Monthly Archives: March 2012

Hurrah, Hurrah! Zack Rosen at the Final Four!

By Kiera Reilly, C’93 (@KieraReilly)

This weekend, as Louisville and Kentucky, Ohio State and Kansas battle it out in the NCAA Final Four Men’s Basketball Championships in New Orleans, Penn Athletics teams will be playing Women’s Lacrosse, Softball, Women’s Tennis, Baseball, Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Lightweight Rowing, Men’s Tennis, Women’s Golf and Men’s Golf. But Penn will be represented at the Final Four.

How? By virtue of Men’s Basketball senior guard and team captain Zack Rosen, who is one of ten finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The award, “is presented each year to the outstanding senior NCAA Division I Student-Athlete of the Year across ten different sports. The acronym “CLASS” stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®.”

Each of the ten finalists is profiled on the award website, and you can read about why Zack was nominated here:

Just this week, Zack wrote an editorial published in The Daily Pennsylvanian, thanking the students for supporting the team this year. As you can see in the comments below his piece, the fans write to thank him for bringing excitement back to Penn basketball. I for one, am a huge Penn Basketball fan, and was thrilled when the team visited southern California this year (read my earlier post about the fans that came to cheer for the Quakers). When I was on campus in February, I attended the Penn-Harvard and Penn-Dartmouth games, and it felt like old times in the Palestra – a packed house with Penn alumni and students cheering loudly for our beloved Quakers. Much of that spirit is thanks to Zack Rosen, being the best player on the court and a class act off the court.

The finalists are in New Orleans now, and participated in a service project this morning. Tomorrow, between the two final four games, the winner will be announced. In the meantime, their photos adorn a bus and a hotel in New Orleans. Pretty cool to see a Penn player receive some well-deserved national recognition.

Lowe's Senior CLASS bus in New Orleans.

Installing the Lowe's Senior CLASS photo on the Sheraton in New Orleans.

Lowe's Senior CLASS Award finalists on the Sheraton Hotel in New Orleans.

Photos from Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Facebook page.

Congratulations Zack!

Hurrah, Hurrah, Pennsylvania!

More links

A Penn YouTube video highlights Zack.

Penn Athletics article on Zack’s trip to New Orleans.

Unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year: Zack Rosen on

Rosen is named second-team ECAC Division I All-Star, the only Ivy player named.

Capsule review of Penn’s season by

Rosen dives into life with same passion as hoops on CSNPhilly.


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Athletics, Awards, Kiera R., West Coast Regional Office

Penn Alumni in My Travels

Author: Nicole Oddo, C’05

Having been inspired by Monday’s post on travel- here are my last five destinations where I met Penn alumni.

5. Wilmington, Delaware

Probably one of the closest destinations and I went for a work presentation.  As I was setting my up my presentation, my contact and I discovered that we were both Penn undergraduates.  Small world.

4. New York City, New York

My college roommate and I went to the Brooklyn Art Museum. We have toured many art museums together and she indulges my crazy requests to go to museums all over NYC.  I have a quest to go to all the art museums in the country…

3. Phoenix, Arizona

I met my alumni mentor, the chair of the Global Alumni Network Board, to discuss volunteer leadership and the direction of the Penn Club of Philadelphia.  All while enjoying tea outside in November.

2. Virginia Beach, Virginia

While I was visiting a friend from Arizona, I saw a Penn alumna who I hadn’t seen in years.  I reached out to the Penn alumna when my friend moved there last year because I thought they might have something in common.  Fast forward today and they are good friends!

1. Bangor, Maine

One of my Penn roommates got married and I trekked up to central Maine to celebrate her special day.  Several Penn alumni made the trip and we were all seated together at the reception.  To break the ice, we all shared stories about our days at Penn.

Here’s to finding Penn alumni everywhere!


Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Nicole O.

yPenn Highball Comes to Philly

Author: Drew Feith-Tye Asia, C’09

Calling all Penn Alumni in Classes 1997 to 2011!

