Monthly Archives: July 2012

Traditional Archival Photos

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Penn Alumni have a long history of engaging in tradition and thanks to the University Archives Digital Image Collection, it is easy to access digital photos of the University’s traditions.  Here are some of my favorites from the collection:

Penn fans throw toast onto Franklin Field after the third quarter of every home football game. The toast-throwing tradition was in response to the line “Here’s a toast to dear old Penn” in the school song “Drink a Highball”. The act of throwing toast was adopted after alcohol was banned from the stadium in the 1970s. In a good season, 20,000 to 30,000 pieces of toast are thrown per game!

Throwing toast - a Penn tradition,1999, Tommy Leonardi,  photographer

Throwing toast – a Penn tradition,1999, Tommy Leonardi, photographer

Established in 1895, The Penn Relays represent the largest amateur track meet and oldest organized relay competition in the United States. The event is held every April for three days at Franklin Field. The Relays bring together the best track and field athletes from high schools and colleges worldwide, in addition to races on Saturday with Olympic athletes. An important event to the community, the Relays bring in over 100,000 spectators each year.

Penn Relays, 1913, 4-mile, George Atwell Richardson, photographer

Penn Relays, 1913, 4-mile, George Atwell Richardson, photographer

Although it’s possible to get basketball season tickets without camping out overnight at the Palestra, the best seats go to those who wait in “The Line”. Groups spend 24 hours in the nation’s oldest basketball arena just to score coveted court-side seats. The tradition started in 1969, and now the date and location where the tickets will be sold is changed every year and kept top secret.

University of Pennsylvania campus, 1932

University of Pennsylvania campus, 1932

In 1916, Hey Day was established as a “Moving-Up” celebration to mark the advancement of each class. In recent decades, Hey Day has represented the official passage of the junior class to senior status and is characterized by thousands of marching students parading around campus and wearing red T-shirts, carrying canes, and biting into fake straw hats.

Class Hey Day crowds,1950

Class Hey Day crowds,1950

Hey Day has changed a bit since 1950 and the celebration is bigger and more festive than ever.  Here is a photo from the 2012 Hey Day parade.  This photo is today’s competitor in the Ivy+ Alumnipics competition.

Hey Day 2012

Hey Day 2012

Show your Penn Pride by “liking” the photo on Facebook between 11am EST Tuesday, July 31st and 11am EST August 1st.  The more “likes” we receive, the greater our chances of winning the gold medal!


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Filed under Athletics, Awards, Historical, Lisa Marie Patzer, Notable Alumni, Photos, Traditions, Uncategorized

“Like” it

Author: Aimee LaBrie

In conjunction with several of our peer institutions, Penn is competing in a Facebook challenge to see which university has the most active members on Facebook.  The Alumpics competition runs for ten days and was inspired by the 2012 Olympics.

How it works: Each day at exactly 11 AM EST, we will post a photograph on the Penn Facebook page and see how many “likes” we can get on the photo.  Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded daily for the universities with the most “likes” and then, at the end of the ten days, an overall tally will be made, and one Ivy will receive the gold medal in participation.

How you can help: You can either check back here every day to find the link to the day’s Facebook photo (listed below), or just visit the Penn Facebook page to find the day’s photo.

Perhaps most importantly, we ask that you post the link on your own Facebook page and ask your friends to vote too.

Let’s show the rest of our peers that Penn alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends are the most active and engaged people in all of the Ivies. Vote today and check back for the next ten days to help us win the gold!

Below is the first photo in the series. The theme was reunions.

You can “like” it here now!

And, if you’d like to follow the competition to see how other universities are doing, view the competition website here.

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Filed under Academics, Aimee L., Campus Life, Ivy+

The Penn Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art Exchange Prisoners

Author: Alex Fleischman, C’14

His stone face was larger than I’d imagined. His body lay flatter against the ground, and his pose and expression seemed more somber.

That was my first impression of the bowing prisoner as I stood before him today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Upon arriving at the museum, I sought out this object in “The Dawn of Egyptian Art,” a special exhibition open until August 5, although he doesn’t normally reside in the Met, but instead much closer to home—at the Penn Museum.

In fact, this object, a door socket carved to resemble a captive, was exchanged for another Egyptian prisoner—a statue that is currently on display in the Penn Museum’s Upper Egyptian Gallery.

The Met’s prisoner kneels, arms clearly bound behind him, his face partially damaged in what may have been a ritual act of destruction. The statue dates to Dynasty 6 of the Old Kingdom and was made during the reign of Pepi II (ca. 2246-2152 BCE). The Penn Museum’s door socket is older, dating to the first or second Egyptian dynasties—between 3000 and 2675 BCE.

Nevertheless, both prisoners seem to evoke regret, elicit sympathy, and ultimately, inspire fear for their captors—the aim of the Egyptian pharaohs who ordered their creation.

There’s more information on the Penn Museum’s website here.  You can also find a New York Times review of the exhibition with photo of the door socket here.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Alex F., Campus Life, Fine Art, Penn in the Summer, Penn Museum, Student Perspective, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

Penn Serves LA

Author:  Kiera Reilly, C’93  (@KieraReilly)

Penn Serves LA’s first event at the Turning Point Shelter in Santa Monica, CA.

