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Join the Penn Club of DC for the Citi Tennis Event

By: Jerry Donahoe, GCP’85

While many in Washington, DC may prefer to head out of town at midsummer, I find myself staying put and enjoying the professional tennis that comes to town at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center and Fitzgerald Stadium. The Citi Open, formerly the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, is integral part of the DC sports scene. And thanks to the Penn Club of DC, Penn alum have enjoyed a “Penn Night” at the tournament each and every summer for 20 years. Why do I like to take part in this event? Simply put, the Citi Open experience is a tennisWonderland. When not in your seat watching great tennis with Penn friends, you can stroll among the festival grounds to visit the sponsor tents, spot the tennis stars (and perhaps get their autographs), check out tennis merchandise, enter free raffles, and take advantage of numerous food and drink options (including access to the air-conditioned Courtside Club – only with the Penn Club ticket). Holding true to the Tennis Center founders’ wishes, a portion of the proceeds from the Citi Open benefits the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF). The WTEF seeks to improve the life prospects for underprivileged children of Washington, DC. Through its education and athletic programs, tens of thousands of DC’s at-risk children have been nurtured through the support of WTEF’s caring patrons, staff and volunteers. I look forward to this year’s gathering of Penn alum and friends at the Citi Open on Friday evening, August 1st. For more information, see http://pennclubofdc.com/events/upcoming/

 

Penn Club of DC City Tennis Event

Penn Club of DC – Citi Tennis Event

 

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Amazon River Expedition

Author: Anthony DeCurtis, Distinguished Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program & Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone

I’m not a specialist on South America to any degree whatsoever, so I was surprised – and delighted! — to be invited to be a faculty host on a Penn Alumni cruise along the Peruvian Amazon. I’m a distinguished lecturer in the creative writing program at Penn and my writing for Rolling Stone (where I’m a contributing editor) over the years about the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2 and Billy Joel has made me no stranger to wild life, though not the sort I was likely to find in one of the world’s most remote jungles. The advantage of my non-expert status, however, was that I fully shared the sense of wonder and adventure that characterized the redoubtable Penn alums on board. As soon as everyone understood that such questions as “How deep is the Amazon in this inlet?” were better addressed to our fearless and profoundly knowledgeable guides, Robinson and Juan Carlos, than to me, we all settled in to our journey and had an unforgettable time.

So what exactly was I doing on the La Amatista, the beautifully appointed small expedition river vessel that was our home on the Amazon? February 2014, the month of our cruise, marked the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in the United States, so one of my lectures focused on that peerless band and the ongoing impact and significance of its music. A second lecture recounted the equally long and riotous career of the Beatles’ great rivals, the Rolling Stones. Of course, this being a Penn cruise, the alums aboard requested a third lecture about writing strategies, which I was happy to provide – and I got a few tips myself! On the evening after my Beatles talk in the afternoon, our guides and other crew members performed a selection of Beatles classics on the top deck to a wildly appreciative audience. Any footage or photos that might conceivably emerge of me singing “A Hard Day’s Night” and “From Me to You” while holding a glass of tequila have been fabricated, I swear!

But before all of that transpired, we first flew into Lima on a Friday and stayed at the Casa Andina Private Collection, a superb hotel. After breakfast there on Saturday morning, we toured Lima’s colonial section, including Casa Aliaga, which was built in 1535 by a family who came to Peru with the Spanish conquistador Pizarro. That setting prompted a discussion with our local guide about the complexities of honoring the country’s colonial past. The Convent and Museum of St. Francisco, meanwhile, included a stroll through the site’s catacombs, which are filled with the bones of tens of thousands of local residents.

The following day we flew to Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, which can only be reached by airplane or boat. Iquitos grew enormously during the rubber boom in Peru a century ago, and the downtown area features a two-story building that was used as a warehouse by Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald, the rubber baron who is the subject of German director Werner Herzog’s gripping 1982 film, Fitzcarraldo. On Monday we visited the thriving Belen market, which, among its many herbs, foods and native wares included aphrodisiacs that tempted some of the more daring members of the Penn crowd. On the bus ride afterwards to Nauta, where we would board La Amatista, we stopped to visit a manatee rescue center, one of the many sites attempting to preserve the hugely important ecosystem of the Amazon. We were able to feed some of the manatees, which was fun and quite moving.