You are cordially invited to yPenn’s first ever HighBall in Philadelphia this Saturday, March 31 from 9 PM to 1 AM. We will be partying at Stotesbury Mansion (1923 Walnut Street). The event is 21+ to enter, and will feature a full open bar, light bites, dancing, and the musical stylings of Penn alumnus and DJ, Akpo Omene! This event shouldn’t be missed, so register HERE right now.

Tickets are $40 online and $45 at the door, so get decked out in your favorite cocktail attire and join your fellow young alumni in the City of Brotherly Love!

HighBall hahy-bawl (n.) – A massive, blow-out party for you and your friends. Here's an example from last year's party in New York.

How AWESOME does this place look?

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Events, Philadelphia, y-Penn

Class of 1981 First Annual Community Service Project – The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Author: Leslie B. Posnock, C’81

Our group of dedicated volunteers!

We expected a good time – after all, we were with old friends and family, giving back to the Philadelphia that nurtured and entertained us more than 30 years ago. But, the Class of 1981’s First Annual Community Service project – in partnership with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, wowed us from beginning to end.

Perhaps our first clue was the bright sunshine, when the forecast called for rain. Or the brightly colored trolley we boarded as a group.  Every day, Philadelphia residents are amazed by the more than 3,500 dynamic, larger-than-life images that grace the city’s neighborhoods and have earned international acclaim as the largest outdoor art gallery in the world.  Now it was our turn to explore this important and beautiful project.

Lots of familiar faces from the Class of 1981 joined us – Dale (Borenstein) Bell and Allan Bell, Debbie (Margulies) Buchwald , Lisa (Higgs) Dutton, Rhea (Schwartz) Finkelstein and Eddie Finkelstein, Caryn Feuer Liss, Jeffrey Lonoff, Leslie Posnock, and Wendy Sardinsky. Other Penn alums included Jon Liss (Class of 1976), Karen (Friedman) Lang (Penn Med 1990), Brittany Bell (Class of 2011), David Fine (Class of 2011), and future grad Brandon Bell (Class of 2014). Old friends, new friends, spouses and children shared soft pretzels and took in the sights.

Our tour took us through neighborhoods blighted by poverty, but brightened and made hopeful by the enormous, intricately detailed murals created by the talented and dedicated people of the Mural Arts Program, along with volunteers and professional artists. Among the highlights of our tour was “Holding Grandmother’s Quilt,” depicting a grandmother and her three grandchildren, which spans two walls in the West Philadelphia neighborhood of Mantua. A former empty lot – a haven for drug dealers and junkies – now a community garden – lay between them.

“Common Threads,” a mural located at Broad and Spring Garden Streets, conceived as a celebration of Philadelphia’s youth, astounded us with its sheer size and artistry.

“Shadow of a Church,” located at 22nd and Walnut Street, formerly an empty wall abutting a service station, amazed us with its realistic depiction of a church – no longer there – reflected in the windows of a (nonexistent) brick office building.

We passed murals celebrating history, vocations and organizations. We passed murals depicting sunflowers and celebrities. We passed murals painted by children who had seen too much fear and sadness, but who dared to dream of a better tomorrow. We saw murals which depicted the everyday struggles of the people who live in their neighborhoods. Each mural brought a burst of color and light to the walls it graced.

Mid-tour, we grabbed paintbrushes, joined the Mural Arts Program staff in their studio, learned the innovative process for creating these installations, and had a blast painting a mural called “Finding the Light Within,” which seeks to bring awareness to suicide prevention. The project, slated for completion this summer, will be installed near Penn’s campus at Horizon House (120 South 30th Street). Each of us pledged to attend the opening ceremony.

After a tasty detour at the E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House for snacks and drinks, we headed to the Palestra and cheered our Quakers as they convincingly beat Yale, 68 – 47, in the final home game of the Penn basketball season.