On Saturday June 9, Penn Serves LA hosted its first successful volunteer event. More than 20 Penn alumni and friends were on hand to serve dinner with dignity to the 55 residents of Turning Point Shelter in Santa Monica. Volunteers brought chicken, salad, dessert, decorations and more to prepare this memorable meal.

“We are thrilled that first event exceeded our expectations of interest from Los Angeles Penn alumni and their families,” shares Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16, a founding member of the Penn Serves LA Committee. Jane, along with Denise Winner, W’83, Leanne Huebner, W’90, Aileen Level, C’99, GSEd’00, and others, have been putting their various nonprofit experiences and connections together to get Penn Serves LA together and running.

Penn alumni helping in the kitchen.

Making lunches for the Turning Point residents.

In these difficult economic times, many succumb to homelessness due to job loss and these shelters are key to getting them back on their feet. According the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Interestingly, 32% of LA’s homeless have bachelors’ degrees (compared to 45% of the overall population) and 41% have worked in the previous year.

PennClubLA’s Snehit Neenakri, GEN’09, and Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’ 14, PAR’16.

The Penn Serves LA goal is to volunteer our services as Penn alumni, parents and family to contribute to needy nonprofits in our community. Penn Serves LA is regularly scheduling service events whereby Quakers can proudly work together to service the Los Angeles community.   We are working in partnership with PennClubLA, Wharton Club of Southern California, and the Southern California Regional Advisory Board.

Serving food from the kitchen.

The next Penn Serves LA event is September 22 The group will serve lunch at The Midnight Mission. More details will be available soon, and the event will be promoted via emails and through the local Penn and Wharton clubs.

The Penn Serves LA committee is seeking more LA-based alumni, parents and students to support our initiative. If you have interest in learning more, or in joining us on September 22, please contact

All photos (c) Kiera Reilly.


Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Clubs, Events, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Clubs, Penn Serves LA, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

My Top Penn List: Ten to Penn Redux

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Last year, I wrote an entry of My Top Penn List about my daily commute to Penn in ten pictures in celebration of Penn Park.  This year, I have moved and I live in University City now, specifically Spruce Hill. I’m living 1½ blocks from where I ended my undergraduate experience and things have certainly changed in 17 years.

Most of my daily commute to work now includes US 13, a north–south highway established in 1926 that runs for 517 miles between Fayetteville, NC and Morrisville, PA. You may know the route on campus as Baltimore Avenue or for the engineering marvel, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which carries the road between the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Hampton Roads.


Just a few steps out from my door is the wonderful organic market, Milk and Honey. As you can see, they serve La Colombe coffee – which is a godsend in the morning.


The neighborhood is verdant. Look at this impressive tree and the hydrangea.


Welcome to Historic Clark Park. This place is a site of many outdoor plays, farmers markets, ultimate Frisbee games, and home to one of only two statues of Charles Dickens in the world.


The Green Line Café, another eatery along the way to work. They serve hot and cold fair trade coffee to the uncaffeinated. (See Baltimore Avenue signed as US 13.)


The #34 trolley runs up and down Baltimore Avenue, and when the trolleys divert from the 40th Street portal they turn up 42nd Street. This really hasn’t changed much over the years.


The Philadelphia Veterans Comfort House provides services for veterans while they undergo treatment for serious health issues at the VA hospital – like the Ronald McDonald House in our neighborhood, but for those who served our country.


The 40th Street Portal, where all but one of the subway-surface trolleys come up from underground. Beyond is the Woodlands Cemetery, where notable people like artist Thomas Eakins, Joseph A. Campbell – founder of Campbell Soup and many members of the Drexel family are buried.


Across the way from the 40th Street Portal, Harrison College House (a.k.a. High Rise South) pops into view.


At 40th Street, you can behold the meeting of three impressive heath care institutions: the University of Pennsylvania Health SystemChildren’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center (VA Hospital).


The first Penn sign on my walk to work – along a stretch of Woodland Walk, announcing the Southwestern pedestrian entrance to campus. The School of Veterinary Medicine stands ahead of me. As before, I’m ready to start the workday and I check in on foursquare to see if I remain the Mayor of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Filed under Casey R., To Penn in Ten, Top Ten

Poconos Sunrise

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

I spent this weekend in the Poconos celebrating my Penn classmate and good friend’s upcoming nuptials. Sometimes, a quick trip away from the city is the perfect getaway. I woke up on Sunday just in time to watch the sunrise. It was breathtaking. The lake house was the perfect place to relax and to reunite with old Penn friends and to meet new ones. Here are three photos, each taken several minutes apart.

Sunrise at 5:34 AM

6:41 AM

7:06 AM


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile

Show Your Penn Pride

Author: Aimee LaBrie

There are many ways to show your Penn pride each and every day. For example, my entire wardrobe consists of red and blue, and I wear some color combination of this every day :

One of the 75 red and blue, mix and match pieces I wear each and every day, including weekends.

