Author: Emilie Kretschmar
Typically, my blog posts are about the latest Penn Alumni Travel trip or our fantastic newly-released 2013 travel schedule. But this month, we’re between travel trips, and so I’ve decided instead to write about my first five months at the Sweeten Alumni House (not to worry travel fans. Look for an upcoming post about Italy and the Danube)!
I began this position in Penn Alumni Relations in April, and each month has brought about new and interesting alumni events and traditions. We are lucky to work in a building that’s centrally located–just across from College Hall and next to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Here, alumni relations staff can really stay connected to the University and all of the great things that happen on campus. With my trusty camera phone, I’ve captured a few highlights from my first five months at Penn.
My first month at Penn and the hungry squirrels are already waiting to take my lunch. I captured this one as he was eyeing me from above on the patio behind Sweeten.
Alumni Weekend! I was quickly pulled into the festivities surrounding Alumni Weekend and Commencement. The campus was alive with graduating students and thousands of Penn alumni. If you’ve never attended a reunion weekend at Penn, you should consider coming next year (May 10-13, 2013). It’s a great time to see the campus, visit old friends, and learn about the many programs and opportunities that the university extends to alumni.
With most students and alumni away this summer, several staff members had time to attend the Ivy+ Alumni Relations Conference at Dartmouth. Each year, the eight Ivy League Universities plus MIT and Stanford gather for this conference to share expertise, tips, and resources (for more on Ivy+, visit Casey Ryan’s blog post here). The conference rotates locations each year, and Penn will be next year’s host. I spent my time at the conference meeting other alumni travel directors and getting insider’s tips on how to run an exceptional alumni travel program.
In July, I hosted my first alumni tour. I spent 10 days with 16 wonderful alumni and friends in Tanzania. We visited four national parks and saw countless African animals. Look for another African safari in 2013 to Tanzania and Kenya.
In my fifth month at Penn, I began a new workout routine: a 3 mile run from Sweeten to my South Philadelphia home. Along the way, I ran across (literally and figuratively) some of the beautiful Philadelphia landmarks that surround Penn’s campus.
So there you have it! My first five months as a Penn employee. I look forward to the new things these next five months will bring. When you finish reading this, take a minute and share with us those things that caught your attention when you first visited Penn—as a student, employee, faculty member, or native Philadelphian. There’s plenty of space in the comment section below!