Monthly Archives: March 2013

Penn 1993 – Meet Me at the Button!

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

The countdown to Alumni Weekend continues, and before we know it we’ll be back on campus celebrating our 20th reunion. The Penn Class of 1993 reunion and gift committees are calling and emailing classmates, encouraging them to attend and to make a gift to The Penn Fund.

To get everyone in the Red and Blue spirit for Alumni Weekend, here are some buttons I’ve collected from when I was a student, the first few years after we graduated, and now as a staff member in alumni relations.

Buttons I collected while working for alumni relations.

Buttons I collected while working for alumni relations.

Homecoming 1998 and 2000, Penn's 250th Anniversary in 1990, and Ivy Champs in '92-'93.

Homecoming 1998 and 2000, Penn’s 250th Anniversary in 1990, and Ivy Champs in ’92-’93.


1992's South Street Strut, 1993s Walnut Walk and South Street Strut

1992’s South Street Strut, 1993s Walnut Walk and South Street Strut

Does anyone else have a Penn button collection?

We hope to see everyone from the Class of 1993 at THE Button in May!

For details about our Saturday parade and picnic, and BIG class Quad party, click here! Don’t forget to follow our Facebook and Twitter. Check out who is planning to come here. Go online and register now!





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Filed under 20th Reunion, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Weekend, Class of 1993, Historical, Kiera R., Memories of Penn, Photos, Reunions

Penn Club of Utah Fourth Annual Day of Service

Author: Art Warsoff, W’83

The Penn Alumni Club of Utah had their Fourth Annual Day of Service on February 23rd. Each year, we donate canned goods and help sort food at the Utah Food Bank followed by a networking lunch at Red Iguana, our favorite Mexican restaurant in the city. Other Ivy League and East Coast alumni clubs are invited to this annual tradition. This year, the Diplomats of Franklin & Marshall again joined the Quakers for a fun event. Everyone looks forward to this great tradition.

Utah IMG_1394

Utah IMG_1395

Utah IMG_1396

Utah IMG_1397

Hurrah, Hurrah, Penn Club of Utah! Thank you for your service!

Submitted by Kiera Reilly, C’93

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

My Top Penn List: Engagement and the Campaign

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

We raised $4,302,890,707 in our Making History Campaign. Wow, that’s a lot of money.  If you haven’t yet visited the final report website, you should in order to see how much of an impact the legacy of this campaign will have on the University.

The “Number”

The “Number”

Yet our campaign was crafted to be different; we emphasized engagement goals for ourselves that focused on increasing every alumnus’s access and interaction with the University whether it was on campus and out in the world.  We took these objectives seriously and created or retooled over 25 programs during the life of the campaign that increased alumni engagement.

I wanted to highlight 10 of my favorite engagement programs that have come about due to the campaign.

10. Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) Summer Networking Receptions: Over the summer, TCPW, whose charge is to support, foster and promote the advancement of women’s issues within the University, hosts Summer Networking Receptions for Penn alumnae and current Penn students to make social and business contentions. Bringing Penn alumnae together and spotlighting a female executive from the region as the keynote speaker for the reception, TCPW provided exclusive opportunities for networking.

TCPW Summer Networking Reception – Chicago (2012).

TCPW Summer Networking Reception – Chicago (2012).

9. Social Media: Social Media has been around since 1994 started by now defunct brands like TheGlobe, GeoCities and SixDegrees. Sites like My Space and Friendster, which started in 2002-2003, were the watershed portals of the Social Media trends that made way for Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Facebook and Twitter burst onto the scene and soon became the ubiquitous means of staying in touch with over 500 million Twitter users and over one billion Facebook users. It was obvious that having a presence online would be valuable. While an ever-changing social landscape, this nexus of online communities and outlets will evolve and Penn will plan to stay in the forefront of new media.

