Category Archives: Academics

Paper Memories from M&T (31 Weeks To Go)

By Eli Faskha, ENG’93, W’93

Editor’s note: Eli found this treasure trove of academic memorabilia in his basement recently (along with a “pristine, never-read copy of the 1993 Record”), and shared a little about each item. Do current students do anything on paper anymore?!

  • An old M&T Planning Guide – Every engineering student had to complete a Planning Guide and get approval from a faculty advisor. You would plan all the classes you would take during your college life! Back in the days, a College career required 32 credits, Wharton needed 36 credits, and Engineering, 40 credits (5 classes x 8 semesters). Management & Technology required 48 credits!
M&T planning guide at University of Pennsylvania

An M&T planning guide provided by Eli Faskha, ENG’93, W’93

  • A CSE 121 Mid-term – with questions in ML, a programming language created 45 years ago. The current CSE 121 teaches Java, created 2 years and 6 days after we graduated!
CSE 121 Midterm at Penn #93tothe25th

CSE 121 Mid-term provided by Eli Faskha, ENG’93, W’93

  • The cover page of a Southeast Asia report –  for Mgmt 234. That was one of our last group assignments, with Minal Damani, W’93, Mireya Kam, C’93, W’93, Andres Lopez, W’93, and Eli Faskha, ENG’93, W’93 as Wharton ’93 seniors. Just printing the cover page took a long time in those days in a first edition HP Deskjet Plus printer!
Mgmt 234 Southeast Asia report #93tothe25th University of Pennsylvania

Southeast Asia Report for Mgmt 234 provided by Eli Kaskha, ENG;93, W’93

  • My Microsoft Intern offer letter – I remember that out of all the interviews MS did on campus that year, they offered two internships, the other being David Hafken, C’93, ENG’93, who was my groupmate in several classes, and at Microsoft we ended up as roommates as well!
Microsoft summer intern offer letter to Penn engineering student #93tothe25th

Microsoft Summer Intern offer letter from 1992 provided by Eli Faskha, ENG’93, W’93

Have you gone down to your basement to look for any Penn photos or paper memories? Now is the time to sort through your boxes and storage and send your items to us!

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of October 6 – 7, 2017, marked 31 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 14, 2018)!

Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

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


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. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Academics, Class of 1993, Memories of Penn

Course Registration (67 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93, and  Allison Feder Fliegler, C’93, L’99

We’re still catching up with our weekly countdown to our 25th reunion with another #93tothe25th post. The weekend of January 27-28th marked 67 weeks to go until our reunion, and for this august week we look back at Course Registration books! I know, exciting!  Thank you to Allison Feder Fliegler, C’93, L’99, who shared these photos with us and instantly brought back memories of pouring over these schedules and attempting to create the perfect class schedule.

University of Pennsylvania Course Registration 1989 - 1990 courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler

University of Pennsylvania Course Registration 1989 – 1990 courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler

Remember that font for “Penn” and “University of Pennsylvania”?

This book was a great flashback – the course registration book with PARIS!

Spring 1990 Course Timetable - with PARIS! University of Pennsylvania

Spring 1990 Course Timetable – with PARIS!

The phone graphic is the best: “NEW REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS INSIDE.”

Well, what was inside this book? How to register for courses.

Course Registration scheduling instructions at University of Pennsylvania Spring 1990

The scheduling procedure

How to use advance registration – if you you can see, based on the number on your Penn I.D. (your social security number most likely), you were assigned a date to call for registration, so the system could handle the call volume.

Advance registration instructions University of Pennsylvania course registration Spring term 1990

Advance registration instructions

There were instructions how to drop classes too.

University of Pennsylvania course registration spring 1990

How to request, adjust or drop courses using PARIS.

Table of Contents University of Pennsylvania Spring 1990 Course Registration

The Table of Contents

Remember the numbering for the classes – the 400 classes were for graduate and undergraduates.

Course descriptions University of Pennsylvania spring 1990 course registration

Key to course descriptions

A listing of the seminar courses.

Seminar courses University of Pennsylvania course catalog Spring 1990

Listing of seminar courses

The listing of all the course times – oh how I remember pouring over these trying to select the best ones (i.e. not at 8am at DRL).

Class times course register for University of Pennsylvania Spring 1990

Class times

Description of classes University of Pennsylvania Spring 1990 course registration

Descrption of classes

There were also ads in this book too.

Ads in Course Registration book University of Pennsylvania Spring 1990

New Deck Tavern – and it is still on campus!

Ads in Spring 1990 Course Registration book University of Pennsylvania

Le Bus!! Sadly, no longer on campus.

Do you remember registering for classes? Do you remember PARIS? Share a memory with us below!

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

January 27 – 28, 2017, marked 67 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Join us we count down the weeks to our reunion #93tothe25th:

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

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

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again?

By: Carolyn Grace, C’16


I’m finally back on the blog, Quakers!  And boy, does it feel good.