Once we boarded La Amatista later that Monday, it seemed as if our journey had finally begun, despite all that we’d seen and done already. Each of the next four days we rose early and set out in two small skiffs that each held about twelve of us. Juan Carlos and Robinson were compelling guides – smart, funny, insightful and deeply appreciative of all the glories the Amazon contains. They spoke excellent English and shared personal stories of their upbringing with us in casual presentations during dinner on the ship – one of the absolute highlights of the trip. They taught us how to fish for red-bellied piranha – okay, they fished and aided us in the illusion that we were fishing, gently helping us to reel in our catch – and pointed out the endless appearances of squirrel monkeys, toucans, vultures and macaws. One lazy afternoon a group of pink river dolphins frolicked near our skiffs, and an ordinary day suddenly turned magical. Every sunrise and sunset was just breathtaking, the sky seeming the only possible sight that could draw your attention away from the magnificent river and trees.

The residents, called riberenos [Please note: tilde over the n], of the many villages we visited were uniformly friendly and welcoming. We would hike through the jungle and then sit with them to hear their stories and purchase their strikingly colorful goods. In one village a female shaman spoke to us about the mystical and medicinal qualities of many of the plants in the region. She then performed a cleansing ritual, which was riveting.

By the time we reversed our trip – back to Nauta, then Iquitos, on to Lima, and then, finally, home – we had received an invaluable education in one of our planet’s ecological treasures. As I’m sure you know, the Amazon is under siege by the demands of our modern world. Our last night on La Amatista was the occasion of a spirited discussion about the future of the rainforest and of the Earth itself. Problems abound, of course, but the conversation was inspiring, a vivid reminder that we are all custodians of the world’s treasures, whether we are at home in our houses and apartments or sailing on a river that runs deep into the very heart of our entire human history. The connections felt palpable, and still do.

 

Amazon Group

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Spend Summer on “The Porch”

By: Brian A.

Things are happening down at the Porch at 30th Street Station all summer long!  I wanted to highlight Free Mini Golf every day in June right out front of the station: http://universitycity.org/events/free-mini-golf-porch

Also, the Porch is host to many gourmet food trucks in the month of June:   http://universitycity.org/events/gourmet-food-trucks-porch-11

I thought both of these items were nice to share with alumni and Penn employees alike who are looking to try something different on their lunch break.

theporch

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Alumni Weekend 2014 in Pictures

By: Jason S

Alumni Weekend. This was my 11th since starting work at Penn and probably won’t be my last. It’s always great fun to see so many happy alumni reconnecting with people they haven’t seen in years and generally enjoying all that their Penn family has to offer, be it a beer and a hotdog, a lecture on architecture, or simply a chance to walk through the Quad one more time. Below are a few pictures taken at this past Alumni Weekend. You can check out many more on our Phanfare page.

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See you next year (or at Homecoming on October 31-November 2!)

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Business Radio powered by The Wharton School

The Wharton School has partnered with satellite radio provider SiriusXM to create a 24/7 radio station focused around business and management topic areas.  The channel is called Business Radio powered by The Wharton School, and began broadcasting from a studio here on campus in early 2014.  Tune in on Sirius XM 111.

Business Radio features world-renowned and distinguished professors and alumni as regular weekly hosts, plus executives, entrepreneurs, innovators and other experts as special hosts and guests. Broadcasting from Wharton’s Ivy League campus and Silicon Valley, Business Radio covers every aspect of business in an informative, entertaining and approachable manner — from the biggest headlines of the day to the nuts and bolts of how to build a business from the ground up — with some shows offered via live, call-in format.

