Monthly Archives: February 2018

Smokes – the Pennstitution

By Mark Sullivan, C’93

Here are some of my memories of Smokes.

Smokey Joe's Smokes at Penn

The inside of Smokey Joe’s, photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan

Raid by the Liquor Control Board (LCB)

During the first semester of our freshman year, it was still possible to get into Smokes with a Penn student ID and other questionable forms of identification. The Pennsylvania liquor control board began to crack down, and so we had to be tougher with ID’s. I began bouncing at the end of my freshman year. Members of the wrestling team/ATO had proven to be adept at handling the imposing Penn student population. As you may recall, the uniform for all Smokey Joe’s employees – bartenders, wait staff and bouncers – was a long sleeve oxford with a tie that was tucked in. Many a night, someone would show up without a tie, so there were extra ties (many of them very ugly) that were kept behind the upstairs and downstairs bars. One night during our sophomore or junior year, the LCB raided Smokey Joe’s. They blocked the front and back doors, made everyone exit one by one and checked their ID’s. Some enterprising (and underage) patrons put on some of the extra ties that were behind the bar and tried to pass themselves off as employees. Unfortunately, they wore the ties over polo shirts, baggy sweaters or sweatshirts, and the LCB was not convinced.

Joe Whelpy at Smokes

Joe Whelpy at Smokes, photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan

Erin Express

The Erin Express is a pub crawl held around St. Patrick’s day throughout University City and Center City. School buses drive a loop to each bar that participates in the Erin Express. One year, one of the buses pulled up to Smokey Joe’s and the bus driver went in to use the restroom. One of the passengers grew impatient and drove the bus to the next bar.

Smokey Joe's owners Pat and Paul Ryan

Pat and Paul Ryan, owners of Smokey Joe’s, photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan

21st Birthday Celebrations

I learned the real names of several of our classmates on their 21st birthdays. Most of the birthday celebrations were benign, but a few got out of hand, including one male celebrant who ended up riding a bicycle naked in the downstairs bar at the end of the night.

Sink or Swim flyer for Smokey Joe's Smokes

Sink or Swim flyer photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan

Nearby Shooting

By our junior year, Smoke‘s had installed the video camera and microphone to prove that each person admitted had been carded and stated their name and date of birth. Very late in the Spring of that year, I was working the door with another bouncer (who shall remain nameless). It was a very warm evening and the windows and front door were open. Smoke‘s was pretty empty – it may have even been the week of final exams. Just as the other bouncer and I were carding two women who walked in together, gun shoots rang out on the corner of 40th and Walnut just outside of McDonald’s. The other bouncer and I could see some flashes of light and the car with the shooter speed away. I remember the strong smell of gunpowder lingering in the humid air. The other bouncer and I excitedly recounted the events to everyone inside Smoke‘s. We explained how brave we had been and how we had sprung into action and protected the two women who we were checking for ID by removing them from harm’s way. The only problem was that the video recorder had been running and when they played back the tape, it showed the other bouncer and I cowering behind the two women patrons when we heard the gunshots and using them as human shields. Management played that tape every night for the following week to everyone else’s amusement.

Smokey Joe's the Pennstitution

The Pennstitution – photo by Mark Sullivan

Ken Kweder at Smokey Joe's

Ken Kweder plays at Smokes, photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan

What was your favorite bar on campus? Do you remember hanging out at Smokes? If you have memories, share them in the comments below.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of December 22 – 23, marked 20 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)! Meet us at the Button!

Register NOW to attend our 25th Reunion!

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!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  • Donate to The Penn Fund in honor of our reunion! We want to break the 25th reunion participation giving record and every gift matters!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

The Marriott Downtown (where we had a Penn 1993 and a Penn Alumni room block) is sold out for Alumni Weekend. There are alternative hotels near by. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th


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The Revolutionary Quaker: The Unheard History of Penn’s Mascot

By: Jorge Penado, C’19
International Relations Major
Work-Study Student, Sweeten Alumni House


Source: University of Pennsylvania Flickr

The Fighting Quaker? A term most people at Penn have become so accustomed to identifying with our mascot that we rarely question it or its history. However, anyone who is even slightly aware of the Pennsylvania-centered Quaker religious movement may wonder how a phrase so paradoxical in nature could end up becoming the well-known mascot of our own Penn. Even further, most people could also mistakenly associate Quakerism with the most famous figure in Penn’s history, Benjamin Franklin. Nonetheless, people will soon realize that Franklin was not a Quaker, himself, and that the university has never had any direct connection to Quakerism. But, even the paradoxical phrase, Fighting Quaker, does have some ground in history and became realized in the university’s athletics due to coincidental nature and geographic location.

