1995, Commencement, Events, Family Programming, Kelly P., Memories of Penn, Reunions, Uncategorized

The Fine ’09 Gets Creative for Their 5th Reunion

Author: Nicole Svonavec GEd ‘09

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This May, members of the Class of 2009 will reunite to celebrate their 5th Reunion.  They’ve chosen the theme BYO9 in honor of the Philly BYO restaurant culture.   The planning committee is encouraging fellow 09ers to BYO (bring your own) memories, stories, and updates, but of course, we’ll already have the wine.  Check out their awesome to-do list below to see how they’re gearing up to return to campus and P-A-R-T-Y!

NicoleSfranklypenn09

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Memories of Penn, Nicole S., Philadelphia

Los Angeles Alumni – Already Excited for Alumni Weekend 2014

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Alumni Weekend 2014 seems so far off. With fall colors decorating campus and cool temperatures descending for Homecoming, it is hard to imagine the campus will be full of full green trees and thousands of alumni in only six months.

This week, spearheaded by the Class of 1989, Los Angeles-area alumni from the classes of 1979, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 1999 gathered at the home of Penn Alumni President Julie Beren Platt, C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12 and her husband Marc, also C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12, for a pre-reunion party.

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This same reunion cycle partied five years ago in anticipation of their reunion, also at Julie and Marc’s home, so 1989 Reunion Chair Lolita Jackson, ENG’89, decided that everyone should gather again, and they did! The Class of 1989 had the largest showing at the gathering, no surprise since they’ll be celebrating their 25th reunion in May. The other classes enjoyed gathering early in the reunion year, and mingling with other local alumni.

The Class of 1989 had a strong showing!

The Class of 1989 had a strong showing!

Julie welcomed and thanked everyone for attending – and said that she is looking forward to her 35th reunion. Lolita Jackson and Beth Kean then took over a Penn trivia contest – there was a friendly competitive spirit in the audience and a few hecklers – but it was all in good fun.

Julie Platt welcomes everyone while Lolita Jackson, ENG'89, and Beth Kean, ENG'89, look on.

Julie Platt welcomes everyone while Lolita Jackson, ENG’89, and Beth Kean, ENG’89, look on.

Penn trivia contest - hotly contested!

Penn trivia contest – hotly contested!

At 8:00, the Class of 1989 headed out to an after-party (it seems that after graduating, the “after” parties become earlier…) and the rest of the group left for home soon after.

If the enthusiasm and energy of these Los Angeles alumni is any indication, Alumni Weekend 2014 will be a smashing success – and one you won’t want to miss!

Hurrah 1994!

Hurrah 1994!

Looking good 1999!

Looking good 1999!

Connect with your class on Facebook to be informed about other pre-reunion gatherings and Alumni Weekend details:

Class of 1979

Class of 1989

Class of 1994

Class of 1993 (yes, we’re already thinking about our 25th in 2018!)

See all the photos from the event here.

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Filed under Alumni Weekend, Class of 1993, Kiera R., Photos, Reunions, West Coast Regional Office

Alumni Weekend 2013 Photos

Author: Aimee LaBrie

Did you miss Alumni Weekend this year? Never fear–we have numerous photo albums that will give you a sense of the experience.  If you did attend, you might find some pictures you’d like to download for yourself. All of the general Alumni Weekend images can be found at this link and you can also look for reunion photos here.

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Participants at the ever-popular Gallery Hop.

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Alumni Weekend photo fun with Ben.

The parade!

The parade!

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Filed under Aimee L., Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Events