We hope you’ll join us in March of 2013 for our Second Annual Community Service Project. If you would like to help plan our next event, please contact Caryn Feuer Liss, 215-888-9598,, or Leslie Posnock, 732-895-0814,

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Guest blogger, Philadelphia, The Arts, The Arts at Penn, Volunteering

Penn Museum’s ‘Imagine Africa,’ Reinterpreted in Hip Hop

Author: Alex Fleishman, C’14

Recently, the title of an event at the Penn Museum caught my eye: Hip Hop Artists Imagine Africa. Maybe it grabbed my attention because I hadn’t expected it, and maybe that’s that why I read on that six hip hop artists would be performing at the Penn Museum on Wednesday. Their visit is in conjunction with the Imagine Africa exhibits, one of my favorites currently at the museum. Needless to say, I kept reading.

What was next was unexpected, again. This isn’t the artists’ first visit—they came in January, and the music they will bring on Wednesday will be their original responses to the exhibit. I decided it was time to check out the artists: they’re local, and I wasn’t familiar with their music.

Darian the Great, one of the artists, has already released a song about Imagine Africa called “Foundation of Imagination.” The first line: “You ever seen something, you know, that just really spoke to your soul? I mean really inspired you, made you really take the time to think, think about who you are.” Listening on, I learn that he’s talking about the Penn Museum, which he actually mentions in the song, even along with the sphinx in one of the galleries. Ultimately, though, he raps about learning history and respecting tradition, a topic I decide I like very much.

I have a pretty busy schedule next week, with midterms, homework, etc., but I don’t think I’ll be able to miss this. A free concert that’s in the same building as my classes that day? Yes, please.

There’s more information on the Penn Museum’s online calendar here.

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Filed under Alex F., Penn Museum, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

My Top Penn List: Favorite Pictures from Visits to My Penn Club Cities

I fancy myself to be a very amateur photographer. My tool is the iPhone. So, armed only with a willingness to contort and a gigs of memory, I go out and snap a few photos while I have a free moment in my Penn Club cities.  Here are my 10 favorite pictures that I have taking along my travels in the last year (since the start of this blog.)

10. Washington, DC

Something about the black marble of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in the foreground and the line of sight being drawn up through the Washington Monument under the dusky sky made me pause and wanted this picture. For club information, visit the Penn Club of Washington, DC’s webpage.

9. Austin.

Here is a vista of the neighborhood of East Austin. For more information about alumni activities in the area, please contact our alumni representative for Austin.

8. Hampton Roads

The unusual juxtaposition of a church from New England, deep in the Tidewater city of Norfolk, VA was a curiosity. For more information about alumni activities in the area, please contact our alumni representative for Hampton Roads.

7. Boston

This is view of Beantown from Cambridge is so quintessentially Boston. For club information, visit the Penn Club of Boston’s webpage.

6. Denver

On the steps leading to the entrance of the State Capitol, one is marked as a mile above sea level. While I don’t think that the iPhone is best for night pictures, I found this to be a fun image to take.For club information, visit the Penn Club of Denver’s webpage.

5. Dallas

While for most Americans Dealey Plaza is known as the backdrop to JFK’s assassination, I found it to be a charming tribute to the pioneer spirit that forged Dallas.For more information about alumni activities in the area, please contact our alumni representative for Dallas and Fort Worth.

4. Baltimore

Usually, I think of Camden Yards or the Bromo Seltzer Tower as typical Baltimore building. So the drama of lines of the building drawing you up to the American flag at the top was a favorite of mine to photograph. For club information, visit the Penn Club of Baltimore’s webpage.

3. Richmond

The beauty in the massive brickwork in this theatre couldn’t go unnoticed and it caught my attention. For more information about alumni activities in the area, please contact our alumni representative for Richmond.