In colonial America, the Quaker religion originally grew in prominence in New England. In the mid-17th century, Quaker missionaries traveled to North America in order to preach their religious movement that originated in England. However, they would soon enough face discrimination in New England as people considered them heretics and began to banish them from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This persecution would lead Quakers in North America to migrate southwards where they would establish thriving communities in the Delaware Valley, particularly Philadelphia. William Penn, the namesake, and founder of the state would find Pennsylvania in 1682 and would run the commonwealth under Quaker principles. Quakers would maintain their beliefs of pacifism and pursuit of the “Inner Light,” which would be internally challenged during the American Revolution. As Philadelphia had become one of the largest cities and busiest trading ports in British America, there was a significant movement in the city that supported the revolution, even amongst the generally peaceful Quakers. In 1781, the Religious Society of Free Quakers, or more simply known as Free Quakers, would be established by expelled members of the Quaker community who failed to obey their pacifist nature n order to support the American Revolution. Hence, the term, Fighting Quaker, may not be such a historical anomaly as there actually did exist a Quaker sub-community that supported fighting for American Independence.

However, this still doesn’t answer the question of how Quakerism and Penn became associated, and the association wouldn’t directly emerge for another hundred years. As one of the oldest institutions in America, Penn has a lengthy history, and one of the many eras in its history would have to be its prominence in athletics in the late 19th century. In the early 19th century, student athletics had taken universities by storm as various organizations and teams were established. Penn’s first sports organization consisting of Penn students, the Junior Club, was founded in 1842. It wouldn’t be long before intercollegiate athletics would become a staple of college life.

Penn didn’t actually substantially enter intercollegiate sports until the 1880s and 1890s after Harvard, Yale and Princeton had begun to organize early intercollegiate athletics. Penn would set their foot with the establishment of Franklin Field in 1894. Once intercollegiate athletics picked it, it was sports writing that would serve as the definitive influencer on Penn’s mascot. Since Philadelphia was known as the “Quaker City,” it became easy for sportswriters to associate the university with the city and thus, the predominant Quaker religion and then call Penn’s athletic teams Quakers. This emerged much like the term “Ivy League” which began in New York sports writing to identify the colleges along the northeastern coast and as a reference to the custom of planting ivy on these college campuses. At the end of the day, the Penn Quaker was referenced enough that it eventually stuck and would soon enough be used in the 20th century and depicted on various pennants.


Source: University Archives Digital Image Collection

Once the Quaker was accepted, it would undergo various changes and enhancements. Quite recently in 2004 and 2006, the mascot would be refurbished and reintroduced after a previous version was criticized by many. Interestingly enough, on February 28, 2006, the Daily Pennsylvanian would run a story about the negative reaction to the new-look Quaker as people at a men’s basketball game reacted with “curious murmurs” about the new mascot that was believed to appear too menacing. Luckily, the new Quaker mascot has been accepted by the Penn community as he makes regular appearances at sporting events throughout the year. While the university is not a Quaker institution and has minimal interaction with the Quaker community, its location in the city of brotherly love would soon enough informally secure its mascot as the one and only, the Fighting Quaker.

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What can you do with a Women’s Studies Degree?

By: Lisa Ellen Niver, C’89

“I am a travel hack,” I thought to myself during a Branded Content workshop in November 2015. I was listening to esteemed speakers and judging myself against everyone in the room. “They are real journalists,” was the chant in my head. “They went to “J” (Journalism) school and work for real papers. I would never get the jobs they are talking about.”

Later in the day, there was a travel speaker who discussed income, exposure, and experiences. Sometimes he was paid $1 or $2 a word and sometimes he just wanted to take the trip. In 2016, I was invited on a two-week luxury trip to Italy. Maybe I could pick my self-esteem up off the floor. I was making progress on my website, We Said Go Travel, and had just been hired for my first Instagram take-over, something most people in the room were shocked to learn was an actual job.

During that same year, I attended six different conferences to learn about writing, social media, and destinations. I was willing to soak up any advice and take any suggestion. I worked with a media coach and made a sizzle reel. I focused on asking for help. I used my University of Pennsylvania network and dedicated full days to my work, starting early every day and working late into the night. An editor told me, “Just be undeniably good. Whatever you do, do your best and eventually, people will notice.”

This advice was echoed at the Penn Women’s LA Career Networking Event 2017, “Women in Entertainment.” The entertainment industry panel included Meredith Stiehm (C’90), Alison Hoffman, Veena Sud, Allison Schroeder and Jennifer Gwartz (C’90). Moderator Fielding Edlow’s (C’95) questions made for a phenomenal event and included how to approach a mentor, what would you tell your 22-year-old self, how to deal with sexism and how to get an agent.