Another way to show your pride is to sing Penn songs loudly and often. Many of our alumni do just that by gathering around the piano at Sweeten each afternoon, wearing skimmer hats, and belting out “Red and Blue” as the carillon chimes along in the background.

Photo taken just last week when the women’s glee club stopped by.

Others even go so far as the have the Penn “P” permanently tattooed on their faces:

In truth, these tattoos are made of face paint.I think?

And now, starting next Monday, July 30, alumni, students, faculty, and staff can show their collective Penn spirit in much easier way: by “liking” our Facebook posts as part of a national contest with the other universities who make up the Ivy+ alumni groups.

Who exactly are we competing against? Here’s the confirmed list of our competitors to date (Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale are still undecided):






You can read more about it by visiting our Facebook page. You can also get into the habit of “liking” our posts by doing so now on the Penn Facebook page here.

I’ll write up another reminder post and link next week, but keep your fingers poised over the keyboard until then. We want to win the gold and prove that we have the most engaged alumni and friends in the country!

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Maria Popova, C’07, Curator of Interestingness

Author: Lynn Carroll, C’93

Maria Popova, C’07, is an “interestingness hunter-gatherer obsessed with combinatorial creativity.” She blogs at and tweets prolifically @brainpicker (to 200.000+ followers, I might add).  Chosen as one of the 100 Most Creative People In Business for 2012 by Fast Company, she ravenously consumes the printed—and electronic—word, curates a selection of gems from mountains of past and present information, then adds her insights as an editor – completing this process three times each day for her blog.

When not writing for her blog, the Atlantic, or Wired UK, she is a “Futures of Entertainment” fellow at MIT.  One of my favorite posts of Maria’s is Words to Live By:  5 Timeless Commencement Addresses which includes snippets from, or links to, Commencement addresses by J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Robert Krulwich, Meryl Streep, and Jeff Bezos.  Enjoy her blog, and don’t blame me if you’re not even the slightest bit productive at work for the rest of the day.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Lynn Carroll

An Olympic Games Primer

Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02, GED’10

As you can see from my colleague’s previous post, we have a little bit of Olympic-fever here in Alumni Relations.  But with the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games quickly approaching, what better time to reflect on this historic event through a Red & Blue lens?

For those curious about the origins of the Olympics, look no further than Thomas Tartaron, associate professor of Classical Studies.  As Tartaron explains in the latest issue of the SAS Frontiers e-magazine, some aspects of the event haven’t changed much at all:

Like today’s game…a major portion of the [Olympic games] lent itself to money making.  Feasting was a constant over the span of five days, punctuated with athlete fanfare and victory processions.  Greeks came by land and sea to attend the games, which translated into financial gain for those offering food and lodging.

Scene from Attic Black Figure Amphora , ca. 510-490 BC, depicting a boxing contest (‘pugme’). Two boxers wear soft leather ‘himantes’ or boxing gloves. The man with the long stick is either a judge or trainer. A naked youth stands by, holding extra ‘himantes.’ University of Pennsylvania Museum Object ID MS403.

Wondering how many Quakers have made it to the pinnacle of athletic competition?  A recent Pennsylvania Gazette article breaks down the numbers:

Excluding the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, a Penn student, coach, faculty member, or alumnus has appeared in every single Summer Olympics…According to an online exhibition posted by the University Archives and Records Center, Penn’s athletes have won at least 26 gold medals, 28 silver medals, and 28 bronze medals…In all, the University of Pennsylvania has sent nearly 200 athletes, coaches, managers, doctors, and committee members to the Olympics—competing in sports that include track, rowing, swimming, wrestling, field hockey, equestrian, fencing, rugby, and yachting and representing countries ranging from Canada to Belize to Great Britain and to Greece.

This year is no exception to this tradition. Susan Francia,C’04, G’04 who won a gold medal as part of the women’s eight boat at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was selected for the same eight-person boat at the 2012 Olympics.

And now, let the games begin!

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Athletics, Lisa V.

2012 London Olympic Games

Author: Kelly O’Connor

Only nine more days until we can cheer on two fellow Penn Alumni in the 2012 London Olympic games!

Penn is continuing it’s Summer Olympic streak in 2012 by sending two alumni to the games. According to the Penn Athletics, there has been  a representative in every summer Olympic game since 1900. Check out the list of Penn’s list of Olympians.

Former Penn rower, Susan Francia, C’04, G’04 will be attending her second Olympic games along with former Penn basketball player, Koko Archibong, C’03, who will be competiting as a member of the Nigeria basketball team for the first time.

Francia, a gold member winner, walked-on her sophomore year and is the 11th Penn women’s rower to make the Olypmics.

Archibong, a four-year letter winner is believed to be the first person with ties to Penn to play basketball in the games.

You can read even more in the about Archibong and Francia in the articles below:

 Archibong- Penn Athletics article

Francia – Personal Website 

The rowing competition runs from Saturday, June 28 – Saturday August, 4. Basketball competition runs from Saturday June, 28 – Sunday July, 12. For the full Olympic schedule click here.

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Filed under Athletics, Events, Kelly P.