Monthly Archives: April 2018

Fling was Flung

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

Photos contributed by Derek Braslow, Lisa Grabelle, Howard Levene, Wendy Spander, and Joel Yarbrough

Spring Fling weekend at Penn was a two-day festival held in April in the Quad. During the day there were food vendors, student performing arts groups and bands would sing or dance on a stage in the Lower Quad, and often there were games and other activities in the Upper Quad. At night there were concerts with popular bands or comedians performing in Irvine or Hill Field our senior year.

We remember fondly the fun we had at Fling each year, even though it seemed like it was often cold and wet. Amazingly, we have photos from Fling – and t-shirts – that our classmates shared with us. Take this trip down memory lane of Spring Fling 1990 – 1993.

Spring Fling our Freshman year was called, “Fling in Wonderland.”


Spring Fling’s theme in 1990 was, “the Wild Fling.”



Penn Spring Fling

Photo courtesy of Derek Braslow. We think this is from a Fling – it looks like a Fling photo!

Spring Fling Junior year was, “Mardi Gras at Penn.”

Penn Spring Fling

Spring Fling photo courtesy of Lisa Grabelle



Penn Spring Fling

Spring Fling in the Lower Quad, photo courtesy of Joel Yarbrough

Our Senior year, it was a, “Three Ring Fling.”


Penn Spring Fling by Wendy Spander

Spring Fling senior year – we think – photo courtesy of Wendy Spander



Penn Spring Fling

Fling was a bit muddy



Penn Spring Fling

Spring Fling crowds in the Quad

Read our previous Spring Fling posts:

Spring Fling Concerts

Student Bands at Fling

This year, for the first time since it began in the 70’s, Penn’s Spring Fling was moved to Penn Park and was only on one day. We wonder how the students of today will remember Fling. Do you remember Fling when you were a student?

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of April 13 – 14, marked 4 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:

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.




Leave a comment

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

Why I Love Penn Traditions

By Jade Little, C’19

Penn Traditions was the first club I joined when I got to Penn my freshman year. I stumbled across our table at the student activities fair, attracted by smiling faces and enthusiastic personalities, talking about the fun things (and cool free stuff) that comes with being a member. Three years later, I am almost done with my junior year, am currently a co-chair of Penn Traditions, and I couldn’t be more thankful for my freshman year self for stopping by that table and filling out an application.

12249578_608582702613080_7300638222130968967_nThe Penn community is like no other. It is comprised of some of the smartest, most passionate, and creative people I have ever met. It is a truly expansive community in so many ways, something that I’ve come to realize this year. I recently took a trip to Spain, where I coincidentally ran into many other Penn students. Every time I am on the metro back home in Washington D.C., I see Penn sweaters and hats on fellow travelers. I always find myself reading articles about the innovators of today’s world, only to find out that they are Penn grads. I know students who are doing everything from running their own nonprofits and startups to creating their own music and art.

Being part of Penn Traditions is my way of playing a small part in building this community that I am constantly amazed by. For those who don’t know, Penn Traditions is a three-committee club, part of the Sweeten Alumni House. The committees include Class Ambassadors, who work closely with Alumni Relations events, Penn Traditions Alumni Engagement Fund, which distributes funding to other student groups at Penn, and my personal favorite, the Traditions Committee, which plans events for the student body.

IMG_7007Our events, ranging from pop-ups on Locust Walk and finals goody bags to opportunities to meet alumni and study breaks in Sweeten, aim to encourage students to take a moment from their busy lives to spend time with other members of the Penn community (often through promises of food). I love that through this committee, I get to be part of some of the oldest traditions at Penn, such as Homecoming or Spring Fling; traditions that truly every member of the Penn community, no matter their major or future plans, can be a part of. I also love that I get to be part of creating new (and what I hope will be) lasting traditions, such as Friendsgiving, our annual Thanksgiving dinner for the Sophomore class.  I don’t expect everyone to remember each Penn Traditions study break they attend or free gift they get on Locust Walk, but I do hope that we contribute to fostering happy and fun moments amid the stress that comes with being a Penn student.


Jade is a junior in the College majoring in Economics and Health and Societies with a concentration in Healthcare Markets and Finance. She is currently serving as co-chair of the Penn Traditions committee as well as being a member of Chi Omega and Penn Society for International Development. 


Stay up to date with Penn Traditions by liking our page on Facebook and following us on Instagram!

Leave a comment

Filed under Penn Traditions, Student Perspective

The ’93-second Survey Results

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

In January, we asked classmates a few questions about their memories of Penn and our upcoming reunion. As luck would have it, this short quiz only took classmates 93 seconds to complete! The results have been tabulated, and we are excited to share them here.

Have you visited Penn since we graduated in 1993?

  • Yes, 77.53% of respondents had visited campus and within the last five years.
  • Yes, 20.22% had visited campus but more than five years ago.
  • Only 2.25% had not visited campus since we graduated.

Have you attended any of our Class of ’93 Penn Reunions?

  • 21.35% said they had never attended a reunion.
  • 28.09% said they attended at least one reunion.
  • 35.96% had attended more than one reunion but not all reunions.
  • And a dedicated 14.61% have attended all of our Penn reunions.

Are you planning to attend our 25th Reunion on campus May 11 – 14, 2018?

  • 4.49% had no interest (and that makes us sad).
  • 7.87% are interested but unable to attend (which bums us).
  • 19.10% were on the fence? On the fence? How about on the button? Meet us there!
  • 68.54% are planning to attend and can’t wait to see everyone in May!