Penn Women in Entertainment

Penn “Women in Entertainment” Event 2017

This incredible award-winning panel included the screenwriter for Hidden Figures and the creator of Cold Case and Homeland. What did all of these women have to say? “Be kind to yourself. Don’t give up. Create a network. Add value. Know that you will get there.” I sat up in my chair and thought this is what I do. I am working hard every day. Maybe someday I will get to sit in a chair on a panel like this and say, “I actually did it.”

Jennifer Gwartz (C’90) told us: “There is no wrong path. There are no wrong jobs. No wrong experiences. Everything you do will enrich your storytelling. Have experiences, relationships and remember to be kind to yourself. Most of all, have fun.” I have not always believed in myself or that I would ever get anywhere, but I have kept going.

Listening to Allison Schroeder talk about a year where 44 pitches were rejected but then she went on to write Mean Girls 2 and Hidden Figures and be nominated for an Academy Award was inspiring. All of the women spoke about rejection, the need for a thick skin and perseverance.

The Penn motto, “Inveniemus viam aut faciemus—“We will find a way or we shall make one,” has been a mantra for me since my years at Penn. While I was a student, I co-founded a magazine and was active in student organizations. There were paths that seemed to be dead-ends but somehow I persisted. At Penn and after, I was often asked to defend my choice of a Women’s Studies Major. “What can you do with that?” was usually the question. My answer? “The goal of a liberal arts education is not to memorize facts but to find solutions to problems that do not yet exist. This interdisciplinary major is teaching me to think.” My coursework led me to USCF Medical school, but I chose to leave and teach science instead. After working for years in education and earning a Masters Degree, I spent seven years traveling the seven seas by ship as I worked for three cruises lines.

Traveling to nearly 100 countries, I have seen history come to life in the pyramids, Angkor Wat and Guadalcanal. In March 2017, I reached one million views on Roku, Amazon, and YouTube. In April 2017, I was named Adventure Correspondent on The Jet Set TV talk show. In May 2017, I was named a finalist in two categories for the Southern California Journalism Awards. I was invited to be a Facebook Live host for USA Today 10Best. In June 2017, I received an award from the Los Angeles Press Club, along with Andrea Mitchell (C’67), who received The Joseph M. Quinn Award for Lifetime Achievement. In November 2017 and February 2018, I had my first two travel segments on KTLA TV.


Lisa Niver Andrea Mitchell

Lisa Niver, C’90 and Andrea Mitchell, C’67



Adventure correspondent TheJetSET TV

Lisa Niver, Adventure Correspondent, The Jet Set TV

During the Penn networking event, Allison Hoffman from Starz told us, “Careers are not linear.” I know for certain my path has been circular and full of stops and round-a-bouts. I realized I had closed the door on medicine and teaching but had found a window into the wild west world of media. I am a travel journalist and an explorer.

I realized what you can do with a Women’s Studies Degree from Penn: anything you can dream!
Lisa Niver (C’89), founder of We Said Go Travel, walked in graduation for her 25th reunion in 2014 with her college roommate. She has contributed to Frankly Penn, Wharton Magazine and created events for PennClubLA and is planning with her classmates for her 30-year reunion in 2019. Find more of her adventures at We Said Go Travel.

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Trying to Remember Feb Club

By the 1993 Senior Class Board

Five years ago as we prepared to celebrate our 20th Reunion, we wrote a post about Feb Club, a now annual senior year tradition started by our Senior Class Board (you can read that post here: Celebrating Feb Club – 20 Years Later with Penn 1993).

Now we wondered, how did Feb Club begin? We asked the Senior Class Board for more insight, and they responded in an email chain…

Brooke Hays, W’93, WG’99

I actually came up with the idea for Feb Club because I felt bad for the Deke guys who couldnt get anyone to go out with them.  So we convinced seniors to go out every night. The T-shirts helped the Deke guys fit in at the parties.

Laurie Bieber, C’93, GEd’94

Funny man you are, Brooke Hayes!

I honestly don’t remember the details.  Anyone?

Lisa (Luther) Housel, NU’93

Ha! Brooke!! Good to see you haven’t lost your sense of humor after all these years!

I don’t really remember any of the details either- glad to see I’m not the only one 🙂

Only thing I remember is trying to coordinate our schedules so at least one of us was able attend every event that month to manage things. Turned into quite a busy social schedule for all of us. Also have no idea how we ever got anything done before email and cell phones to help with communication. Lots of in-person meetings I guess! Fun times with a great team!

