Author: Stephanie Y., C08
Everyone knows that Penn loves acronyms, and some of them can be quite long and confusing. In 2007, I joined the ACLC, the Alumni Class Leadership Council. Our acronym may be difficult to say, but our goals are straightforward. The ACLC is the governing board for the Penn alumni classes. We are a group of volunteer alumni leaders dedicated to strengthening ties between alumni and the University by acknowledging and reinforcing the importance of class affiliation. We mentor class presidents and reunion committees on planning their reunions, we help Alumni Relations plan Homecoming and Alumni Weekend, and we give out two awards annually to exceptional classes: the Class Award of Merit and the David N. Tyre Class Communications Award.
The ACLC has been a major part of my alumni experience, and my feelings about this incredible group were reinforced during our first annual ACLC retreat last Thursday. Our retreat began at 12 PM in Sweeten Alumni House with lunch and our guest speaker Dr. Santo D. Marabella. Dr. Marabella, also a Penn alumnus, spoke about “best practices” for boards of non-profit organizations. He had some good insights and recommendations that our board has already discussed implementing. Next up were group discussions and breakout sessions to discuss upcoming events and initiatives. Even though the executive board spent endless hours refining the agenda for the retreat, each session ran longer than scheduled because everyone was excited and engaged in the discussions. It was 5 pm before we knew it, which meant post-retreat celebration!
We walked over to Midatlantic Restaurant, one of my favorite restaurants on campus. Located at 38th and Market, Midatlantic is rarely packed. Students don’t often wander over to that area of campus, but they should. The food is delicious, the décor is unique, and the menu is always changing with seasonal specials (my favorite dish is the fennel soup). From our group’s three-course pre-fixe dinner menu, I ordered the corn soup, Midatlantic meatloaf with a side of creamy lima bean polenta and seasonal roasted vegetables, and Tastykake Butterscotch Bread Pudding. It was all delicious, especially the dessert. You can’t go wrong with Tastykake! The post-retreat dinner gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better. Some people even talked about non-Penn topics over dinner (wait, do we have lives outside of Penn?)
It’s rare to be able to interact with eight decades of people, let alone eight decades of people who have something in common, but the ACLC has brought together a wonderful group of Penn alumni volunteers who do not see age as a barrier. We benefit from the voices of alumni from all classes, and we hope to inspire other Penn alumni to strengthen their class bond through engagement, leadership, and their love for Penn.