Haven’t registered yet? You can register here!

If you are planning to attend the reunion, have you reserved a hotel room?

  • 15.66% live locally so do not need a room.
  • 4.82% are staying with friends.
  • 21.69% had yet to reserve a room (remember this survey was done in January).
  • 57.83% had reserved a room already (in January!!).

Who are you most excited to see at our reunion in May?

  • 47.36% were excited to see their roommates
  • 32.89% were excited to see fraternity or sorority sisters
  • 32.89% were most excited to see friends from student groups
  • 15.79% looked forward to seeing friends from their major
  • 13.16% hoped to see performing arts friends.
  • 5.26% were excited to see sports teammates
  • 3.95% were excited to see old flames

What is your favorite building on campus?

This was a free-form response, so we were curious to see what everyone wrote.

Some of the more interesting answers:

“my wife.” ??? um, maybe this refers to the question about who you’re most excited to see?

“Subway” – interesting choice, but going down the stairs to take the trolleys into Center City was a new experience for many of us freshman year.

“Does Smokes count?” Yes, yes it counts, and we think this is one of our favorite spots (though technically not “on campus”).

Smokey Joe's at Penn

Smokey Joe’s

Twenty-two percent of classmates listed the Quad as their favorite building.

Lower Quad at Penn in the snow

The lower Quad in the snow

The most popular building on campus (according to 38.96% the Class of 1993) is the Furness Building . Classmates may recall that it was closed for restoration for a bit while we were students.

Fisher Fine Arts Building Frank Furness Penn


Here are some of the other buildings mentioned by classmates as their favorites.

Receiving five votes

The Palestra! That’s fitting since our Ivy Stone is on the front side of the building

College Hall – probably the most iconic building on Penn’s campus

College Hall at Penn

College Hall

Receiving three mentions each

Irvine Auditorium

Irvine Auditorium at Penn

Exterior of Irvine Auditorium at the corner of Spruce and 34th Streets


Wharton School Steinberg-Dietrich Hall

The Wharton School’s Steinberg-Dietrich Hall

Receiving two mentions

The old Bookstore

We can’t seem to locate a picture of the old Bookstore (that was at Locust Walk and 38th Street). The building was demolished to make way for the Wharton School’s Huntsman Hall building in recent years.

Huntsman Hall Wharton School at Penn

Huntsman Hall occupies the area between Walnut Street and Locust Walk along 38th Street, where the Penn bookstore stood when we were students

Van Pelt

Not our favorite building but two people liked it. We should note that inside has been remodeled and it is worth looking inside when you are back for reunion to see how the space has been transformed. And the Button is in front of Van Pelt, so we’ll all be seeing it in a few weeks.

Van Pelt Library at Penn and the Split Button

Van Pelt Library and the Button

Houston Hall

Houston Hall at Penn

Houston Hall, the nation’s oldest student union building

These buildings received one vote or mention

DuBois College House

DuBois College House at Penn

W. E. DuBois College House – note the large building in the background – those are private off-campus apartments across Walnut Street

Locust Walk (not a building but we’ll accept this)

Locust Walk at Penn

Locust Walk

The chapel / Women’s Center

The current location of the Women’s Center was a fraternity when we were students. We think the women’s center was located in the Palladium building at one point? Does anyone remember?

Penn Women's Center

Penn Women’s Center at 36th and Locust Walk

Towne Building

Towne Building at Penn

Towne Building

Moore School

Moore Building at Penn

Moore Building at the corner of 33rd and Walnut Streets

Tannenbaum Quad

We were confused by this since there’s The Quad, which is a dormitory, and then there’s Tanenbaum Hall which houses the Biddle Law Library for the Law School.

Tanenbaum hall at Penn

Tanenbaum Hall is part of the Law School

University Museum

The Museum’s Middle Eastern galleries re-opened recently and are worth a visit if you have time while on campus. Note in the photo below Penn Tower behind the Museum. Penn Tower is no longer…you’ll have to visit campus to see what’s there now.

University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania

The University Museum

Franklin Field

Franklin Field at Penn

Franklin Field


There are so many old buildings to re-visit during Alumni Weekend, but there are many new additions to campus too. Most of these favorite buildings remain, but it is worth spending time taking a building tour during the weekend or wandering around on your own to see how Penn’s campus has changed since 1993.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of April 6 – 7, marked 5 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:

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.










Leave a comment

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

Ivy Day in 1993

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

As we inch closer to our 25th Reunion, we are looking back at some memorable moments we had as Penn students. One day, steeped in tradition at Penn, is Ivy Day. Some of our class award winners from that day share their memories of winning senior awards on Ivy Day which was held in Irvine Auditorium. After the ceremony, everyone went to the unveiling of the Ivy Stone on the Palestra, and the Spade Award winner from our class, Michael Rosenband, planted ivy near the stone.

There was a contest to design our Ivy Stone – the prize was $50! It was announced in an ad in the DP and entrants were directed to contact Doug Rosenberg and Chrissy Bass from the Senior Class Board.