2. San Antonio

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking about James Bowie, Davey Crockett, William Travis, and the like as well as remembering the Alamo when someone mentions San Antonio. However, did you know that San Antone has stunning Japanese Tea Garden? This charming foot bridge looks inspired by other gardens’ moon bridges and immediately provides me with a sense of calm. For club information, visit the Penn Club of San Antonio’s webpage.

1. Houston

Twenty miles outside the traffic of Space City stands this monument commemorating Texas’ Independence from Mexico in 1836.  Almost 12 feet taller than the Washington Monument, the San Jacinto Monument is this world’s tallest monumental column. It stands at the site of the Battle of San Jacinto and today, commends a grand command over the state park. For club information, visit the Penn Club of Houston’s webpage.

For alumni club activities and more information for our other 110 clubs, please visit the Global Alumni Network main page.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Casey R., Clubs, GAN, Top Ten

Calling Young Alumni in New York City

Author: Drew Feith-Tye Asia, C’09

Join your fellow young alumni tonight at the fabulous Pranna, one of New York’s hottest nightclubs (79 Madison @28th Street). Alumni from the classes of 1997-2011 are invited to this 21+ event featuring dancing, a dj and open bar from 10 PM to 2 AM (cash bar after 2).  Cost is $70 online or $80 at the door.  Register now!

From yPenn in LA!

Need more incentive? Just check this place out…

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Filed under Drew A., Uncategorized, y-Penn

Presidents’ Day

Author: John Mosley, C’14

Confession: I fear for my future. How could I not? With all the doomsday prophecies and talk of widespread corruption in the American system, it can be hard to see the bright side of things as a college student/future member of the workforce. I can’t even select a course for next semester without wondering how it will one day lead me to a successful career. So, when I was offered the chance to work at an event with many class president alumni last Friday, I did not hesitate to respond with a resounding “of course!”

The event itself was an historical one: it was a get together for eight decades’ worth of University of Pennsylvania class presidents; from the president of 1947’s College for Women to the president of the class of 2015. It opened with the alumni enjoying each other’s company over drinks and a panel discussion with representatives from the Development and Alumni Relations (my employers) and it ended with a delicious dinner and ceremonial cigar lighting outside of Houston Hall. It truly was an outstanding event.

I imagined I would spend the entire event uttering the following phrase over and over again: “Hi Mr./Ms. Class President, are you hiring in the next 4-6 years?” (Basically, I imagined myself all but shouting “I AM DESPERATE AND CONCERNED ABOUT MY FUTURE!”). However, I quickly found that many alumni were glad to share advice and personal stories without prompt. I was told the story of an actual “rags-to-riches” story by the president of the Class of 1963. I was then given a refreshing reminder that life will throw me curve balls, but sometimes, the best thing for a career is a major shakeup and reevaluation (this was from the Class of 2000’s president).

All in all, I repeat, this historical event was absolutely wonderful, both for me and for the alumni. These men and women are so proud to be able to give back to the University they love. For my part, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to  to be part of such an event and to receive such indispensable information at the first alumni class president get-together in years.

You can view all of the photos from the event here.

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Filed under Events, John Mosley, Student Perspective

The Few. The Proud. The Alumni of Penn.

Author: Amanda D’Amico

I did the math: I’ve spent over 4,000 hours on Penn’s campus.  To put that in perspective, I spent about a quarter of that on GW’s campus, earning my Master’s degree.  I’ve been to Penn sporting events, graduations, alumni weekends, lectures, and campus events.  I’m proud of Penn’s distinguished history and growth.

