Monthly Archives: November 2011

Glee Club Sets Sail

Author: Lisa Ellen Niver, CAS’89

One of my favorite things about campus life at Penn was all the incredible student performances. I loved to see  performances by Counterparts, Mask and Whig, and the Glee Club. Not being musical myself, I am still convinced in my importance on the theater team because without an audience– it is only a dress rehearsal!! Now that I am long gone from campus life, I still love live performances and being connected to Penn and my friends.

The Original Glee Club members, circa 1915

Recently, a fellow alum put me in touch with the current Glee Club members who are celebrating their 150th Anniversary. And now, they will be performing on the Celebrity Cruises ship, the Summit, this summer in Bermuda.

Always wanted to see Bermuda? Ready for live performances from your favorite Penn Group? Need an excuse to get away? The Glee Club wants to celebrate with you!

Don’t miss the boat. Join the Glee Club May 20, 2012 as they set sail from New York to Bermuda on the Summit. Feel free to contact me as soon as possible to reserve your room at



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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Lisa Ellen Niver, Penn Alumni Travel

The Art of the Office Wall

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

A recent blog post in MIRANDA, titled “A Space to Inspire Them: Art at Work”, made me think about the art that I am surrounded by here at Penn.  From the Arthur Ross Gallery, to the Kelly Writers House, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, arts and culture play an important role in life at Penn.  During Homecoming Weekend I took the Gallery Hop tour and visited The Arthur Ross Gallery for the first time.  Their current exhibit, Double Take: Series, Multiples, and Prints features prints, photographs, pastels and sculptures from the University of Pennsylvania’s diverse art collection.  One of my favorite photographs in the exhibit is Queen, by Audrey Flack:

Audrey Flack (b. 1931) Queen, 1975 Dye transfer photograph Gift of Seymour Passman

The gallery hop also included a tour of the Institute of Contemporary Art.  Here I was introduced to the work of Charline von Heyl.  I am now a devoted fan.

Charline von Heyl

Painting by Charline von Heyl at the Institute of Contemporary Art

The point of Rachel Pastan’s story, however, is that art belongs not only in galleries and museums, but also in factories, offices, cubicles and other work spaces where we spend most of our time. Pastan emphasizes the importance of being surrounded by art on a daily basis, not only for a sense of décor, but also because art improves employee morale, productivity and helps stimulate the imagination.

I still plan to frequent the museums, performance spaces and galleries at Penn, but Pastan’s article brought my attention to the wall I face while at work.  I have a few artistic images hanging amidst my work related materials, but there is a lot of opportunity to improve the artistic aesthetic of this space.

Office Wall number 1

Bits of art hanging on my office wall

Office wall photo 2

More bits of art hanging on my office wall

How about you?  What does your workspace look like?  Do you see art on a daily basis?


Filed under Fine Art, Lisa Marie Patzer, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

Homecoming Gala

Author: Nicole Oddo, C’05

A few weekends ago, alumni had a chance to gather for Homecoming Weekend – an event that I block out in my calendar at the beginning of every year.

I usually start the weekend by attending the Penn Alumni Award of Merit Gala. Check out the video of the opening of the Gala’s award ceremony below.

This event is an amazing celebration of alumni achievement and is always inspiring.  It is a great chance to see friends, mentors, and meet new people.  Having had my class (2005) win the David N. Tyre Award for Excellence in Communication last year for our 5th Reunion, it was very impressive to see that the class of 2006 was able to shatter all previous records (including ours).  This healthy competition helps motivate us for our 10th reunion.

I particularly love the Club Award of Merit and the opportunity to meet other club leaders around the country.  This year, the Penn Alumni Club of Los Angeles was recognized for their great achievements.  Whenever I can make it out to LA, I am definitely planning my trip to include one of their many exciting events.

Possibly the most inspiring part of the evening is the individual awards for Young Alumni and Lifetime Achievement.  I have the pleasure of knowing a few of the winners and I can attest to their outstanding contributions.