Ivy Stone design contest for Penn Class of 1993 in the DP

Ad from the DP announcing the Ivy Stone design context for the Class of 1993

Andrea Mitchell Ivy Day speaker for Penn Class of 1993

Andrea Mitchell, CW’67, was announced as our Ivy Day speaker in the DP, photo courtesy of Lisa Grabelle

Penn Ivy Day program 1993

Cover of the Ivy Day program May 15, 1993 photo courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler

Penn Ivy Day 1993 program Irvine Auditorium

Inside of the Ivy Day program from May 15, 1993, photo courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler

Michael Gordon

Michael won the Class of 1946 Award which is, “given in recognition of well-rounded service to the University in more than one area of campus life – scholarship, athletics, extracurricular activities.”

I remember Ivy Day being a really cool celebration of a lot of our experiences at Penn. It was great being able to share that day with friends and family and then walking over to the Palestra to see where our stone was placed. I also loved the history of the ceremony being at Irvine Auditorium after we all started our time at Penn with our welcome ceremony there four years earlier.

In thinking more about that day and looking back at all of my pictures from senior week (Walnut Walk, formal, Great Adventure) and the graduation events, I realized how amazing that time was in our lives. We got to celebrate with friends and classmates who we all grew up with and soon we’re going to be spreading out around the world to enter the next phase of our lives. Ivy Day was filled with people with whom I played sports, shared classes and study sessions, and served on committees doing our best to help create the best Penn we could. These are folks that I was sure to make an impact on the world and I look forward to seeing everyone next month.

Ivy Stone 1993 on the Palestra #93tothe25th

Michael Gordon, winner of the Class of 1946 Award, with his family in front of our Ivy Stone at the Palestra.

Harriet Joseph and Michael Gordon in front of Penn Class of 1993 Ivy Stone

Michael Gordon with Harriet Joseph, one of his advisors, and a “second mom” to him in front of our Ivy Stone

Ivy Day 1993 Senior Honor Awards #93tothe25th

Michael Gordon, winner of the Class of 1946 Award, and Josh Fogelman, winner of the James Howard Weiss Memorial Award

Maceo Grant

Maceo won the Class of ’15 Award given to the ideal male senior athlete (we should note this is the Class of 1915).

I just remember being very proud… family was there that day and it meant a lot to me to have my family see me in that moment. Graduating from Penn is one of the most prized accomplishments in my life and the friendships I’ve built through going to school and playing football there are invaluable.

Ivy Day Irvine Auditorium at Penn

Maceo Grant with the Class of ’15 award on Ivy Day 1993 in Irvine Auditorium

Maceo Grant Ivy Day 1993 Andrea Mitchell #93tothe25th

Maceo Grant and Ivy Day speaker Andrea Mitchell in Irvine Auditorium

Ivy Day 1993 with Class of 1993 Ivy Stone

Britt Anderson and Maceo Grant with their awards in front of the Class of 1993 Ivy Stone on the Palestra

Penn Ivy Day 1993 planting of ivy

Maceo Grant points to the planted ivy from the Class of 1993’s Ivy Day


Allison Bieber McKibben

Allison won the Althea K. Hottel award. The first honors among senior women is named for one of Penn’s great pioneers in women’s education. Althea Kratz Hottel earned three Penn degrees (B.S. in Education, 1929; M.A. in Sociology, 1934; Ph.D. in Sociology in 1940) and served as Directress of Women 1936-1943, and then as the first Dean of Women from 1943 until her retirement in 1959. The Hottel award was established in 1959 to honor “intellectual competence, commitment to ideals and principles, and loyalty to the University of Pennsylvania.”

Ivy Day was one of the most special days during my time at Penn. It was a day full of excitement and such Penn Pride! I remember President Hackney handing me the Hottel Award, and the base was unattached. Michael Rosenband jumped into action and caught the base before it hit the ground. It was so symbolic of all my classmates who were on the stage being honored in that we worked so hard to make Penn a wonderful experience for ourselves and those around us. I can only smile the biggest smile when I think about that day….and all my days at Penn. Twenty-five years years later, I strategically placed the award in my home so that I smile every time I pass it. My husband Jeff, who is also Penn ’93, smiles often as well.

Jeff Lichtman

Jeff won the Cane award, in reference to one of the former class rivalries at Penn, the “Cane Fight.” The use of a walking cane in the 19th century was a cultural symbol of high status. The cane fights were attempts by the sophomore class to prevent any freshman from carrying a cane on campus. The canes, of course, were utilized as weapons, and the senior class moved quickly to convert the violent ritual into a student award. In 1891, the senior class added the award of the cane to those of the spoon and the bowl. Awarded annually since that year, the cane is considered the 3rd most prestigious award given to the senior men.

I was so humbled to be selected as one of the four guys (and eight overall) to represent our class for these special awards, and honored to share it with the other people who won. I was excited to hear Andrea Mitchell speak at our Ivy Day – full circle how much she is still in the news and that she is speaking at graduation 25 years later!

Personally I was disappointed that the person who won the Cane 25 years prior to me (Class of 1968) was not there to award it to me, so I wanted to make it a point to be there in 2018 to award it to my fellow Cane winner 25 years later.

I also remember the green suit I wore and the ugly tie – I thought they looked good!

Ivy Day 1993 in front of Ivy Stone on the Palestra

1993 Senior Award winners on Ivy Day 1993, L-R Allison Rouse, Michael Rosenband, Lincoln Singleton, and Jeff Lichtman, photo courtesy of Maceo Grant

Michelle Peluso

Michelle won the Gaylord P. Harnwell award. In 1969, the senior class decided that more women should be recognized for their service to the university. At the same time, they wished to honor the contributions of Gaylord P. Harnwell, a distinguished nuclear physicist who had served as President of t he University since 1953 and had announced his retirement for the following year. The second women’s award is therefore given in honor of president Harnwell.