I talk about Penn’s accomplishments so often that my fiancé feels compelled to regularly remind me that I’m not a Penn alumna.  While it’s true that I’m not a Penn graduate, there are many recognizable and well-respected individuals who are:

–          Owen J. Roberts, Class of 1895, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

–          William J. Brennan, Jr., Class of 1928, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

–          Charles Addams, FA’34, Creator of The Addams Family

–          Arlen Specter, C’51, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania

–          Ronald S. Lauder, W’65, Ambassador of the United States to Austria

–          Ed Rendell, C’65, Former governor of Pennsylvania

–          Andrea Mitchell, CW’67, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC

–          Michael Nutter, W’79, Mayor of Philadelphia

–          Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., C’85, Ambassador of the United States to China

–          Elizabeth Banks, C’96, Actress

–          John Legend, C’99, Grammy-winning Recording Artist

–          Vanessa Bayer, C’04, Saturday Night Live cast member

–          Jerome Allen, W’09, Former NBA Player and current Penn Basketball Coach

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are literally thousands of recognizable and renowned Penn alumni who shaped the political world, the media, entertainment, medicine, and business.

Below, please find two examples chosen at random. To learn more about Penn’s distinguished alumni, visit the Alumni Relations web site or the Penn archives.

Honorary degree recipient, Nnamdi Azikiwe (Doctor of Humane Letters) with Professor Sandra Barnes, May 19, 1980.

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Amanda D.

Penn Alumna, Fatimah Muhammad (C’06), Runs for Pennsylvania State Representative!

Author: Cecilia Ramirez, C’05, SPP’10

It is always great to see fellow Penn alumni doing great things around the world. I was especially pleased to discover that a Quaker was running for office right in Penn’s backyard!

Fatimah Muhammad, a 2006 College graduate and former associate director of Penn’s Greenfield Intercultural Center, is running for state representative of the 188th District — an area that circles almost all of University City. She is running against the 27-year incumbent James Roebuck, Jr. in the April Democratic primaries, who has held the 188th Legislative District seat for almost as long as she’s been alive.*

Fatimah grew up in Plainfield, N.J. and has lived in the Clark Park area for about 10 years. She graduated summa cum laude from Penn with a degree in sociology in 2006.

She hopes to capture the seat and bring a fresh perspective to the state house. She spoke to the Daily Pennsylvanian as well as myself and shared some of her thoughts about this campaign:

What are your goals and vision? It’s time to be able to let fresh ideas, new perspectives come to the table. I am young, with fresh ideas, and I’m a woman. There is a time for change, and the time is now.  I’m especially passionate about education. I have been an educator and community organizer and I understand their importance.  If the district’s children are properly educated, jobs and safer streets will follow.  These three items are my top priorities for the district.

What makes you so passionate about education? As a youngster, I knew I wanted to have a life that would provide opportunities.  I was homeless at the early age of 8 and my single mom worked hard to make life better for us.  I worked hard in school to accomplish my goals and dreams.  What might be different about my story is that from the beginning, I knew I wanted to use what I learned to help other children, families and my community.  I wanted to use my diverse background and training to build bridges out of poverty to an economically-, artistically- and culturally-rich life for others and myself.  My training at Penn has been integral to this process. I have been fortunate and blessed to share what I have learned to help others in Ghana and India; I have taken the West Philadelphia story on the international stage with President Bill Clinton to fight for human rights.  I have stayed in my community to make a difference and I am ready to take it to the next level as State Representative.

How did your experience as a Penn undergraduate and with the GIC lead you to run for office? Well, I’ve always been a bridge builder. As a student at Penn, I got a taste for coalition building; I got a taste for what it means to do things on a large scale. We were some of the students who pushed for the cultural diversity requirement in the curriculum in the College, pushed for additional recruitment for minority students and faculty. But we were also really big about having powerful conversations about people coming together. Then, in my role as associate director [of GIC], I got to support students in co-curricular programs, I advised student organizations and I got an opportunity to teach as well, which is terrific. My time at Penn has been pivotal and I am proud to bring these experiences to the table.

Way to go Fatimah! You make Penn proud! If you’d like to learn more about Fatimah’s campaign, please visit her site.

*Please note: some of this information was gathered from the March 14, 2012 issue of the DP. Full article can be viewed here.


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Cecilia R.