Since the start of the campaign, seven years ago, Penn has since joined Twitter (with 4,244 followers) and Facebook (with 51,276 likes) in 2009. Also, that year, Penn started to manage its presence on LinkedIn with 26,728 members. As of summer and fall 2012, Penn has joined the ranks of Instagram and Pinterest.

8. Quaker Yellow Pages: The Quaker Yellow Pages were launched to help our alumni support businesses of Penn alumni. Alumni can find the products and services advertised by fellow alumni. Individuals are encouraged to post a listing to promote your own product or service for free. Simply select one of the choices below. Penn Dental was inspired to create their own Quaker resource, the Find a Penn Dentist tool, which will give you the names of Penn Dental alumni who practice in your area.

7. Penn To You: Penn To You: More than a School Night embraces Penn’s unofficial motto: Never stop learning. In the classroom, in the community, and in the wider world, Penn people bring an intense intellectual curiosity to everything they do. Penn to You is designed to bring Penn alumni, parents, and friends together for an evening of intellectual and social engagement. Each event will feature one of Penn’s 12 schools and will include conversation, presentations and panel discussions with select faculty—many of whom were recruited through the Making History Campaign.

: Penn To You – Chicago featuring Ezekiel Emanuel and Barbara E. Kahn (2012).

Penn To You – Chicago featuring Ezekiel Emanuel and Barbara E. Kahn (2012).

6. Penn Spectrum: In 2010, University held its first-ever weekend-long alumni conference devoted entirely to celebrating diversity, Penn Spectrum. After three years of taking the event on the road, Penn Spectrum returns to campus, capping the momentum of our diverse alumni. All alumni are welcome. More information will be available on the Penn Spectrum page.

Penn Spectrum on the Road – Washington, DC (2011).

Penn Spectrum on the Road – Washington, DC (2011).

5. Frankly Penn: Frankly Penn, the Penn Alumni Blog, was established in March 2011 to represent life at the University of Pennsylvania. The team of bloggers consists of alumni, students, staff and faculty from around Penn –both on campus and beyond. This mixture of voices illustrates the dynamic and robust spirit of the University to all who read it. Led by the communications team at Penn Alumni, the blog has had 89,992 views and 564 posts, plus the blog has been continuously updated, Monday through Friday, since its launch.

4. Family Programs: Penn Alumni Families provides Penn Alumni family-specific events for our Philadelphia area alumni with children ages 12 years and under. This new series provides an opportunity for alumni to enjoy Penn events with an emphasis on programming for their children. With the success of Family Day at Mask & Wig and 40 Winks with the Sphinx, look for more events in Philadelphia and in the regions.

40 Winks with the Sphinx (2011).

40 Winks with the Sphinx (2011).

3. Penn Quotient: The Penn Quotient was developed at our Winter Board Retreat as an easy way to determine how you can best show your loyalty and support for your alma mater. It’s a simple checklist to identify those things you are already doing and to explore those you have yet to try.

Complete the checklist once a year to achieve a perfect score:

  • Attend Alumni Weekend in May
  • Explore arts and culture at Homecoming
  • Join or attend events with your local club
  • Visit QuakerNet and update your profile
  • Promote Penn to prospective students
  • Participate in an Alumni Education program
  • Donate to one of Penn’s many annual funds
  • Read The Pennsylvania Gazette
    The real reason for reunions, Alumni Weekend (2011).

    The real reason for reunions, Alumni Weekend (2011).

    2. Penn Alumni Office Hours: As a student at Penn, you could take part in the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of interest with your professor outside of class during his or her office hours. Penn Alumni Office Hours provide this same opportunity to alumni by hosting a virtual Office Hours webinar presentation featuring one of Penn’s dynamic faculty members, who will focus on a topic or issue of their choice.

    From the ease of your computer, you can attend these free webinars and submit questions and comments both in advance of and during the program.  If you are unable to visit the Office Hours live, all Office Hour webinars will be recorded and made available through the Penn Alumni Relations site.