I remember sitting in the auditorium on Ivy Day and looking up at the alumni who were presenting the awards to us and feeling such a strong connection between all of us as seniors and the alumni who had walked in our shoes 25 years before.  There was all of a sudden this fiber that connected them to us and that I knew someday would connect us to the next generation 25 years later. And that story unfolds again for us next month, and I couldn’t be more excited to participate.
Class of 1993 Women's Senior Honor Award Winners

Class of 1993 Women’s Senior Honor Award Winners (L-R), Michelle Peluso, Hallie Levin, Lisa (Nass) Grabelle, and Allison Bieber McKibben

Lisa Nass Grabelle

Lisa won the David R. Goddard Award. Like the Harnwell award, the Goddard award was established in 1969 to recognize exemplary service to the University community. It is named in honor of a prominent professor of Botany, who served as Provost of the University from 1961 to 1970.

Ivy Day for me was extra emotional and special! It is an Ivy Day tradition that the winner of an award returns 25 years later to present the same award to that year’s winner. As fate would have it, the person who won the Goddard Award 25 years before me was none other than Elsie Sterling Howard, CW’68, whose Penn resume is too huge to list everything here but includes serving as Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, President of Penn’s Alumni Society, Founding Chairman of the Penn Fund, Founder of the Trustees Council of Penn Women, and this year’s 50th Reunion Chair.
My family and I had known Elsie since I was a little girl…she lived around the corner from me, was my Brownie and Girl Scout troop leader, interviewed me for Penn, and was a client of my father’s veterinary practice! In fact, since my Penn letter of acceptance got lost in the mail (!!!), the way I found out I was admitted was when Elsie called to invite me to an accepted student reception at her home!
When Elsie presented the Goddard Award to me she was able to speak from the heart about our long-standing friendship spanning many, many years! I am thrilled that I will be celebrating my 25th reunion this year the same time that Elsie will be leading her class to celebrate their 50th reunion! I look forward to reuniting so we can toast to our reunions!
To learn more about Penn’s Senior honor awards, the Penn Archives is a great resource. This page lists a description of the women’s honor awards and a listing of all winners from 1959 – 2007. The descriptions of the men’s honor awards is on this page. Here is a listing of the men’s award winners from 1900 – 2007.
The senior class votes on the Senior Honor Awards, and a listing of the men and women nominated was published in the DP.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of March 30 – 31, marked 6 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:

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.




Leave a comment

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

The Mesopotamian Endeavor: Penn Museum’s Archaeological Exhibit About the Middle East


Source: Philly Fun

As the current home of towering pharaohs and ornate headdresses of royals from about 5,000 years ago, the Penn Museum stands on the edge of campus as an institute of archaeology in the university. The museum, as one of the oldest buildings on Penn’s campus, also has their fair share of achievements throughout their lengthy life. The museum is one of the greatest archaeology and anthropology research museums in the world and the largest university museum in the United States. However, sometimes it’s distance from the center of campus makes the museum seem too far for the average student to visit and learn about. Well, just in luck for the average student, the museum is actually embarking on opening a new exhibit that has been in the making for over a 100 years. The name of the exhibit is the Middle East Galleries, opening on April 21, 2018, that has been advertised as covering “8,000 years of history in 6,000 square feet of gallery space,” and seen as a huge endeavor for the museum.

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 10.51.45 AM

1899 Excavation of Nippur, Iraq; Source: Penn Museum’s A Brief History of the Penn Museum

However, before we embark on the details of this magnificent exhibit, it will help us to understand a little bit of the history of the museum and just how long this exhibit has technically been in the making. The Penn Museum was founded in 1887 when Provost William Pepper eagerly assisted an archaeological expedition go to Mesopotamia that approached him with the proposal. The eagerness behind the support was due partly to Provost Pepper’s efforts to lead the university through a renaissance that would allow it to become a modern university. Soon after, the group would embark on their archeological expedition after securing funding and support from the university as a host of the archeological findings. The expedition would head to Nippur, an ancient Sumerian city in modern day Iraq, that would soon enough establish the university within the world of archaeology. Provost Pepper would soon after establish the Department of Archaeology and Paleontology, and the university’s museum would be known to be mostly filled with items members of the university excavated themselves. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until 1894 that Provost Pepper was able to purchase land from the City of Philadelphia where they could formally build the museum in its own building. The museum, after further development, would go on to famous projects like the Excavation at Ur in modern-Iraq until now when it plans to open its new exhibit.


Source: Penn Museum Website

This new exhibit, the Middle East Galleries, as stated before, has technically been in the making since the conception of the museum. The first expeditions that the museum supported were to ancient Mesopotamia, modern Iraq, in Nippur. The purpose of these expeditions soon became centered around understanding the first examples of humans settling down into sedentary lifestyles where they farmed and lived in established cities. This transition in lifestyle has been one of the most important transitions in human history because it determined the lives we live now. This phenomenon, called the Neolithic Revolution, saw the humans of the time transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to the farmer lifestyle which gave way to various societal developments like writing and the construction of cities. The exhibit will begin at this point in human history and attempt to portray to the public the way life used to be during this time as understood through various items of the time.