Elissa Laitin, ENG’93

I totally remember that the idea was a spin-off of DKE’s Feb Club. We didn’t go out every night – it was like 11-12 events during the month.

We also had a raffle to help incentivize people to come to all the events. I think it was a $100 cash prize and people were only eligible if they came to at least 10 of the 11 events, or something like that. So then we had to manually track everyone who came to every event….

One of the things that was great about it was that there were a bunch of non-bar events like ice skating, movie night, and a basketball game – and that brought out a lot of seniors who didn’t come to other things b/c they wanted social events that weren’t just about drinking.

Boy this is bringing up a lot of memories! And now I’m getting Senior Week flashbacks.  Just don’t ask me what I did last weekend – that, I don’t remember….

Chrissy Bass Hofbeck, C’93

I just went in the attic to dig out my old Penn planner in hopes of finding the Feb Club schedule. Unfortunately the only thing tucked into my planner was a photo from Spring Break in Jamaica.

That said, I remember there were 3 events per week for a total of 12. I think you needed to go to 10 of the 12 to get a t-shirt. And yes, we had equal numbers (or so) of bar versus non-bar events. So we are all having the same recollection of events. I remember having our Board meetings in Brooke’s room at Sigma Chi.

Those were good times. Hope to see you all at the reunion in May. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years.

Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro, C’93

I am so impressed with all you guys remember. I can remember neither what I did this past weekend nor the details of Feb club except that it was an idea borrowed from Deke. I do, however, have pictures…

1993 Senior Class Board Feb Club schedule

The 1993 Feb Club schedule as published in The DP. Photo courtesy of Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro

Stephen Jung, C’93, shared these tickets from Feb Club events.

1993 Penn Senior Class Board Feb Club movie screening

The photo was labeled Columbia Game, but looking at the seats we think it’s in the Eric 3 for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off screening. Photo courtesy of Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro.


Class of 1993 Feb Club skating at the 1923 Ice Rink

Marianne (Alves) Brogdale, Lisa (Bardfeld) Shapiro, and Kiera Reilly skating at the 1923 Ice Rink for Feb Club, photo courtesy of Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro

1993 Feb Club event at Smoke's Smokey Joe's

Smoke’s, photo courtesy of Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro

1993 Feb Club Initiates Senior Year at University of Pennsylvania

The list of Initiates – all the 1993 Classmates who attended at least 10 events! Photo courtesy of Jenn Spadano-Gasbarro

Feb Club t-shirt Senior Class Board 1993

The back of the original Feb Club t-shirt – a tradition started by the Class of 1993! Photo courtesy of Alyssa Newman, C’93

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of February 16 – 17, 2018, marked 12 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)! Meet us at the Button!

Register NOW to attend our 25th Reuion!

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!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  • Donate to The Penn Fund in honor of our reunion! We want to break the 25th reunion participation giving record and every gift matters!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

The Marriott Downtown (where we had a Penn 1993 and a Penn Alumni room block) is sold out for Alumni Weekend. There are alternative hotels near by. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th


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Penn Serves LA Serves Thanksgiving Meals to the Homeless in Downtown LA

By Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16

It is difficult to imagine that in 1944 Fred Jordan came to Skid Row and found hungry people living in boxes with their meager possessions strewn around the asphalt.  Sadly very little has changed in the ensuing years.

But throughout that time the Fred Jordan Mission has been steadfast on Skid Row, “Loving the unloved, feeding the hungry and healing the hurting.”  The Jordan family continues to be involved in running this non-profit, faith-based and educational relief organization.

A large crowd of Penn volunteers of all ages showed up in two shifts on this exceedingly hot and sunny Thanksgiving.  There was no shortage of helpers. Crowds of single guests and families lined up patiently waiting for their meal, while city leaders and clergy spoke and music blasted from a stage.

Penn Serves LA Thanksgiving dinner at Fred Jordan Missions

Penn Serves LA volunteers arrive on Thanksgiving morning ready to help, photo courtesy of Justin Gordon.

Penn Serves LA Thanksgiving Fred Jordan Mission

The early morning crew gathers on an unusually warm Thanksgiving Day in LA. Photo courtesy of Kiera Reilly

The event was planned to create a festive, tasty and embracing Thanksgiving for the poor, the working poor and the homeless, and the Mission was prepared to serve 3000 people at their 73rd annual Street Banquet.