    1. Penn Alumni Interview Program: The Penn Alumni Interview Program involves the largest number of Penn Alumni who volunteer for a single project. During Making History, we were able to transition seamlessly the program from the Admissions to Alumni Relations. Capitalizing on the synergies that exist in the Alumni Relations office as well as the leadership of our dedicated staff, the Interview Program was able to steward our Interview Program chairs and interviewers to conduct 21,750 interviews which represents 68% of the total candidates that applied to Penn.

    Penn alumni interviewers help high school students learn more about Penn, and they help the Admissions Office learn more about applicants to the university.  As the Interview Program has the goal of being able to offer an interview to every student who applies as a prospective undergraduate, the Interview Program team will be traveling out to our alumni to help provide training and the information our alumni interviewers will need to help Penn see its goal come true.

    Look at all this Penn Pride. (Homecoming, 2011).

    Look at all this Penn Pride. (Homecoming, 2011).

    Author’s note: I am currently out of the office on a business trip. At the time I submitted this entry, all statistics sited in this blog were accurate.


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Filed under Alumni Weekend, Campaign, Casey R., Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Interview Program, Making History, Top Ten, Uncategorized

Dear, Sweeten –

Author: Lisa V., C’02, GeD’10

Eight years is a long time.  It’s long enough to witness four Olympic games; long enough to get a bachelor’s degree – twice; long enough to become a doctor – medical school, residency and all.  For me, the past eight years have been long enough to grow up from an unpolished post-grad looking for any old job to a professional woman with what one might actually categorize as a “career.”  How did this happen?

In May 2005, I came back to Penn for the first time since graduating in May 2002, this time not as a student but as a staff member.  I remember walking through campus that fall during move-in, feeling as though I could relate much more to the incoming students than my colleagues or fellow alumni.  It was much like coming home from college for your first Thanksgiving, unsure whether you should sit at the kids table or the grown up table.  Lucky for me, I wasn’t forced to choose.

How it all started

How it all started

In the ensuing years, I received a true education.  I learned how to work hard, and play even harder.  I learned that the art of building relationships is the key to success – both professionally and personally.  I learned that impromptu dance parties are the best remedy for a long, hard day of work – and just about anything else.  I learned – by example – what it means to be a mentor, a leader, a team player.  I learned that work-life balance is a journey, not a destination – but it’s a journey made far less arduous when accompanied by amazing friends and colleagues.

Playing hard

Playing hard

Team building

Team building

Penn has always been a special place for me.  As an undergraduate, it’s where I met my very best friends and received an education that opened my eyes to the world’s possibilities.  But I’d be lying if didn’t say that the past eight years have been as – if not more – transformative.  My Penn family – stand-in moms and sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles – have guided and supported me through marriage and moves and babies and second degrees.  They’ve made me laugh when I felt like crying.  They’ve talked me off the ledge, and been there to catch me when I still managed to fall over it.  They’ve celebrated my successes as if they were their own, and reassured me that my failures were merely stepping stones.

Growth and expansion

Growth and expansion

Eight years is a long time.  It’s long enough to acquire a second family; long enough to build relationships that will endure well beyond my tenure here; and long enough to know that I will never again find such an amazing group of passionate, loyal, creative colleagues.

Thank you, Sweeten, for eight tremendous years.   It’s a sin that it has to come to an end – but I know you will all be part of the next chapter of my life in your own ways.




Filed under Leaving Penn, Lisa V., Memories of Penn, Photos, Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life

Spotlight on VPUL Equity and Access

Author: Nicole C. Maloy, W’95

Earlier this month, Penn alumni across three decades returned to campus on a Saturday afternoon to meet Philadelphia high school students enrolled in the Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) PLUS, which is housed in the Equity & Access division of Penn’s Vice Provost for University Life (VPUL). The SMP/SMP PLUS staff team is, quite deservedly, one of Penn’s 2013 Models of Excellence honorees. Please join me in congratulating them for this honor!