With all of this information, the focus of the exhibit can be understood to be focused on the idea of settlement and the establishment of cities. Through various promotional material, the museum hopes to take the visitor from the settlements of humans nearly 10,000 years ago up until the modern age. On their website, the museum has released various videos about the process of such an endeavor which includes topics like conservation and how to understand the people of this time. One video in particular speaks about how this exhibit will have a focus on understanding the 99%. By the 99%, this refers to the general people of the time who weren’t royalty and who couldn’t afford extravagant temples or eloquent headpieces. The exhibit will attempt to focus on the lives of the people and how they lived day-to-day. Another video outlines how the discovery of an iron sword, being displayed in the exhibit, is representative of a transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and how people began to make weapons differently. With this being just a sneak peek of the content, the exhibit is almost guaranteed to amaze and intrigue its various visitors in late April.

Overall, the exhibit is likely to be another achievement of the museum that hopes to portray a story of early humans and how these things we call cities came to be. When considering the history of the Penn Museum, it will be interesting to see how developed and detailed the exhibit will be as it has been in the making for quite some time. Lucky for us, the exhibit opens on April 21, which is this Saturday. For all alumni who will be coming back to campus in May, this is a perfect opportunity to experience this new exhibit at Penn during Alumni Weekend, beginning on May 11. You don’t want to miss out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Getting a Start in Political Polling Thanks to Frank Luntz

In what is now a Penn 1993 reunion tradition, Frank Luntz, C’84, and Jef Pollock, C’93, will engage in a panel discussion on the state of politics – and polling in America on Saturday morning of Alumni Weekend.

How did this magical pairing happen? Let’s let Jef tell the story…

I’ve told this story so many times, I can hardly remember life at Penn without Frank Luntz, then an adjunct Professor in the American Civilization department.  And I’ll try the short version. Frank had just gotten his doctorate as a Thouron scholar at Oxford University where he had written his dissertation turned book, “Candidates, Consultants, and Campaigns” which became the essential reading for his first class at Penn. His class was a 3-hour class taught on Monday nights from 6:00 – 9:00 PM. Every week, he would bring in a different guest lecturer, and to those of us who loved politics as I did, it was like a greatest hits listing of all the best political consultants of the time – Bob Shrum, Stan Greenberg, Alex Castellanos, Paul Begala, and on and on. They lectured for the first half, and then the second half was all him. We would argue, debate, and talk about politics.  As a Conservative Republican, Frank was a fish out of water in the classroom (just as he had been when he was at Penn as an undergrad years before), surrounded by tons of idealistic Democrats and a few die-hard Republicans riveted by the passion that he brought to the classroom.

Frank Luntz and Jef Pollock #93tothe25th

Frank Luntz (standing) and Jef Pollock (sitting in front) during Penn 1993’s 20th reunion in 2013 discussing politics and polling

After class, many of us would head to Smokey Joe’s where Frank would gladly buy dinner for those who were willing to go out (many of us just wanted the free food/drinks). Frank would sit at the bar for hours and hours and debate any student who wanted to tangle with him. He was the first American head of the Oxford Debating society, and he viewed intellectual debate as essential for learning. He could be pro-choice or anti-choice, pro-Israel or anti, it didn’t matter It was just about debate. It also helped that he wouldn’t drink at the bar while the rest of us were slightly more interested in the alcoholic content of the debate.

After the bar would close at 2:00 AM, a group of us would head out to IHOP, then at 19th and Walnut streets, where the debate would continue. Frank would order a T-bone steak (his healthy eating habits are legendary and remain in place today), we would eat pancakes. And we’d be out till the wee hours of the night.

Finally, when the night was over, we would head back to campus where Frank would crash on a couch (his cheap nature is also legendary!) and when we would wake up the next day at noon for class, he was gone. And this went on for three years.

In 1992, he took a group of us to New Hampshire to experience the New Hampshire primaries up close. It was one of the best experiences of my life. If you lived and breathed politics, that was the trip to be on – we met the candidates, walked around with notebooks pretending we were reporters, one of us even asked a question of Paul Tsongas in a candidate forum. Here’s a photo from that trip of me having lunch at a mall in New Hampshire with Hillary Clinton, where we just happened to walk into her, and so Frank asked her to have lunch with us!

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton Penn AmCiv class

Jef Pollock eating lunch with Hillary Rodham Clinton

This was academics the way Frank wanted it – experience it and touch it, not just to read it.  He got me and others summer internships in Washington with some of the people we idolized. And then for me, he took it away (without asking me) telling Bob Shrum that I wouldn’t be coming and instead sending Josh Frank in my place. He was hiring me for himself and thus began my life with Frank. I worked for him (we agreed, no GOP work, only corporate and international) from 1992-1994.

Frank Luntz and Jef Pollock political polling

Jef Pollock and Frank Luntz leading a political polling discussion during our 20th Reunion in 2013

In November of 1994, Frank became a rock star, having written the GOP Contract With America. The Republicans took over Congress for the first time in 40 years and Frank was viewed as the author of that win. I knew I couldn’t stay with him given my own partisan leanings, and off I went to NYC to follow my girlfriend (now wife Deborah Brown!) and to get my Master’s degree at Columbia. In addition, I wanted to start my own firm specializing in polling to help Democrats.