Join the conversation by dialing 1-844-WHARTON.  If you’re not a Sirius subscriber, sign-up for a free trial.  And you don’t need a car radio, you can listen online.  For more information, please visit the Business Radio website at http://businessradio.wharton.upenn.edu/

 

 

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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

Alumni Weekend: One Student’s Perspective

By Kaitlin Meiss, W’15

Alumni Weekend is always one of the highlights of my year. Especially after my stressful finals, it is the perfect reminder of why I love Penn. The reason for Penn’s success is its alumni who strive for the continuation of excellence.  The last two years I have worked with the Old Guard Reunions (60th, 65th, and 70th Reunions). The Old Guard is the epitome of dedication to their alma mater. I am amazed by their lifelong commitment and love hearing their heartwarming memories from their time at Penn. I hope that I can be half as dedicated as them.  My favorite part of the weekend is the Parade of Classes. The Penn spirit is really palpable.

I cannot wait to help out this Alumni Weekend and then help plan my own reunions in the future!

There are so many great events going on but, I can’t wait to attend this panel; it should be phenomenal!

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Friday, May 16: 4:00 – 5:15 PM (please note time changed from 3:30 PM)

Defining Success at Life’s Milestones and Beyond

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall, 2nd floor
3417 Spruce Street

Is success defined by your professional achievements, philanthropy, volunteering, fulfilling relationships, thriving children, or getting to level 70 in Candy Crush? How does success evolve over time? When you look at the balance sheet of your life, is it filled with more joy than regret? Despite setbacks, how do you define success and find peacefulness along the way? Join this inspiring group of classmates and faculty for a conversation about getting underneath one of life’s Big Questions: What is success?

Join Richard Shell, Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics and Management, Gary Lauder, C84 W84, Randi Hutter Epstein, C’84 and Robert Wolf, W’84 for an engaging and interactive conversation.

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West Philly Blooms – Spring 2014 Edition

By: Stephanie Yee, C’08

Spring is finally here! Enjoy the beautiful West Philly blooms of spring 2014.

 

Caught this beautiful corner in West Philly on my way back from the Clark Park Farmer’s Market

Caught this beautiful corner in West Philly on my way back from the Clark Park Farmer’s Market

Purple perfection

Purple perfection

My favorite tree

My favorite tree

Have you ever seen such unique flowers?

Have you ever seen such unique flowers?

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The Netter Center Presents: Skills and Drills Basketball Clinic with the Class of 1979 and Annual Alumni Panel

Harkavy-Gazette (small version) (2)The Netter Center for Community Partnerships is very excited for Alumni Weekend 2014!  Join us for several fun events on Saturday, May 17!

Our Annual Alumni Panel will take place 4:30-6:00 PM in Skirkanich Hall (210 S. 33rd Street).  Hear from Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Netter Center, Ira Harkavy (C’70, G’79), as well as from a graduating senior from the Class of 2014, and alumni representing the Classes of 79, 89, 94, 99, and 09!  Learn more about the many aspects of Penn’s engagement with West Philadelphia schools and other community organizations. CLICK HERE to Register (Free – registration encouraged but not required). A light reception will follow the program.

Early that day — Anthony Price, Captain of the Penn 1979 Final Four basketball team and founder of “Paying the Price Foundation” partners with Penn Alumni faHuey Students Basketball (2)milies and the Netter Center to host the first annual Skills and Drills Basketball Clinic for children of Penn alumni ages 8 – 18.  Join us 9:00-11:00 AM at Pottruck Gym.  CLICK HERE to Register for this event.  Cost is $15 per participant, and all proceeds from this event support West Philadelphia youth after school sports clubs.

The Class of ’89 and the Netter Center are hosting a Community Service Project.  From 9:30 – 11 AM at Sweeten, members of the Class of 1989 and their families will record audio books for children at local schools and CHOP.

For more info on any of these activities, contact Rita Hodges (C’05), ritaa@sas.upenn.edu

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Smilow Center for Translational Research

By: Stephanie Yee, C’08

I have been spending more and more time in the Smilow Center for Translational Research for work. I always try to stop for a moment to admire the Time to Shine wall.

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Incredible wall showcasing Penn’s Time to Shine: Making History Campaign

The wall is a must-see in person. Trust me, the photo does not do it justice.

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Great lounge area in the lobby next to the coffee stand

 

 

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