Over the summer during SMP, students connect with Penn’s schools of Dental Medicine, Engineering & Applied Science, Law, Nursing, and Medicine, where they gain wonderful experience and insight into the careers they intend to pursue. Then, during the academic year, the SMP PLUS program offers additional, continuous support to those students, such as mentoring,  tutoring, and events like the Penn alumni career panel.

After enjoying some time with this year’s lively and intellectually curious group of SMP PLUS students, I had the privilege of moderating a discussion with panelists Sharon Sutherland, C’97 (Medicine), Angela Nguyen, NU’12 (Nursing), Rudolph Broomes, ENG’04, GEN’08 (Engineering), and Abel Rodriguez, L’11 (Law). These alumni were so generous with their time and experience, addressing both the joys and the challenges of their respective fields, offering valuable advice to everyone present, and staying afterward to answer additional questions about life, school, and career. I want to take this opportunity to thank them again.

Sharon Sutherland, C’97 (Far left - Medicine)

Sharon Sutherland, C’97 (Far left – Medicine)

Angela Nguyen, NU’12 (Far right - Nursing)

Angela Nguyen, NU’12 (Far right – Nursing)


Rudolph Broomes, ENG’04, GEN’08 (Far right – Engineering)


Abel Rodriguez, L’11 (Center – Law)

Before the panel, one of the students at my table – a future cardiac surgeon – told me of her grandfather’s experience after his heart attack. He survived, thanks to his surgery, and the seed was planted for her desired career. Another student shared that his choice to pursue law came after a close relative of his was falsely accused of a crime. That relative was ultimately exonerated, but spent an undue amount of time in jail before then. This student wants to help prevent that from happening to others. Those are just two of the 25 or so SMP PLUS participants who have shown a drive to achieve, along with a willingness to dedicate their Saturdays from October to April to their own education and development. We should all be proud of them, and of what Penn is doing to support them.

I would be remiss to leave this out – if you would like to offer your financial support to the SMP PLUS Program and their important efforts, make out your check in any amount to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” and in the memo area be sure to write “VPUL SMP PLUS.” Send to the attention of Iris Leon, Manager of Development Operations, Vice Provost for University Life, 3611 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Questions? Contact Iris via e-mail or call her at (215) 898-6081.

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Filed under Multicultural Outreach, Nicole M., Uncategorized

Conquering Feb Club

Author: Kayleigh Smoot, C’13

As most of you may know, February is a very special month for seniors at Penn. The first of the February marked the beginning of a month long slew of different social events every day for the class of 2013, also known as Feb Club. Most of the senior class sees it as an opportunity to bond with classmates they otherwise would never interact with one final time or as a way to get free or discounted stuff. I, however, saw Feb Club as a rite of passage. I had been looking forward to February 2013 approximately around my spring semester junior year. I knew that it would take a lot of determination, time, and energy to attend every event but I was dead set on winning.

So, on February 1, I trekked down to XFinity Live for the kickoff event with my best friends and began my Feb Club journey. Every senior was given a Feb Club card, graciously donated by the Penn Club of New York, in order to mark how many events they had attended in order to tally prizes. If one made it to every event, they would not only win the entire assortment of prizes, they would also get their named engraved on a special plaque at Smokey Joe’s, the extremely popular “Pennstitution” that most seniors attend on a regular basis to grab drinks with friends and classmates.


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Filed under Campus Life, Kayleigh


Author: Kelly Porter O’Connor

University City District is a great resource for all things University City. They provide a packed calendar of events, listings of local restaurants, farmers markets, parks, and much more.

With the support of the William Penn Foundation, UCD opened The Porch at 30th Street Station. Located right outside of 30th Street station, The Porch is open to the public and provides seating, seasonal entertainment, fitness classes, and special events from April to October. Mark your calendar.  April 1st kicks off the festivities for 2013!