Penn Serves LA serves Thanksgiving Dinner at Fred Jordan Mission

Penn Alumni in front of the Fred Jordan Mission in downtown LA. Photo courtesy of Justin Gordon

Penn Serves LA volunteers helped set tables, arrange chairs, serve plates of food, pass out drinks and mingle with the crowds.  Rarely has one seen larger drumsticks or heartier portions of mashed potatoes, and the diners seemed grateful for the wonderful meal and the upbeat atmosphere.

Penn Serves LA Thanksgiving Dinner Fred Jordan Mission

Penn Serves LA volunteers setting up the dinner tables. Photo courtesy of Justin Gordon


Penn Serves LA Thanksgiving Dinner Fred Jordan Mission

Serving Thanksgiving Dinner at Fred Jordan Missions near Skid Row not far from downtown LA. Photo courtesy of Kiera Reilly

Some Penn volunteers helped to pack and hand out sizable bags of produce to guests after they finished their meals.  As the sun reached its peak, tables were cleared and folded up, bags of trash were taken inside the mission, and brooms were at work to leave the streets clean before evening set in.

The Penn volunteers headed back to their cars, home to families for their own Thanksgiving celebrations.  To get to our vehicles, we walked by tents on the sidewalks, various encampments and people returning to their lives on the streets.  Our “work” that day was easy, but one could not help but feel humbled by what we had observed and experienced.

Penn Serves LA Thanksgiving Dinner Fred Jordan Missions

Penn Serves LA volunteers hand out bags of food to guests as they leave after enjoying a Thanksgiving meal. Photo courtesy of Jane Gutman

Upcoming Events

About Penn Serves LA

Penn Serves LA logo volunteering with Penn Alumni in Los Angeles

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

Since our founding in 2012, we have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy a fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents, and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Michelle Wattana, C’09 | Denise Winner, W’83, PAR’21

Read about our previous events:


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Vietnam on Locust: The Peace Symbol Statue & History of the Vietnam War on Penn’s Campus

By: Jorge Penado, C’19
International Relations Major
Work-Study Student, Sweeten Alumni House


Source: The Penn Art Collection

As one takes a stroll through Penn’s campus, one can easily notice the variety of public art on display across campus. From the notable LOVE Statue to the Covenant on 39th and Locust, it’s clear that Penn has devoted time to the beautification of campus. However, we don’t always consider the context and history of some of these pieces of art as we walk hastily down Locust. In particular, one piece of art that remains almost hidden from the sight of students is Robert Engman’s 1969 Peace Symbol standing in front of Van Pelt Library. At first glance, we wonder what significance it has, but one would soon discover the piece’s history as related to the university and the Vietnam War.

But first, it would benefit us to learn a bit more from the sculptor. Robert Engman was born in Belmont, Massachusetts in 1927 to Swedish immigrants. At the young age of 15, he joined the US Navy and served in the Pacific theater of World War II. After returning to the US, he received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later, his MFA in Painting and Sculpture from Yale University in 1955. It wouldn’t be until 1964 that he would become Penn’s Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture and until 1974 that his now familiar piece, Triune, would be found across City Hall. However, it was in 1969 that he, alongside eight Penn students, would install the sculpture, Peace Symbol, an emblem of student protest against the University’s lack of a stance on the Vietnam War.

Now, you may ask yourself, what was the stance of the university? Well, as many college campuses had done, Penn’s students and faculty began to hold various protests against US policy in Vietnam. Efforts emerged around campus such as in April 1965 with posters urging students to join the Washington March or from April 8-15, 1967 when Vietnam Week was held on campus. On June 5, 1966, sixty-seven Penn faculty members signed a nationwide petition urging the government to stop its policy in Vietnam. Nevertheless, protests against Penn would begin as a reaction to two things: Penn’s involvement with the Dow Chemical Company, the principal supplier of napalm to the Department of Defense, and Penn’s “bacteriological warfare unit.”

On one hand, students would challenge Penn’s connection to Dow with protests held in early November 1967. At a recruitment effort with Dow and the CIA, eighty protesters would line the hallways of Cohen Hall in a sit-in meant to disrupt recruitment efforts which it eventually did. On the other hand, students once again rose to protest against allegations that the university was involved in a top-secret bacteriological warfare unit. On October 15, 1965, students would protest outside the Institute for Cooperative Research (ICR), the alleged unit, which led the university to admit it’s research in biological and chemical warfare was being done from a defensive standpoint. Protests would again emerge against ICR on October 1966 at Houston Hall, and the university would report that ICR was disbanded even if President Gaylord P. Harnwell stated it had no connection to warfare.