For those of you who don’t remember, I spent last semester studying abroad in Paris through Reid Hall, a joint program between Columbia and Penn.  I took classes in History, Cinema Studies, and French (le duh) at both this international school and at the Sorbonne.  But like all study abroad programs, my adventure in Paris was not only comprised of studying!

Living with a host family, getting lost in art museums, sipping cappuccinos in cafés, catching the last metro home after a long night out, sprawling out on the grass in a luscious garden, exploring boutiques on streets big and small, this was over half of my education abroad.  And these are just a handful of the activities I did in Paris alone!

If you’re interested in knowing more about my adventures, check out the blog I kept last semester: For the Love of Paris.  You’ll find photos, videos, songs, and most importantly musings of my time in Europe.

But that semester has come and gone, and I admit that for all the fun I had overseas, I am incredibly happy to be back on Penn’s campus.  I missed my friends, my classes, and my activities.  I missed being a part of a thriving campus culture that, although stressful at times, encouraged me to be proactive.

So I’m back in the swing of things, but with a bit more gusto than last year!  I’m singing with Counterparts and sitting on the board as Alumni Relations Officer, I’m helping run Sigma Kappa as Vice President, I’m writing for 34th Street and Penn Appétit, and I’m beginning to conduct research for my Senior Honors Thesis for my History major.

Don’t worry, there will be future blog posts where I’ll delve deeper into these topics!  Just know for now that I’ve hit the ground running this second semester of my junior year, and I’m glad to have that academic cardio in my life again.

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Filed under Academics, Campus Life, Carolyn G., Clubs, Student Perspective, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

New Beginnings

Hey guys! My name is Kaila Brown and I am the new Graduate Assistant for the Penn Alumni Office. Words cannot express how excited I am for this new opportunity!

Penn Alumni Grad Assistant

Kaila Brown, GEd’15

I made the great move from Atlanta to Philadelphia, roughly a week ago and ever since then every day has been filled with Philly adventures and new beginnings. Orientation for the Graduate School of Education began bright and early Monday morning. It was truly exciting and inspiring to sit in the ballroom surrounded by some of the brightest minds pursing their love for various aspects of education. There are, both, international and domestic students of all races and backgrounds, and it will be such a pleasure to have these diverse opinions and thought processes shape class discussions. On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending my specific program’s orientation where I was able to meet my fellow cohort and some of the faculty. I will be earning my Masters in Higher Education. Even though I only spent a few hours with my cohort I already know this is going to be an insightful year learning from a range of students who all bring something different to the table. Every person I met matched my excitement about the quick year ahead! I begin classes tomorrow and can’t wait to learn from some of the leading lights in the field of Higher Ed.

While I know that it will be challenging, I am so thrilled for this next year and can’t wait to see all that it has to offer!


Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

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Filed under Academics, Campus Life, Student Perspective, Sweeten Alumni House

Amazon River Expedition

Author: Anthony DeCurtis, Distinguished Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program & Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone

I’m not a specialist on South America to any degree whatsoever, so I was surprised – and delighted! — to be invited to be a faculty host on a Penn Alumni cruise along the Peruvian Amazon. I’m a distinguished lecturer in the creative writing program at Penn and my writing for Rolling Stone (where I’m a contributing editor) over the years about the likes of the Rolling Stones, U2 and Billy Joel has made me no stranger to wild life, though not the sort I was likely to find in one of the world’s most remote jungles. The advantage of my non-expert status, however, was that I fully shared the sense of wonder and adventure that characterized the redoubtable Penn alums on board. As soon as everyone understood that such questions as “How deep is the Amazon in this inlet?” were better addressed to our fearless and profoundly knowledgeable guides, Robinson and Juan Carlos, than to me, we all settled in to our journey and had an unforgettable time.

So what exactly was I doing on the La Amatista, the beautifully appointed small expedition river vessel that was our home on the Amazon? February 2014, the month of our cruise, marked the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Beatles in the United States, so one of my lectures focused on that peerless band and the ongoing impact and significance of its music. A second lecture recounted the equally long and riotous career of the Beatles’ great rivals, the Rolling Stones. Of course, this being a Penn cruise, the alums aboard requested a third lecture about writing strategies, which I was happy to provide – and I got a few tips myself! On the evening after my Beatles talk in the afternoon, our guides and other crew members performed a selection of Beatles classics on the top deck to a wildly appreciative audience. Any footage or photos that might conceivably emerge of me singing “A Hard Day’s Night” and “From Me to You” while holding a glass of tequila have been fabricated, I swear!

But before all of that transpired, we first flew into Lima on a Friday and stayed at the Casa Andina Private Collection, a superb hotel. After breakfast there on Saturday morning, we toured Lima’s colonial section, including Casa Aliaga, which was built in 1535 by a family who came to Peru with the Spanish conquistador Pizarro. That setting prompted a discussion with our local guide about the complexities of honoring the country’s colonial past. The Convent and Museum of St. Francisco, meanwhile, included a stroll through the site’s catacombs, which are filled with the bones of tens of thousands of local residents.