During my time with Luntz as an employee, one of my main clients was Governor Pedro Rossello of Puerto Rico. Frank had worked in Puerto Rico for years for the PNP, the pro-Statehood party, that had for years been identified with the Republican party – but when Rossello won, a friendship with Bill Clinton led him to announce he was a Democrat, and it became the perfect client for Frank and me together. Most impressively, when I moved to NYC, Frank let me keep working for Rossello – paying me a retainer to stay involved, and even keep a percentage of the revenue from the polling we did together. Anyone knows the hardest part of starting a business is not having any revenue – and Frank solved that problem for me. I had a new business, with revenue, and it was the start that I needed.

Today, I run one of the largest Democratic Public Affairs firms in the country, doing more polling for Democratic federal candidates in the last election than any other firm. And I wouldn’t be here without that first class, that mentorship, and that first job with Frank Luntz. I am forever grateful to Frank and to the University of Pennsylvania for all the opportunities they gave to me that have led to my success.

Frank Luntz political panel #93tothe25th

Frank Luntz engages with the audience during the politics and polling panel, May 2013

So, come and join us, Saturday May 12th, at 9:30 AM in Houston Hall.Come see us argue and talk about the destructive politics that have captured our nation. We put on a heck of a show, with laughs, data, videos, and a lot of jokes in between. We hope to see you there.

Politics and Polling – Discussion with Jef Pollock, C’93, and Frank Luntz, C’84

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM  |  Houston Hall, 3417 Spruce Street
The Class of 1993’s regular reunion discussion with pollster (and former Penn professor/lecturer) Frank Luntz, C’84 and democratic pollster Jef Pollock, C’93, CEO of Global Strategies Group. Frank and Jef will have a frank discussion about measuring the electorate prior to the elections, national and local trends, and what to look for in the mid-term elections later this year.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of March 23 – 24, marked 7 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:

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.










Leave a comment

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

Penn 1993 Continues Tradition of Community Service

By Lisa Nass Grabelle, C’93, L’96, and Kiera Reilly, C’93

Class of ’93 members have been rockstars when it comes to community service and giving back! The past five years as a class we have collectively worked to do good in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York.  What started out five years ago as just one month of service for our class in January, quickly extended to our three months of service every January, February and March! Not only do classmates gather in cities to perform community service, but we have had classmates from all over tell us about service projects they have performed in their own communities during this period.

For five years we have gathered at Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships and made crafts to donate to children at CHOP and senior citizens.  Families of all ages have colored “get well” cards, created soft blankets, painted uplifting pictures, assembled goodie bags, made colorful tutus, and much more.  We have laughed, shared stories, been able to get to know each other better…all while making a difference in our community. Last year’s event at the Netter Center is summarized in this post.
Penn 1993 Community Service Day at the Netter Center - whole group photo
Each February, Penn ‘93ers in New York participate in a skill-based volunteering event in partnership with PennPAC – Penn Pro bono Alumni Consulting (founded by classmate Jackie Einstein Astrof).  Over the years, the activities have included assisting low-income high school seniors with college and career advice and assisting highly-skilled new immigrants transition to the US workforce through mock interviews.  The evenings prove to be very rewarding as well as enjoyable for both the recipients and our classmates alike. Read about our event last year here.
Penn Class of 1993 members at the PennPac community service event in NYC, February, 2017

Penn 1993 classmates at the PennPAC event in New York City

And for the past five years, our classmates have volunteered their time with Penn Serves LA (classmate Kiera Reilly is on the Penn Serves LA planning committee) at various events throughout Los Angeles. Clasmates participated at the Midnight Mission by preparing meals for the homeless, serving Thanksgiving Dinner in downtown LA, and preparing a dinner for the Guadalupe Homeless Shelter in February.
Penn Serves LA Fred Jordan Missions Thanksgiving Dinner

Penn Serves LA (and members of Penn Class of 1993) serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the homeless in downtown LA with the Fred Jordan Missions

In addition to the off-campus service we perform every year, we encourage classmates to participate in service activities during Alumni Weekend.


All Year Alumni Community Service Project – Book Drive
May 11, 2018 to May 13, 2018
This May when you come back to alumni weekend you have two options to contribute to our Class Community Literacy Service Project.  We are supporting Bags of Books and the Netter Center for Community Partnerships by donating new and gently used children’s books (pre-K to 12).  Each book donated will be provided to a student in West Philadelphia at a Netter Center supported school.
It’s so easy to donate:
  1. Either drop by the Penn bookstore, grab a children’s book on display right when you check out that is waiting to be purchased and add it to your purchase (give it to the cashier and say it is for donation)  ~OR~
  2. Bring books with you to donate at the Sweeten Alumni House (right across from the LOVE statute).
 Every book counts!!!


The Netter Center 25th Anniversary
Saturday, May 12
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – Children’s Basketball Skills & Drills Clinic
David Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, 3701 Walnut Street
Anthony Price, captain of Penn Men’s 1979 Final Four basketball team and founder of Paying the Price Foundation, partners with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships to host this Basketball Clinic for children of Penn alumni and West Philadelphia youth (ages 8-18). Proceeds from this event help support sports programming at West Philly schools operated by the Netter Center. Sponsored by the Netter Center, Class of 1978, and Penn’s 1979 Basketball Team. Cost: $15 For questions, please contact Rita Hodges at
3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
The Netter Center for Community Partnerships: 25 Years of Educating Penn Students as Civic Leaders 
Inn at Penn
Co-Sponsored by the Class of 1993
Hear from Provost Wendell Pritchett (GR’97), Netter Center founding director Ira Harkavy (C’70, GR’79), and Netter Center alumni about the lasting impact of civic and community engagement. Light reception to follow celebrating the Center’s 25th anniversary.

