Monthly Archives: June 2013

Goodbye to Our Ivy Plus Friends

Author: Aimee LaBrie

Today was the last day of the Ivy Plus conference, and we wish all of our visiting travelers safe journeys home. I learned so much over the last three days during the panels and in just casual conversations over drinks or lunch. I don’t want to lose that connection with all of these very smart, creative, and friendly people. I hope that you will all stay in touch throughout the year.

One of our final moments was to present the Ivy Plus awards for Alumnipics 2014. Each winner received a bronze (Cornell), silver (Princeton), or gold (Dartmouth) Quaker bobblehead.

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Let’s continue the conversations, the competitions, and the collaborations as we continue on throughout the year and start to look forward to Ivy Plus 2014 at Brown University (#IvyPlusAR).



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Filed under Aimee L., Campus Life

My Ten Penn List: Ivy Plus at Penn

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Last year I shared with you some insider knowledge about our Alumni Relations peer conference, Ivy Plus, which Dartmouth hosted.  This year, we are the hosts welcoming the Alumni Relations Offices from the 7 other Ivies, Stanford and MIT.

This conference provides fantastic career training with sessions like Changing the Status Quo, discussing the numerous challenges alumni relations offices face in promoting programs and events to a wide population of alumni; Collaboration: Breaking Down Silos within Alumni Relations, focusing on the working within our universities as well as our own departments for programming opportunities; and How do You Measure Success and Engagement? Setting and Measuring Program Goals, tackling the vague science of quantifying alumni engagement in a purposeful way.  On the other hand, we are in the business of connecting people to each other and their almae matres, so we also know how to have some serious fun, too.

Here are my top ten photos from the conference, albeit some are candids and others were tweeted, instagrammed or facebooked.  (note: the opinions and views expressed through these Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts are the opinions of those individuals and do not reflect the opinions or views of the University or myself).


 @amywolf A sultry summer evening at @Pennalumni’s #IvyPlusAR… just the right kind of night for quizzo!


irishwombat Talking about culture with Prof. Jackson #IvyPlusAR.


Teamwork with the last minute prep for Ivy Plus. (photo, Ivy Plus facebook page)


@emilieckl Filing into the Barnes. #ivyplusAR @IvyPlusAR



A candid of some of the directors, deep in discussion.



Some of our Ivy Plus colleagues on the Early Bird Tour of the Penn Museum. (photo, Ivy Plus facebook page)


@krl67  #ivyplusar, Philly market tour…I’m in heaven!


@jenlynham Everyone else is in the wrong session: mimosas at class benchmarking! #ivyplusar


Yea, we can have some serious fun, too.

ebetz Lisbeth rocks! #ivyplusar @uofpenn @pennalumni


Delco is short for Delaware County, the Philadelphia southwestern suburbs from which several of our staff hail. It IS quite an honor to be accepted and loved by these ladies. (photo, Kiera Reilly)

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Great Preparations

Author: Patrick Bredehoft

As was reported in yesterday’s post, Penn is hosting the annual Alumni Relations Ivy Plus Conference, which is a gathering of AR staff members from the eight Ivy League schools, along with Stanford and MIT.  Over a hundred staff members from other institutions are joining us for three days of workshops, guest speakers, and social events.

Part of Penn’s duties as host include ensuring that our many guests feel welcome on campus, which means goodie bags for everyone. On Monday morning, the Sweeten staff gathered together to create “Welcome to Penn” kits, including snacks, towels, and t-shirts for each participant.  Of course, as hosts, this means we also get to outfit our colleagues from other universities in a complete line of Penn gear: we have already started to see a few extra Penn shirts throughout the conference this week…

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Penn Alumni Welcomes Colleagues for Ivy Plus

Author: Nicole Svonavec, GEd’09

Penn Alumni Relations is so excited to host our AR colleagues from schools across the country at the annual Ivy Plus Conference, which starts today!  We’re ready to learn, share, connect, and party!  Sweeten looks like a whole different building today – we’re showcasing our Penn pride and, for one week only, celebrating our colleagues’ school traditions.  Check it out!

Hurrah for the Red and the Blue!

Hurrah for the Red and the Blue!