The following day we flew to Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, which can only be reached by airplane or boat. Iquitos grew enormously during the rubber boom in Peru a century ago, and the downtown area features a two-story building that was used as a warehouse by Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald, the rubber baron who is the subject of German director Werner Herzog’s gripping 1982 film, Fitzcarraldo. On Monday we visited the thriving Belen market, which, among its many herbs, foods and native wares included aphrodisiacs that tempted some of the more daring members of the Penn crowd. On the bus ride afterwards to Nauta, where we would board La Amatista, we stopped to visit a manatee rescue center, one of the many sites attempting to preserve the hugely important ecosystem of the Amazon. We were able to feed some of the manatees, which was fun and quite moving.

Once we boarded La Amatista later that Monday, it seemed as if our journey had finally begun, despite all that we’d seen and done already. Each of the next four days we rose early and set out in two small skiffs that each held about twelve of us. Juan Carlos and Robinson were compelling guides – smart, funny, insightful and deeply appreciative of all the glories the Amazon contains. They spoke excellent English and shared personal stories of their upbringing with us in casual presentations during dinner on the ship – one of the absolute highlights of the trip. They taught us how to fish for red-bellied piranha – okay, they fished and aided us in the illusion that we were fishing, gently helping us to reel in our catch – and pointed out the endless appearances of squirrel monkeys, toucans, vultures and macaws. One lazy afternoon a group of pink river dolphins frolicked near our skiffs, and an ordinary day suddenly turned magical. Every sunrise and sunset was just breathtaking, the sky seeming the only possible sight that could draw your attention away from the magnificent river and trees.

The residents, called riberenos [Please note: tilde over the n], of the many villages we visited were uniformly friendly and welcoming. We would hike through the jungle and then sit with them to hear their stories and purchase their strikingly colorful goods. In one village a female shaman spoke to us about the mystical and medicinal qualities of many of the plants in the region. She then performed a cleansing ritual, which was riveting.

By the time we reversed our trip – back to Nauta, then Iquitos, on to Lima, and then, finally, home – we had received an invaluable education in one of our planet’s ecological treasures. As I’m sure you know, the Amazon is under siege by the demands of our modern world. Our last night on La Amatista was the occasion of a spirited discussion about the future of the rainforest and of the Earth itself. Problems abound, of course, but the conversation was inspiring, a vivid reminder that we are all custodians of the world’s treasures, whether we are at home in our houses and apartments or sailing on a river that runs deep into the very heart of our entire human history. The connections felt palpable, and still do.


Amazon Group

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Filed under Academics, Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Faculty perspective, Janell W., Penn Alumni Travel, Travel, Uncategorized

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Author: Janell Wiseley




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Filed under Academics, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Alumnni Education, Campus Life, Commencement, Janell W., Leaving Penn, Locust Walk Talk, Memories of Penn, Reunions, Sweeten Alumni House, Traditions, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten

I’ll Be Seeing You

Author: Carolyn Grace, C’16

Hit play and start reading!

It’s been a week of “lasts” here at dear old Penn – yesterday was my last chapter meeting with Sigma Kappa, today was my last day of classes, and Friday will be my last rehearsal with Counterparts.  Normally, I’d be excited for the closing of yet another school year.  Summer’s just around the corner, and I’ll get to spend it with so many of my friends who are choosing to stay in Philly!  But for one reason or another, I don’t feel that excited.  At least not right now.

Maybe it’s the rain (sorry, I mean MONSOON) outside.  Maybe it’s the looming papers and final exams that I have in the next couple weeks.  Or maybe it’s the realization that I’ll be boarding a plane next semester instead of driving 45 minutes to move back on campus.  Whatever it is, I’m sad to be nearing the end of my sophomore year.  It was hard getting back into the swing of things when I returned to campus this past August, and it by no means got any easier.  But in spite of all that, I can say with confidence that it was better than my freshman year.  I was presented with new and exciting opportunities, and more importantly I met new and exciting people, people who I am honored to call close friends.

I found this picture in my room earlier this afternoon:

It’s the first picture of me from this academic year, the first day of NSO to be exact.  I definitely had no idea what the year was going to be like, but that didn’t stop me from goofing off with my friends!  That seems to be the best way for me to combat the anxiety of not knowing, acting silly.  Hopefully, I can keep a similar lightheartedness as I enter my semester abroad next year.

I wonder what my last picture from sophomore year will look like.  I guess I don’t really need to know right now.  There’s fun in not knowing.

Until next year, dear Quakers.  I’ll be seeing you.  Thanks for reading 🙂


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Filed under Academics, Campus Life, Carolyn G., Clubs, Memories of Penn, Penn in the Summer, Photos, Student Perspective, The Arts, The Arts at Penn, Video, Videos