Ultimately, the university would still maintain their lack of a stance with regards to the war. Arguments presented at the time spoke of institutional morality and whether the university even wanted to engage with national policy. Nevertheless, even though the university never adopted an official stance, other organizations and student groups continued their efforts. Whether it was the Graduate Students Association who called for an immediate withdrawal of forces, the Vietnam Commencement in 1969 which saw students and faculty commemorate 1969 graduates who were expected to die in the war or anti-war protests at the 1972 Hey Day, it was clear that Penn’s campus was exercising their right to protest in a tumultuous time in America’s history.


Source: University Archives Digital Image Collection

Protests would continue until the end of the war in 1975 and mark a finale to the wartime dissent on Penn’s campus. From this time, the Peace Symbol would remain in front of Van Pelt as a representation of the opposition of Penn students and faculty and a focal point for the gathering of students in protests. While the sculpture would be the site of the tragic suicide of Kathy Change, a political activist, in 1996 meant to send a message against violence, it remains as a reminder of politics on Penn’s campus. Even though its history is riddled with unrest and violence, it’s important to see it as a reminder of the necessity to respect and promote the namesake of this piece of art.

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Penn 1993 Love Connections Part 4

Since it was Valentine’s Day last week, we asked our Penn 1993 classmates if they met their spouse at Penn. Many classmates responded with the story of how they met, if they met at Penn, and if they both graduated in 1993. We will be sharing these stories over a few posts. Here is the fourth installment of Penn Couples from the Class of 1993!

Stories included in this post:
  • Allison Feder Fliegler, W’93, L’99, and Brett Fliegler, W’93
  • Michelle (Pohusky) Wellman, Eng’93, and Parris Wellman, Eng’93
  • Vyjayanti (Tharmaratnam) Desai, C’93, WG’00, and Sanjay Desai, Eng’93, W’93
  • Christie Shaw Whidden, W’93, and Michael Whidden, C’93
  • Mara Turbiner Felder, C’93, and Alan Felder, W’93
  • Meredith Grabois Josef, C’93, and Brian Josef, C’93
  • Dorothea Schlosser, W’93, and Tom Kopczynski, W’93
  • Hilary (Marion) Hayes, C’93, and Brooke Hayes, W’93, WG’99
  • Margaret (Kane) Schoen, Eng’93, and Larry Schoen, C’93, W’93
  • Liz (Rabii) Cribbs, W’93, and Derek Cribbs, W’93
  • Barry Mark, C’93, and Jorie Green Mark, C’96
  • Sejal (Tailor) Srinivasan, W’93, and Naren Srinivasan, W’94, C’94
  • Carol Wilkinson, C’94, and Dan Schoenholz, C’93
  • Jaclyn (Israel) Leit, C’93, and Richard Leit, C’94

Allison Feder Fliegler, W’93, L’99, and Brett Fliegler, W’93

The first day of senior year, I started walking home from my class at the Colonial Penn Center on Locust Walk, and I noticed Brett Fliegler walking out of the same building. I said something about about not seeing him in a while. As it turned out, he and I hadn’t been on campus together in over a year, since we were each abroad opposite semesters of junior year. Our off campus houses were on the same block (shout out to all my 4038 ladies!), so we walked home together throughout the semester and became fast friends, though we didn’t date at Penn.
After graduation, we both headed to NYC. That fall, Stacey Graff Kaufman, C’93, and I were on our way to meet Suzy Shlensky Aronoff, C’93, Jen Eisenberg Bernstein, C’93, and others (who else?) for Gabi Gould Solash’s, C’93, birthday dinner at Tony Di Napoli’s, when we ran into Brett and Todd Aronoff, C’93, on the street. Brett mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had just given him my number the day before, so of course I asked him why I hadn’t heard from him yet. He called the following Wednesday (still not sure what the hell took so long). Our first official date was a week later—we ate at Fez and saw Blue Man Group in the east Village, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Brett and I have been together for 24 years, married for 18, and took our kids, Emme (15) and Matthew (12), to see Blue Man group on the 20th anniversary of our first date. They thought it was just ok. What do they know anyway?

Michelle (Pohusky) Wellman, Eng’93, and Parris Wellman, Eng’93

Our story began at 220 S. 33rd Street (the Towne Building) one April evening in 1991. Six years of graduate school, one wedding ceremony, five startups, ten jobs, five moves, one money pit and one little girl later, we’re still together. Grayer, older and probably not any wiser. The best adventures are yet to come…

Vyjayanti (Tharmaratnam) Desai, C’93, WG’00, and Sanjay Desai, Eng’93, W’93

Sanjay (nickname Bobby) and Vyjayanti were friends from the very beginning of freshman year. Bobby is pretty sure he met her at a party orientation week, although she doesn’t quite remember that. They were friends throughout Penn…studying together for hours (or trying to study) on the 4th floor of Van Pelt or in Steinberg Dietrich, dancing weekends away with their same group of friends at parties, supporting each other through other relationships, taking Amtrak down to their hometowns together for vacations, and practicing bhangra past midnight with their dance troupe on the High Rise rooftop.

