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.
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.
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…..my 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.
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 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!
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.
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!
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!
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 email@example.com!
- Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.