Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02
The Tuesday following Alumni Weekend and Commencement is always an eerie day on campus. For an entire year, those of us in Alumni Relations – as well as students, faculty and staff across the University – work towards the second weekend in May when thousands of alumni, family and friends converge on Penn’s campus for a weekend full of reunion parties, parades and picnics. All of this culminates in Commencement, Penn’s extraordinary university-wide graduation ceremony which draws 25,000 to Franklin Field. The energy level on campus throughout the weekend is contagious – enough to keep even those of us working 72 hours straight smiling. And then, it’s all over.
Don’t get me wrong – there is a general sense of relief upon returning to the office on Tuesday. The deadlines have all been met, the programs executed and well-received. And now, finally, there is a chance to catch my breath and start working my way through my momentarily neglected email inbox. Yet while I marvel at how quickly the Starbucks line now moves, or the lack of traffic at the Houston Hall salad bar, I do feel as though something is missing.
Lucky for me, that something will be back come September. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy not having to fight for an outdoor table at lunch.
Congratulations to the Class of 2011! I look forward to seeing you back on campus for Alumni Weekend next year.