It’s hard to put a date on their official start of their relationship…she laughs at how many Saturday evenings she ignored his inebriated declarations of affection for her because she knew that on Sunday when they met up to study or grab a meal, he would not remember. Post college, they dated long distance as well as overlapped in Boston for graduate school. They got married in 1999 and live in Bethesda, MD with their 11 year old twin boys.

Christie Shaw Whidden, W’93, and Michael Whidden, C’93

We met at the intersection of 40th and Spruce in the beginning of senior year; it will be forever debated whether the fateful spot was at Billy Bob’s or, across the street, at Allegro.  Our paths would cross a few more times in the fall while friends such as Elissa Laitin, Eng’93, Chris Gidden, W’93, Elaine Chang, C’93, and James Helfrich, Eng’94, GEN’95, served as emissaries.  Fortuitous seating in spring semester AMES 090 brought our worlds irreversibly together.
Editor: What is AMES?
Christie: Asian and Middle Eastern Studies!
We started dating in February 1993, got engaged in Japan in November 1995, got married on Long Island in 1999, settled into Brooklyn in 2000, and have since brought three little Quakers into the world: Miranda (11yo), Everett (7yo) and Atticus (5yo).

Mara Turbiner Felder, C’93, and Alan Felder, W’93

 Alan and I met freshman year in a Chemistry lecture hall.  We were both pre-med at the time, and I thought he was really cute so I mustered the courage to sit next to him one day. He soon realized that pre-med was not for him (something about a D in Chem lab) and transferred to Wharton.  We would never have another class together but kept seeing one another around campus.  By junior year we were dating seriously, even staying together while Alan was abroad in Heidelberg. I sent him lots of care packages, and he wrote me lots of letters (snail mail on that thin, blue, international postage paper).
After graduation we remained together even though we were in different cities for several years. We finally came together in 1996 to live in South Africa for a year and get married. It’s been 21 years, and I still tease him about almost failing Chemistry! We now have two daughters (Samantha, 17 and Emily, 15) and a ton of good memories of Penn and all the years that followed.

Meredith Grabois Josef, C’93, and Brian Josef, C’93

Brian and I are both ‘93 grads. We met freshman year at the Quad, but didn’t start dating until sophomore year, when a chance meeting near High Rise North led to our first date—Bocce pizza & TCBY. We got engaged at the High Rises six years later and will celebrate our 20th anniversary later this month! Some of our favorite memories of Penn include late nights at Murph’s and Abner’s with friends, road tripping to see Penn basketball play in the NCAAs in Syracuse without heat in the car, and traveling together during our study abroad semester in Europe. We now live in the Washington, DC area and have two children ages 13 and 10.

Dorothea Schlosser, W’93, and Tom Kopczynski, W’93

 Tom and I met in the first day of school as freshman in Community House in the Quad, and started dating sophomore year once he was single! I can still hear him crunching on Snyder’s Hard Pretzels during Accounting 101 that made me giggle. We are still very close with many of our friends from Penn- we are sitting in our kitchen laughing about pranks, parties and Merkins, some of whom also feature in Penn couples- Amy and Jeff, Steve and Elaine, and Dave and Stacey.  We married in 1996 and we are happily settled in Basking Ridge, NJ with two kids and too many animals.

Hilary (Marion) Hayes, C’93, and Brooke Hayes, W’93, WG’99

Hilary and I met in the Spring of sophomore year.  She came to eat lunch with Katie Faunce at Smokey Joe’s on my first day waiting tables.  I recall they tipped pretty well.
Hilary and I didn’t connect again until the senior week pub crawl of our junior year.  That night, she was hanging with some dude on a double date alongside John Clement, C’92, and Christy Glass, C’93, W’93.  Somehow (thanks Clem), by the time we got to campus, I had replaced the dude.
After a steamy week together, Hilary left on a trip to Israel. She had given me her phone number, but I don’t think she expected me to call her. It was her home-home phone number! Her dad was very confused of why some gentile was calling all summer while his daughter was in the Holy Land. Fast forward to our 25th reunion, and we have been married for almost 21 years and have four great kids (and the oldest of them is a sophomore at Penn)!

Margaret (Kane) Schoen, Eng’93, and Larry Schoen, C’93, W’93

 We met senior year, introduced by Josh Astrof, W’93, Larry’s roommate and my co-editor at the Daily Pennsylvanian. Married September 1997 (with plenty of alums in attendance!) We have two kids, Julie 17, and Emily 14.