The Gala energizes me every year to continue my work for Penn. After a rousing rendition of the Red & Blue, you have a chance to mingle over food and drinks while catching up with old friends and making new ones.

While this may not be the first event alumni think of for the festive Homecoming weekend, it is and will continue to be one of my favorite events.

To see photos of the event, go here.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Nicole O.

Thankful for…Campus Mysteries

Author: Raymond Rorke

Is this Penn’s new extreme sport?  A couple of castoffs from the Seventh Seal? Or is this how the bubble gets cleaned?

A couple of castoffs from the Seventh Seal?

Actually, I do have an idea what’s going on, and if you do too, send an email to The first person to answer correctly will get a cool Penn Park memento courtesy of the Penn Alumni blog.

In the meantime, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

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Filed under Campus Life, Penn Park, Raymond R., Sustainability at Penn

Happy Thanksgiving

Author: Colin Hennessy

As the University takes a break from the busy fall semester, we would like to share our thanks with each of you for reading and engaging with Penn through the Frankly Penn blog.

Thank you for reading, commenting, and share your stories with us – you are what we are most thankful for this season.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Penn.

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Filed under Campus Life, Colin H.

Room with a View

Author: Sabrina Shyn, C’13

This is the view I get to see every night in winter when I look out my window at dusk from Rodin College House.

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Filed under Campus Life, Photos, Sabrina Shyn, Student Perspective

Two Television Talk Show Hosts Support Penn Men’s Basketball

Author: Stephanie Y., C08

There are few things I like about winter. Cold weather and icy roads? No, thank you. Penn Men’s Basketball? YES, PLEASE! The team brought home a win from the season opener at UMBC, and they almost beat Temple in overtime in the home opener. Boy, that game was exciting! The team looked great, and the crowd welcomed the two new scoreboards in the Palestra. Before the Temple game began, Tony Kornheiser, P’08, appeared on the new big screen to make a few announcements. Yes, Tony Kornheiser. The same Tony Kornheiser who has a Quaker bobblehead behind him on his ESPN set. Kornheiser’s son played Men’s Golf at Penn. Hence, the Quaker bobblehead.

Tony Kornheiser, P’08

I was so excited to see Kornheiser on the big screen supporting Penn basketball, and I assumed the same video message would be played before each game. Now fast forward to the home game against Robert Morris. Before the game began, Maury Povich, C’62, appeared on the big screen wearing a red Penn t-shirt and holding a basketball. MAURY! I love that guy! I briefly sat next to him at a Penn Men’s basketball game in 2009, and now he’s back to cheer on the Quakers from the big screen.

Maury Povich, C’62

Earlier this year, Maury donated $1 million to the Kelly Writers House to establish the Povich Fund for Journalism Programs, and now he is at the Palestra showing his support for Penn Athletics. I love seeing alumni give back to the Penn community! I can’t wait to see who makes an appearance on the big screen tonight at the Penn vs. Wagner game. Hope to see you there at 7 PM! GO QUAKERS!

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Stephanie Y.

Party Time: Sweeten Alumni House Style

Author: Leigh Ann P.

I started working at the Sweeten Alumni House a little over two years ago, and shortly after I started, I remember Marge Tinsley (she of Global Alumni Network fame) telling me: “This isn’t an office, this is a house, and we’re a family.”  I found this so touching and it has really stuck with me!

We are a relatively small group of about 30 people, which combined with the open layout of the heart of our office, makes it really easy to get to know everyone personally – even if you don’t ever get the opportunity to collaborate with them professionally.  But we always get to collaborate when it comes to party time!

