Author: Kelly Graf
Alumni Weekend 2011 is just a week away and the buzz on campus is both hectic and exciting. Tents are starting to pop up on Hill Field; golf carts are whizzing around delivering supplies; and the meetings, oh the meetings!
With four Alumni Weekends under my belt, I often find myself simply ‘going through the motions’ and not really thinking about what this day means to Penn and its proud Penn alumni. Until Saturday. Every year, as I step onto campus the Saturday morning of Alumni Weekend, I am immediately filled with a sense of pride and anticipation. I man The Penn Fund booth at Penn Fair on College Green and I ask any alumni passing to share their stories with me.
This is Proud Penn Voices – a video project using Flip cameras and curious staff members (including yours truly) to document the memories of our Penn alumni. The results are always either hilarious, touching, meaningful or all of the above. I have heard stories from our Old Guard alumni about lighting trolley tracks on fire (yes, there was once upon a time a trolley that rode right through campus). I have listened to couples reminisce about going on their first date to Smoke’s or a fraternity dance. I have even heard young alumni refer to faculty members who motivated them and inspired them to be greater than they thought possible.
These are the moments when I realize how special Penn truly is. These people share their stories with me out of the kindness of their hearts and their love for Penn (ok, we give them a free t-shirt too). And the stories they tell – whether meant to be funny or sincere – are never less than inspiring and are always full of Penn Pride.
To check out some of The Penn Fund’s Proud Penn Voices videos, visit here.
Want your own free Proud Penn Voices t-shirt? Visit The Penn Fund booth on College Green during Alumni Weekend and share the love!