University City District also puts out a publication every year that highlights special events and the physical changes of West Philadelphia, both on Penn’s campus and beyond. Check out the latest The State of University City to see how our neighborhood has transformed in the past 15 years. Like the UCD Facebook page to receive updates on what is happening around town.


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Filed under Kelly P.

Happy (belated) St. Patty’s Day!

Author: Rebecca Eckart, GEd’13

My name may not sound like it, but my family actually has quite a bit of Irish ancestry on both sides.  And this year, for some reason, I celebrated that more than ever.

I checked out the St. Patrick’s Day parade here in Philadelphia (held the week before, on the 10th) and really enjoyed the bagpipes.  Thankfully, the day was warm and sunny—a rarity in Philadelphia so far this year—and a great day to be outside.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade

On the 15th, the Annenberg Center hosted Natalie MacMaster, a Canadian fiddler who, despite having a cough, played beautifully and simultaneously step danced throughout much of the performance.  She also shared touching stories of her family and musical inspirations with the audience.  Before the show, a friend and I went out for fish and chips—a perfect way to start off our evening of Irish music.

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Poster for the concert at the Annenberg Center.

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Filed under GSE, Rebecca E., Student Perspective

Breakfast at Sweeten

Author: Emilie Kretschmar

Last week Sweeten was treated to its own wildlife adventure. A very large hawk decided to perch atop a neighboring building and have breakfast.


He was a beautiful animal and didn’t seem to mind when us Sweeten folk came out onto the balcony to photograph him. Breakfast was his main concern.

Lisa Marie captures the action for social media.

Lisa Marie captures the action for social media.

Upon further investigation—googling “hawks of Pennsylvania”—I discovered that we were watching a red-tailed hawk, also known as a chickenhawk. Although they rarely prey on standard-sized chickens, they do love squirrels and pigeons of which there are many in Philadelphia. The specie also seems to be unfazed by human activity so, unlike many of their fellow birds-of-prey, these hawks are often found in cities like our own Philadelphia.

Watching animals up close is a fascinating thing. It can be both beautiful and repellent at the same time, which is an unusual combination. Last year on safari, Penn alumni and I experienced a similar sensation. Lions on the hunt is a beautiful spectacle, but also nerve-racking as you wait for something gruesome to happen (or not happen, in our case). If animal watching is of interest to you, join us this fall on our alumni tour of East Africa.

My favorite shot from the lion hunt in the Ngorongoro Caldera. The buffalo win this round.

My favorite shot from the Ngorongoro Caldera lion hunt. The buffalo win this round.

But if Africa is a little too far for your taste (or your wallet), make sure you look upwards next time you’re in Philadelphia or on campus at Penn. Perhaps you’ll spot another red-tailed hawk!

Our red-tailed friend.

Our red-tailed friend.

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Filed under Emilie, Squirrels, Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life

Penn Décor

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

As my 5th reunion gets closer – only 51 more days! – the reunion committee is finalizing décor for our Saturday night class party. I was so inspired by the Penn décor at last Friday’s 2nd Annual Presidents Meeting. Here are a few photos from the cocktail hour and dinner in College Hall Room 200.

Caption: The blue table linens complemented the red popcorn bags so nicely. I see red and blue everywhere!

The blue table linens complemented the red popcorn bags so nicely. I see red and blue everywhere!

Each table setting included sheet music for “Drink A Highball”. While it was neat to see the sheet music, the printout was unnecessary. All of the class leaders knew the song by heart.

Each table setting included sheet music for “Drink A Highball”. While it was neat to see the sheet music, the printout was unnecessary. All of the class leaders knew the song by heart.

More red and blue table décor.

More red and blue table décor.

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I love these ceiling lights. Do you see your class year?

I cannot wait to see how my class transforms Wynn Commons. Register for Alumni Weekend here.

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Filed under 5th Reunion, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Weekend, Reunions, Stephanie Y.