Monthly Archives: July 2016

Where in the World is the Penn Alumni Travel Program?

Catch up with Penn Alumni Travel and plan your next trip!

Treasures of Peru (June 6-16, 2017) with Professor David Kazanjian


Click here for trip photos.

Penn alumni and friends joined Penn Professor David Kazanjian on a journey through Peru. The group started in the metropolis of Lima before flying to Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. After a lecture from Professor Kazanjian on the Spanish conquistadors, the group got to explore Incan civilization and the effects of Spanish rule first hand with visits to Ollantaytambo and a traditional Spanish hacienda, before visiting the crown jewel of Inca engineering: Machu Picchu. The group ended the tour in Puno and Lake Titicaca where they learned about the Uros Floating Islands and life at 13,000 feet. For more information about this trip or any Penn Alumni Travel trip, please click here. 

Survey Quotes:

“We trusted Penn to fulfill our dream of visiting Machu Picchu and they delivered a trip that exceeded all our expectations while representing Penn in the best possible way, and honestly, one of the best parts was our fellow travelers who provided the nicest feeling of comradery! We’re already looking at future destinations!” – Susan Carew, Penn Spouse

“[A highlight was] not just Machu Picchu, but the overall wonderment that every day (sometimes twice or three times a day) we would see or experience so many things we had never seen or experienced before.”– Richard Leisner, L’70

Southern France (May 23 – June 4, 2016) with University Curator Lynn Marsden-Atlass

sofranceClick here for trip photos. 

Penn alumni and friends traveled through Southern France with University Curator Lynn Marsden-Atlass, a specialist in 19th– and 20th-century French art. In addition to several formal lectures, Marsden-Atlass treated the group to personal tours through museums filled with art by Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, among others. Alumni and friends toured medieval cities, enjoyed private wine-tastings at vineyards, and saw remnants of the once-great Roman Empire. For more information about this trip or any Penn Alumni Travel trip, please click here. 

Survey Quotes:

“It is a real pleasure to have been able to travel as part of a group that is interested in the arts and history and which got along so well. And it is a special treat to be accompanied by a Penn scholar.”– David Moskowitz, W’71

“This tour was an absolute pleasure… The travel arrangements were excellent: a comfortable bus and congenial driver, outstanding tour guides, lovely hotels with amazing food, and an interesting and diverse itinerary. Perfect for art buffs and lovers of good food and wine.”– Dimi Berkner, CW’64


El Camino de Santiago (June 3-15, 2016) with Professor Thomas Max Safley

caminoClick here for trip photos.

Penn alumni and friends hiked the Camino de Santiago with Professor Thomas Max Safley, an expert on early modern European history. The Camino, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a 1,000 year-old pilgrimage route to the spiritual capital of Santiago de Compostela and one of Europe’s most famous walking trails. Along the way, alumni and friends enjoyed lovely scenery, medieval towns, and (of course) fine Spanish cuisine. In Burgos and Leon, the group marveled at majestic gothic cathedrals. In Silos, they experience Gregorian chant performed by the world-famous monks. At the end of the hike, the group experienced the Botafumeiro ritual, a famous incense-burning ritual in the cathedral itself. For more information about this trip or any Penn Alumni Travel trip, please click here.

Survey Quotes:

“A trip through Penn can open a new world of travel. The faculty component really made this experience all encompassing.”– Gretchen Gall

“This trip was a perfect way to experience [the Camino], with many opportunities to walk part of it combined with a historical tour across Northern Spain. The trip was very well organized with attention to every detail, good hotels, fine meals, terrific guides and a wonderful group of travel mates of all ages.”– Jane Barnsteiner, NU’70, GNU’73

The Great Journey (June 25-July 5, 2016) with Professor Rebecca Bushnell

great journey

Click here for trip photos.

Professor Rebecca Bushnell hosted Penn alumni and friends on a “Grand Tour” of Europe. The group enjoyed stunning scenery in Switzerland before cruising the Rhine River and visiting beautiful Alsatian Strasbourg. Along the way, Professor Bushnell introduced the group to past authors who described these scenes for an 18th-century audience. For more information about Penn Alumni Travel visit:

Across Spain and Portugal (June 14-30, 2016) with Professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw

spainClick here for trip photos.

Penn alumni and friends traveled across Spain and Portugal with Art History Professor Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw. After arriving in Lisbon, Portugal, alumni traveled to Oporto and enjoyed a cruise on the Douro River. Crossing into Spain, the group visited the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela then traveled along northern Spain to points of interest including Leon and Bilbao where they visited the Guggenheim Fine Arts Museum and learned about the collection from Professor Shaw. For more information about Penn Alumni Travel visit:


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Strategic Volunteer Opportunity

Strategic volunteer opportunity for Penn alums in NYC, Philadelphia and Silicon Valley. Apply by 8/19 to join us this Fall.