Liz (Rabii) Cribbs, W’93, and Derek Cribbs, W’93

Derek and I both lived in Kings Court/English House Freshman year but didn’t start getting to know each other until Sophomore/Junior year. We began dating at the very end of Senior year and have been together ever since. After grad school in Boston, we moved to NYC and got married in 1997 – and just celebrated our 20 year wedding anniversary this past September. Six of our Penn friends were in our wedding party: Rich Barrera, W’93, Tom Lee, C’93, Catherine (Donladson-Evans) Strawder, C’93, Sonia (Verma) Parekh, W’93, Julie (Avila) Stuckmann, W’93, and Jen (Yang) Weedn, W’93, and remain among our closest friends today.  We have been blessed by two wonderful children – Carter (15) and Cassidy (13).  Looking forward to seeing all of our classmates at the reunion.

Barry Mark, C’93, and Jorie Green Mark, C’96

Jorie and I met in 1995 at the candy machine inside the DP when I was visiting my middle brother Adam, C’97.  “Whoa, you look nothing like your brother,” Jorie said to me…. So I took the cue, nudged Adam aside, and spent the next few hours hanging with my future wife.

16 years of marriage and three kids later, we’re enjoying warm Florida winters and our sunny lives together. Jorie is the Senior Manager of Social Media for The Kroger Company, and I’m an Allergist in and around Fort Lauderdale.

Sejal (Tailor) Srinivasan, W’93, and Naren Srinivasan, W’94, C’94

 While I am Class of ’93, I robbed the cradle and married Naren Srinivasan, Class of ’94.  Naren literally picked me up on the bridge over 38th Street on our way to a South Asian Society dance party. I tripped and couldn’t walk and so he helped carry me over!
We were close friends for a long time and only started dating after he graduated from Penn and were married just two years later. We always had a connection. The first time we met up after the bridge pick up, we shut down 1920s Commons we were talking so much. Another time, he took me out to dinner to celebrate my first job offer and we didn’t even notice that we weren’t served dinner two hours after arriving when the waiter asked if we wanted dessert!
We’ve been married almost 22 years and have two wonderful children. When we are not too exhausted from our children, we can still talk up a storm!

Carol Wilkinson, C’94, and Dan Schoenholz, C’93

Dan and I met in line at the old Penn bookstore. After finding out my name and what building I lived in at the Quad, he looked through every floor of my building until he found my room. Then he left a note under the door with his 4 digit Penn extension. Our first date was at Beijing Restaurant on Spruce Street. That was 28 years ago!

During the fall of my freshman year, my 36 year old uncle passed away unexpectedly,  and I became sick from the stress. Dan was not big on making me go to the Student Health on my own and took me to get me checked out many times. He was a keeper! We were inseparable after that. Dan sat in on my classes and we spent all of our weekends in and around Philly.

Jaclyn (Israel) Leit, C’93, and Richard Leit, C’94

 Richard and I met when we were both cast in the Penn Players Fall 1990 show The Threepenny Opera.  He was a freshman, and I was a sophmore. While he can tell you exactly what I was wearing at the first read-through; I can’t tell you much, except that I was trying to figure out how to say his last name. We became friends and he did ask me out, but at that time I had started dating someone else. We started to get closer when we began spending more time together through mutual friends and because we were both psych majors. In my junior year, we were both on the Arts House Theater board and that is when things changed. He became one of my best friends.

We didn’t start dating until second semester of my senior year. We call it the Billy Bob’s conversation because we were there when we realized we should go out. We had a few break-ups and make-ups over the next few years while we were both doing our graduate studies (He was in DC getting his Ph.d and I was in Chicago earning my MSW). We actually never lived in the same state after I graduated Penn until after we were engaged. Ironically, we were also never cast in the same show together at Penn except for that one show. We married in June 1997. We began the most important roles in our lives when our children were born. We have 2 sons (13 yrs and 10 yrs) and  and a Morkie.  Both boys would love to go to Penn.

Love these Penn Love stories? Read Part 1! Read Part 2!  Read Part 3!

We’re still hoping to collect more stories. Send us your Penn love story to upenn1993 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of February 9 – 10, 2018, marked 13 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)! Meet us at the Button!

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!
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.
  • Donate to The Penn Fund in honor of our reunion! We want to break the 25th reunion participation giving record and every gift matters!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

The Marriott Downtown (where we had a Penn 1993 and a Penn Alumni room block) is sold out for Alumni Weekend. There are alternative hotels near by. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

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