You are probably familiar with the office party. Farewells, babies, weddings and holidays allow us to come together on these special occasions and give us an excuse to decorate our conference room and generally pig out.  Of course, our idea of “decorating on a dime” involves taping up photoshopped images of the honoree throughout the building.  Dwight Shrute provides a good example below of how not to decorate for an office party:

It’s always a creative challenge to come up with a theme, but these men and women are committed to imaginative partying.  In the past, we’ve had parties centered around “Glee,” karaoke, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” Island-Meets-Arctic (I guess you had to be there), or most recently, traditional Jewish food!

It will be fun to see what our colleagues come up with for our holiday party next month.  What does your workplace like to do to celebrate special occasions?


Filed under Leigh Ann P., The Sweeten Life

Morris Arboretum Brunch During Homecoming Weekend

Author: Kelly Porter O’Connor

There was no better way to wind down Homecoming than with a brunch and tour of the Morris Arboretum. It was a beautiful day to stroll the grounds of the Arboretum with the fall foliage at its peak. If you have never been, I highly suggest you make your way out there or plan to attend next year’s brunch and tour!

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos taken during the event.



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Filed under Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Kelly P.

Midwestern charm meets the Ben Franklin Bridge: A Chicago Girl in Philly

Author: Mari Meyer, GSE,C’12

I love Philadelphia: the trolleys, the cheesesteaks, the tree-lined, cobblestone blocks and multicolored row homes—it is a one of a kind city and, without a doubt, one of the best places to live in the world.  But wherever I happen to live, I’ve generally found that my itch to explore has got nothing on my love for my hometown, Chicago.

It didn’t help that on my very first week here, I made the tragic mistake (which I now consider to be a significant rite of passage for any new driver in the Philadelphia area) of losing my way on these ravenous East Coast highways, ultimately finding myself on the Ben Franklin Bridge’s “Four Lanes to New Jersey,” without so much as a clue as to how I got there, where I was going, or how I might get back. Not to mention not realizing that they make you pay $5 just to essentially turn around.  Not the most heartfelt welcome, Philly, thanks!

That said, there’s something about this time of year here that has captured my heart.  There’s an old saying that Chicago has two seasons: winter and construction season.  Though summertime in Chicago is very clearly the reason why people stay through its unforgiving winters, I’ve never quite seen autumn really last long enough to enjoy it—it’s sunset-tinted leaves, it’s cool, dry air and never-ending sunny Saturdays at the farmers’ market—until coming to Penn.

I am also not the first to feel compelled to gush about Philadelphia’s food trucks, the art, the BYOB restaurants, the live music, the block parties, the bike lanes, the big city feel with the real community heart.  The locals are warm, the rent is cheap, and a whole new neighborhood to explore is only ever a short walk away. Even on campus, you can’t help but feel alive as you make your way down Locust Walk at lunchtime—the calls for participation, for activism, for learning, for joining in, for petitioning, for dancing, for debating—it sends a buzz through me every time I venture across campus.  That’s when I’m most aware of  how lucky we all are to be here as students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members at this moment in time.  For anyone who watched the cheerleaders and pep band break it down on College Green during Quaker Fest at Homecoming Weekend, you have to admit that you couldn’t deny the energy surging through your body!

Still, there will always be things to miss about my Midwestern Mecca: deep-dish pizza, Lake Shore Drive when the sailboats are out, ordering a “pop” without the risk of being persecuted for the use of regional language, the “el” during express hours, Chinatown at Hanukkah, chairs in the street to mark your parking territory, garlic naan on Devon, the skyline at sunset, free comedy and BYOB improv, Wicker Park’s six corners on a Saturday night, Michigan Avenue when the Christmas lights go up, and access to killer Mexican food on at least every block til at least 3 AM, and then again for breakfast.

But for now, I am forever grateful to be here in West Philadelphia, walking to and from my classes, my neighbors saying “good morning” and “good evening” in each direction.  Philly is a gem of a place to call home, and my time at Penn is a gift.  Now, if I could only figure out a way to stay off these treacherous roads…


Filed under Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Mari M., Philadelphia, Student Perspective