Register for these events on the Alumni Weekend website.


One of our class’ chosen projects to support in honor of our 25th Reunion is The Netter Center, a fitting tribute since the Netter Center is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary this year and because we have participated in service events there for the past five years.
Join us in making a gift to the Penn Fund in honor of our reunion. Your support of the Penn Fund will go towards our class gifts—funding the Class of 1993 Netter Center for Community Partnerships Internship and growing our Class of 1993 Endowed Scholarship Fund. Both of these priorities celebrate the undergraduate experience by making a current or future Quaker’s Penn experience possible, and offering opportunities for students to learn and engage. Furthermore, your gift (of any size) will help our class break the 25th reunion and all-time record of 1,047 donors!


Read more about the Netter Center in this recent Frankly Penn post.

As you can see, there are many ways to offer service to our community, and our class is committed every year to gathering together to offer our time, talent and treasure. We hope you will consider attending a Netter Center event, donating a book or making a donation to The Penn Fund during Alumni Weekend.

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of March 16 – 17, marked 8 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:

  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.


Leave a comment

Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Kiera R., Penn Serves, Penn Serves LA, Volunteering

College of Arts & Sciences Graduation Ceremonies in 1993 Preserved on Video

Thanks to classmate Ellen Liebman, C’93, the video of the College of Arts and Sciences graduation from twenty-five years ago has been shared on YouTube!

Ellen found the VHS tapes in her office at Penn and converted them to digital format and uploaded them. You can hear each major being called to the front and every single graduate’s name being announced.

Penn College Graduation 1993 #93tothe25th

Program for the College Graduation on May 16, 1993. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jarett.

The graudation was held in Convention Hall, now gone and replaced by buildings for Penn Medicine.

The College commencement address was given by Bob Schieffer, father of our classmate Sharon Schieffer Baird.

Ellen posted the ceremony in segments to make it easier for viewing. Watch and see if you remember any of it – Bob Schieffer said we wouldn’t!

College Graduation 1993

Part 1

Part 2

Faculty procession down the center aisle. School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens opens the graduation ceremony. Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director for the College Matthew Santoraco share remarks. He then announces the distinguished student speaker Margo Schaye (not sure of spelling).

Part 3

Continuation of Margo’s speech. The introduction of the graduation speaker Bob Schieffer (and he references the Walnut Walk!)

Part 4

Bob Schieffer’s address. The beginning of the roll call of graduates, starting with the Department of American Civilization. Then Anthropology and some confusion.

Part 5

Announcing names.

Part 6

Announcing names.

Part 7

Announcing names – video begins with English majors.

Part 8

Still announcing individual names

Part 9

The last few names, the conclusion and the singing of, “The Red and the Blue.”

Part 10

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of March 2 – 3, marked 10 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 or AirBnB for Alumni Weekend. See our class website for links to hotel options.


Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Leave a comment

Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Commencement

My Penn Path: An ISP Journey

By Rachel Weinstein, C’20

As someone who graduated from high school in a class of seventy, entering the community of nearly ten thousand undergraduates at Penn was certainly daunting. However, I was fortunate enough to be admitted to the Benjamin Franklin Scholars Program, which, as a student in the College, meant that I would spend my freshman year in the Integrated Studies Program (ISP). ISP is a fully immersive first year experience at Penn, in which a cohort of eighty students lives together in the Quad, takes two rigorous courses together each semester, and works to integrate the material from these two separate courses both inside and outside of the classroom. First semester, our course load consisted of Art History and Religious Studies. We spent time discussing the intersection of the two disciplines through weekly lectures, seminars, field trips, and conversations in the Quad. The courses also enabled me to explore my new home in Philadelphia, through frequent trips to the Philadelphia Art Museum and SEPTA rides to Mormon, Buddhist, and Masonic Temples. As a Cognitive Science major, I enjoyed second semester as well, in which we took Evolutionary Psychology and Philosophy.


ISP was the hallmark of my freshman year, and it shaped my path at Penn in ways that I could never have imagined. For starters, it exposed me to subject areas that I had absolutely no experience with, and it forced me to venture out of my academic comfort zone. Every day, I was having conversations that allowed me to think abstractly and forge connections between seemingly disparate (and largely new) areas of study. I was challenged, I was engaged, and I was working hard but enjoying it all. Furthermore, ISP introduced to me the idea of interdisciplinary learning, which would come to be defining of my major and minor choices. I went to a magnet science high school, where the closest that we came to interdisciplinary learning was taking biology and chemistry labs at the same time. Because of ISP, I recognized that distinct disciplines spanning the humanities and hard sciences could benefit from collaboration. Now, I am pursuing a Cognitive Science major, but with an independent concentration that I created in Neuroeconomics. I spend my days studying the intersection of neuroscience, economics, and marketing for my major, along with statistics and psychology for my minors, all with the goal of better understanding consumer behavior. ISP showed me that tackling an issue from several angles could help in developing new and innovative ideas.


It is also important to note that ISP was about so much more than academics. Through ISP, I met people from all over the world (there were 16 countries represented on my hall!) and I made some of my best friends. I explored Philadelphia, made connections with my peers and some of the most renowned professors at Penn, and I found a strong community. I really cannot imagine what my life at Penn would have been like had I not been a part of ISP!



