Author: Laura Solie, W’08
In January, forty Penn Alumni from the Wharton Club of Arizona gathered to celebrate the birth of Ben Franklin. The event, an annual tradition within Penn and the Wharton Club of Arizona, brought together alumni both young and old to cheer the birth of Penn’s founder.
After mingling around the catered food and sparkling conversation with friends, our Penn President reined us in for official introductions. As we went around the room introducing ourselves by name, school, graduation yard, and quick life updates, several things became apparent.
First, our experiences after graduation were incredibly diverse. From creating a thirty-year career as a surgeon after studying art history to flitting around the country trying to make it in the hotel industry, our Penn education led us to success in many different directions.
Second, each and every one of us had an unique Penn story to share. Our older alumni recalled the days of Locust Walk when it was a road, while the younger folk dwelt on somewhat hazy memories of Spring Fling.
Third, and what stood out to me the most, was that someone named Candice Bergen had attended Penn and many people recalled knowing her as a student. Once her name was mentioned, the stories flowed. “She was, in fact, my roommate freshman year,” one alumna fondly remembered.
“Oh, of course! Candice Bergen! I have watched all of her movies,” shared another excitedly.
I found myself wondering who the heck this person was, and why I wasn’t more up-to-date on our Penn celebrities. After references to movies that were released way before my time (The Hunting Party??), I quickly searched for her name on my iPhone. “Oh!” I exclaimed after a moment. “The crazy mom in Sweet Home Alabama and on TV as Murphy Brown! She went to Penn? Awesome!”
And with that, I left another Penn event with pride for our accomplishments and the great feeling of being part of a special group–a group, as I now know, that includes a very famous celebrity.
For more information about other Penn & Wharton Club of AZ activities, visit the club website here.