Over 100 Penn alumni put their professional skills to work this year to make a positive impact on their cities. They joined PennPAC (Pro bono Alumni Consulting) to volunteer as strategic consultants to nonprofits in New York and Philadelphia. In teams of alumni curated by PennPAC, they supported organizations serving a broad range of clients from children seeking a best start to their education to adults seeking legal aid. Projects varied from the development of marketing plans to market entry strategies.  During our most recent round, which concluded in May, six nonprofits were supported via 8-10 week consulting engagements, while two were supported via one-time ImPACt volunteer events.


PennPAC project team celebrating their project completion.

This Spring was PennPAC’s 10th project round.  Over the past five years, PennPAC has brought together Penn alumni-volunteers from almost every school at Penn and from a wide range of ages and careers. From newly minted accountants to retired marketing executives, from architects to lawyers, PennPAC draws a varied, intelligent group of enthusiastic, energetic alums seeking to make positive change in their cities. Volunteers work as consultants on 8-10 week projects, attend one-time ImPACt volunteer events, and also support PennPAC via special projects.

Since PennPAC’s founding in 2011, Penn alums have volunteered to provide over $2.5 million in consulting services to over 40 nonprofits, all while having fun, expanding their networks and fine-tuning their professional skills.  As Volunteer JC Ibarra (WH 2012) shared during his project: “It is satisfying to have an outlet to deliver impact for a good cause…PennPAC is my first significant extracurricular commitment post graduating from Penn, and I can’t think of a better way to spend some free time.” Volunteer Elise Udolf (CAS 1982) echoes the sentiment: “I found working with our team extremely rewarding. Not having the same areas of expertise as some of my teammates, I found the experience enlightening and very interesting.”

Penn alumni also serve as the daily PennPAC management, marketing and operations team. Jackie Einstein Astrof (CAS 1993) is the Founder and Executive Director, Anne Turner (WG  1994) is as the Chief Operations Officer, Jeannette Chang (WH 2008) is the Vice Chair of Volunteer Relations and Bleema Bershad (WH 1995) is the Director of Communications.

Join us!  Volunteer with PennPAC:

  • NYC – Learn more and apply by 8/19 to join us for 8-10 week projects beginning October 2016 (time commitments begin at 3-5 hours/week) or subscribe to our email list to hear more about our one-time ImPACt volunteer opportunities and other events
  • Philadelphia – Leadership opportunities available, contact for more information.
  • Silicon Valley – Learn more about joining the founding team here.


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Relationships Matter

By Howard “Howdy” Freedlander, Col’67 and PAR’02

I learned first-hand on a lovely Wednesday evening, June 29, 2016, that relationships underscore the essence of giving.

The occasion was a pre-50th reunion gathering at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) to view a guided tour of a new exhibit, Embracing the Contemporary: The Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection of Contemporary Art.

The guides were Keith, W’67, and Kathy, CW’69. Keith is a friend and co-gift chair of our Class of 1967’s 50th reunion, as he has been for at least five past reunions. As President of the Class of 1967 since 2002, I I have been fortunate to work with Keith and observe his work ethic and fundraising prowess. I’ve gotten to know and like Kathy, an emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

Back to relationships and their transformative effect.

Art became an immediate part of Keith and Kathy’s lives. When Keith graduated from Penn, Kathy gave him an antique print of Penn. When he entered Harvard Law School, she bought him another Penn print. When they became engaged, she gave him a Miro print.

Their loving relationship began with art. It continues. Their collection of contemporary art is a prized part of PMA and, even more broadly, the tapestry of Philadelphia’s cultural offerings.

As they learned about what they liked and didn’t like, the Sachses took a serious leap in their search for art in the early 1980s when they approached Paul Rosenthal, a former curator of 20th-century art at PMA and sought his advice. This connection to PMA was a critical one, though the Sachses have long been involved with the museum as trustees, committee chairs, guides and co-curators.

As a group of roughly 30 of us dutifully followed and questioned Keith and Kathy through their special exhibit and other galleries containing their art, we learned that this couple has had long-term relationships and friendships with some of the artists, including Jasper Johns, well-known in the contemporary art world. In fact, Keith relentlessly sought one of Johns’ pieces, finally acquiring it after 15 years of effort.


Keith Sachs describes his efforts to acquire Jasper Johns paintings.

Also during our tour, another thing became readily evident: Keith and Kathy’s loving relationship. Each yielded comfortably to each other in telling a personal story or explaining an artist’s thinking and creativity. You could feel their enthusiasm. You could observe their thoughtful approach to collecting art for four decades.


Kathy Sachs, foreground, and Keith Sachs (pointing) lead a group of Penn ’67 alums on a tour of a special exhibition of contemporary art collected by Keith and Kathy and promised to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

What we saw at PMA has been part of the Sachs’ home in Rydal, PA. The art and their home have been one of the same. Another personal relationship.

The promised gift of more than 100 paintings, sculptures, prints and videos is one based on multiple relationships: between Keith and Kathy, between the Sachses and the museum, between the Sachses and the artists, and, on a macro level, between this generous couple and a city they love, Philadelphia.

And it all started at Penn.

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