Rachel is a sophomore in the College majoring in Cognitive Science with an individualized concentration in Neuroeconomics and minoring in Psychology and Statistics. In addition to being a Ben Franklin Scholar, she is currently serving as co-chair of the Penn Traditions committee. Rachel is also involved in College Cognoscenti, MUSE Consulting, Admissions Dean’s Advisory Board, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, Greek life, and Peer advising.


Stay up to date with Penn Traditions by liking our page on Facebook and following us on Instagram!PennTraditions_Final_Rev_2_Page_1


Leave a comment

Filed under Penn Traditions, Student Perspective

Reaching Out to West Philadelphia: The Work of the Netter Center and Penn in the Neighborhood

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


Source: Netter Center Collection

Since the second half of the 19th century with the move of the university from the 9th and Market/ Chestnut region, the University of Pennsylvania has shared a common land with the community of West Philadelphia. Though our geographical neighbor, learning and venturing out into the community is not traditionally prioritized by the average Penn student who tends to stay within the university limits. But, though the average Penn student doesn’t explore the neighborhood as much, this does not mean that Penn is isolated from West Philadelphia. There are various departments, centers and individuals who work directly with West Philadelphia, and one in particular that has led noteworthy efforts in engaging Penn in West Philadelphia has been the Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

The Netter Center was formally opened as the Center for Community Partnerships in 1992, but the efforts for community partnerships had been established a few years prior. In 1983, Penn’s Office of Community-Oriented Policy Studies was created to help connect institutional initiatives with West Philadelphia, including through the West Philadelphia Partnership. Two years later in 1985, the idea of academically based community service (ABCS) began when Penn students presented a research proposal for a summer job training corps for West Philadelphia youth as part of their honors seminar class taught by Ira Harkavy and Lee Benson. Soon after, the official center would be established to create and manage projects and programs that saw various individuals, particularly Penn students and faculty, mutually engage with West Philadelphia. Nowadays, the Netter Center, under founding director Ira Harkavy’s (C’70, GR’79) leadership, runs numerous programs throughout the academic and summer terms with programs like the aforementioned ABCS courses, traditional service programs, and community development initiatives, as outlined on their website.

With this general background in mind, one can begin to explore the opportunities and services that the center offers to the average student and even to alumni. In order to learn even more about the center, we reached out to the current assistant director, Rita Hodges (C’05, GED’15), to learn from a representative of the center, and after a short conversation, many services, programs, and initiatives were highlighted that exemplify the mission of the center. As an assistant director and former undergraduate student involved in the center, the insight the conversation provided was helpful in understanding these projects. First and foremost, as assistant director, Hodges does quite a bit at the center which includes supporting the internal operations of the center, overseeing marketing and communication, working with development and alumni operations, and working closely with the director and associate director on replication outreach activities. One interesting project that the center is working on would have to be the replication outreach initiatives which sees the center participate in the creation of a network of colleges and universities around the nation that are improving relations with their local neighborhoods through conferences, workshops, and continued partnership. The center additionally engages in helping establish regional training centers on university-assisted community schools and has recently worked to establish one at UCLA.


Source: Netter Center Collection

Outside of this position, other services the center offers include ABCS courses, averaging about 70 per year in 30 different departments, internships, work and volunteer opportunities, and extensive work in local schools to help create centers that benefit the local population, both local students and parents through its university-assisted community schools program. There are mentoring and tutoring programs, STEM related programs, that help expose students to STEM fields through lessons and activities run by Penn undergraduate and graduate students, and programs focused on literacy, health and nutrition, arts and culture, college access, career readiness, sports and basically anything you can think of! The opportunities, however, are not just for current students as the alumni network and opportunities are just as substantial. The center maintains a relationship with alumni by running various events such as volunteering during alumni weekend or class reunions. Many Netter Center alumni maintain a solid relationship with the center by coming back for events like panels and volunteering. One event that the center helps run is the Basketball Clinic that sees alumni, their children, local children and Penn’s basketball players from the 1979 Final Four Team come together to play basketball for a day. The diversity of events and services offered clearly extends much farther than one can imagine.

With all of this in mind, the question arises as to how the relationship between the two has changed over time. Through a long history, the relationship between the neighborhood and the institution, while not always perfect, has definitely improved. Various departments, besides the Netter Center, have engaged with the community. In particular, one department that stands out is Penn Athletics who has been partnering with neighborhood schools to help students learn and participate in sports like track & field and lacrosse through the Young Quakers Community Athletics program that it runs in partnership with the Netter Center. After speaking with Assistant Director Hodges, it was made clear that President Amy Gutmann has made it a priority in her presidency to engage the community more in a mutually beneficial way, not only through academic partnerships with Penn students and faculty, but also by overseeing various initiatives on the business side of things such as working on economic inclusion and helping small businesses. Ultimately, while the relationship has definitely improved and seems to be heading in a much better direction, there is still so much work to be done between the neighborhood and the institution. There are still ties to develop between Penn and local schools and increased interaction between students and residents through pathways like ABCS courses. The work will continue as the relationship between Penn and West Philadelphia becomes even more mutually beneficial, allowing Penn to be a support institution for the neighborhood while it enhances its own research, teaching, learning, and service.

Ultimately, as mentioned above, the history of Penn and West Philadelphia could fill an entire book and this post is too short to do it justice, but the takeaway is hopefully one of awareness. As they celebrate their 25th anniversary, the work of the Netter Center has been developing and strengthening ties between the neighbors, and their work should be highlighted in order to hopefully allow more people, students, and alumni, to participate in the variety of programs they offer and to continue developing that connection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized