A “Billion for Ben Bag” Survives (69 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93, and  Ruth McIlhenny Gormé, C’93

The weekend of January 13-14 marked 69 weeks until our 25th reunion in our #93tothe25th countdown. This week we thank Ruth McIlhenny Gormé, C’93, for taking us on a trip down memory lane, seeing how far Penn has come since our Freshman year.

As you may remember, Penn celebrated its 250th Anniversary in the Spring of our Freshman year, and the celebrations continued into the Fall of our Sophomore year with the final celebration taking place on College Green in December, 1990 (see our 74 Weeks post on that celebration here).

In conjunction with the celebrations was a capital campaign for Penn dubbed, “A Billion for Ben.”

Ruth still has the tote bag from those celebrations and uses it regularly – see it here in the back of her car. I had one of these bags too, but it is in no shape to be photographed.

A Billion for Ben 250th Celebration bag - still in use 25+ years later! Credit: Ruth McIlhenny Gorme, C'93

A Billion for Ben 250th Celebration bag – still in use 25+ years later! Credit: Ruth McIlhenny Gorme, C’93

Ruth writes, “I’m sending a picture of the tote bag I got working on the “Billion for Ben” campaign our freshman year.  It’s still in use! Remember when a billion dollar endowment was something to strive for? What’s Penn’s endowment now? According to a June 2016 report, it’s now over $10 billion!”

Ruth is correct, according to Penn’s annual report last year, as of June 30, 2016, Penn’s endowment stands at $10.7 billion. We’ve come a long way since 1990!

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

January 13 – 14, 2017, marked 69 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

  • Do you have old photos or mementos from our time at Penn? Photos of Spring Fling? Football at Franklin Field? Classes at DRL? We are taking a trip down memory lane and would love for you to share your memories with our class in a future post. Please email us upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Kiera R.

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