And our colleagues too!

And our colleagues too!

Even Freddie Mercury is dressed-to-kill in his Penn red, reminding us that we’re still the champions (of Philadelphia)!

Even Freddie Mercury is dressed-to-kill in his Penn red, reminding us that we’re still the champions (of Philadelphia)!


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Events, Nicole S.

The Art of…the Public Restroom?

Author: Josh Durando

Last week, I was down in Washington D.C. assisting on one of the Time to Shine campaign tour events. In addition to this trip being my very first travel event at Penn, which was a cool learning experience for me, it was also great to see how another planner handles pulling together an event.  When we could spare the time, we’d walk around the city.

My favorite night (other than event night, of course) was when we went to Jaleo, a tapas-style restaurant by acclaimed Spanish chef Jose Andres. Aside from the great food (quail and liquid olives, for example), what I remember most vividly about the restaurant was the bathroom.

Allow me to explain. In my 27 years as a traveler across the country and the world, I’ve seen my fair share of public restrooms. Some were delightful—pleasing decor, spotlessly clean, and maybe even an orchid on the sink that I am tempted to steal.  Others…Let’s just say, they left something to be desired.

But the public bathroom at Jaleo was like none I’ve ever seen.  When you looked down in this bathroom here is what you saw:


An army of people who are apparently super excited you are going to walk on their faces.

I’m not entirely sure what the message is—I think it’s more about branding the place as cool, funky, and above all, full of people who love you.

When I returned from DC, I found myself paying a little more attention to bathroom “art” found at Penn. While I haven’t been scientific about my research, I feel comfortable saying the graffiti art ranks among my favorite so far.


In this very same bathroom stall just a few inches over from the “look right” bandit you would find this:


Though the message is a little antiquated, the intention is not, and that brings me to my final point: the people at Penn are smart. They’re also engaged and witty, and have the creativity to give even bathroom graffiti a political slant.

I’ll keep paying attention to what I see on campus in unexpected places and give you updates and things arise.

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Every Donor Counts!

Author: Max Gaines


This fiscal year, The Penn Fund is striving to reach an ambitious goal 27,000 alumni donors. Every donor counts! To date we’re just under 3,873 away from reaching our goal before June 30, 2013.

Why is giving so important at Penn you ask? Because it provides:

  • · Student financial aid
  • · Faculty support
  • · Improved residential life
  • · Innovate classroom technology
  • · Support student activities and clubs
  • · Make campus improvements possible
  • · Establish labs for innovative research

Be a part of the 27,000 standing behind Penn students today. Giving is easy. You can return the attached pledge card, call The Penn Fund at 800.237.2655 or visit our secure online giving site at

Thank you in advance for being counted as a Proud Penn Donor!

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Penn Summer in D.C.

Author: Gabriela Coya, C’13

For the summer, I’ve left the former capital of the U.S. to intern at the current capital – Washington, DC.

While I’ll always be partial to Philly, these past three weeks in DC have been a blast and I can’t wait to fully explore what this city has to offer.

So far, I’ve gotten to opportunity to meet fellow Penn students in DC through Penn in Washington and the Annenberg Summer Washington Internship Program (which I’m a part of), as well as alumni who’ve already made their mark at places such as The Washington Post and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although I’m still figuring out where I want to end up after graduation, it’s certainly nice to know that I’ll have good company if I do end up calling DC my home.

For now, though, I’m focusing on learning lots, visiting tons of museums, and meeting Bo Obama (and people too, I suppose).

Union Station. I indulged a little and Instagrammed this.

Union Station. I indulged a little and Instagrammed this.

The White House on a hot summer day.

The White House on a hot summer day.


I was hoping Bo Obama might make an appearance. No luck yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

I was hoping Bo Obama might make an appearance. No luck yet, but I’ll keep you posted.

Penn-in-Washington meet and greet.

Penn-in-Washington meet and greet.

I also experienced a derecho while in Bethesda. This was the aftermath of the thunderstorm.

I also experienced a derecho while in Bethesda. This was the aftermath of the thunderstorm.

Stay tuned for more adventures in D.C. over the course of the summer…

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Filed under Gabriela C., Student Perspective, The Arts