Category Archives: Alumni Profile

The New Penn Buses

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

I was walking home from work when I saw this Penn bus at 38th and Walnut. The new design looks Penn-tastic! Has anyone else seen the new buses cruising around campus?



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Still Worrying, But Less So: A Retirement Perspective from a 1967 Penn Alumnus

Author: Howard S. Freedlander, C’67

It’s now the end of year one of the rest of my life.

Mostly removed from a life filled with 10-hour work days and sporadic fits of worry during off-hours and vacations, I’m beginning to enjoy retirement. Now, I worry about not worrying—a bit strange and maybe a bit worrisome to my wife.
I have a part-time job as a consultant for a business consulting/government relations firm in Annapolis, Maryland. I even have a client, which this former bureaucrat actually brought to the firm. I work hard to bring new business to the firm through my extensive contacts. I dare say I hardly qualify as a rainmaker.

Volunteer activities have kept me busy, particularly my 45th University of Pennsylvania reunion. As class president, I approached my duties as a job, conscientiously calling and emailing classmates to attend our reunion and to contribute to our reunion gift. We exceeded expectations for a “minor” reunion like the 45th. Somehow, my job as class president seemed like more fun than my obsessive approach as a deputy treasurer in Maryland. I still worried, constructively, I believe, about meeting and hopefully surpassing goals.

Dennis Custage and I during the 2012 Commencement.

And, I did something else in my hometown that surprised me a bit. I joined a men’s club, where I eat lunch at least twice a week at a common table populated by 12 of us. At Penn, I belonged to a fraternity; for nearly 45 years I claimed no similar affiliation. Dealing with hours of leisure time, marked by several hours a day of quiet—a bit disquieting to this extrovert—I needed stimulation. And that’s exactly what happened. Political conversation can be difficult at times but bearable.

My wife continues to work. I like that. She’s earning money, and I like that too.  Sometimes my daughters call, periodically for advice, often to see how I’m doing as a mostly content retiree. I appreciate their interest. They don’t talk long, understandably. They accept questions and advice in small chunks.

I worry about my wife’s impending retirement in perhaps 18 months. My approach to chores will change dramatically: I actually will have to do more under more consistent supervision. Seriously, my wife, once unchained from her job, will change my retirement. I will have to negotiate daily and perhaps disagreeably. I worry about the new dynamic when my wife is the house boss for the entire day, not just at the end of the day. I may have to find a full-time job to avoid household responsibilities.

Overall though, since retiring, I sleep better. My temperament is more even. I listen better, though my wife might disagree. Life is pleasant, uncluttered by anxiety of work-related deadline and crises.

My transition to retirement has been easier than I would have imagined. Friends and family thought I might have trouble adjusting to free time, a life without work and its intrinsic mental intrusions on your non-office hours. I too wondered if depression would replace obsession. As I discovered, I enjoyed leisure, time alone and my hobbies such as volunteer activities. I have adjusted to the absence, for the most part, of “bold” actions and activities driven by work demands.

Don’t get me wrong. Retirement can also be a challenge. I worry about my mental acuity; my work-induced sharpness seems dulled by lack of work-related engagement, intellectual challenges. I worry about physical degradation despite my twice-weekly workouts, which, in some ways, points out problems with balance, flexibility, and strength. I worry about continued good health, due to inability or perhaps unwillingness to lose significant weight. I think about family medical history and flinch a little.

Retirement brings with it obvious worries about aging and loss. You quickly realize as you look at your friends that time is limited. As you spend increased time with grandchildren, you realize that it might be unlikely that you will attend their weddings, or observe their college years. When I look at my two daughters, both in their thirties, I realize that they will be carrying the family legacy and interpreting it however they wish. They will talk about their parents in the past tense. They will grieve as I still do my parents and grandparents.

As I view life as someone approaching his 67th birthday, at least I still have the capability to worry, hopefully in moderation, and produce results, both personally and professionally. Life moves on to a new chapter, the last part of the book. Retirement allows you to be creative and write your own narrative, without work as the major plot line. You control the outcome, in a way.

With little prodding, I realize that retirement is another challenging passage, a time to view possibilities and probabilities with a healthy combination of positive thinking and realistic expectations. While it is a time to do as you wish (dependent on good health), it also is a time to enjoy what you have, not merely your material possessions, but your relationships with family and friends. Not since my college years have I had the time and energy to focus so entirely on relationships.

With Alice Murdoch Dagit ,CW’67, Reunion Chair and Class Vice President for our reunion this past May.


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Penn Olympic Athletes – Photo Essay

Author: Lisa Marie Patzer

Penn Alumni have a long history of Olympic success.  Pictured here are some of the University’s past and present Olympic Athletes.

George Washington Orton (1873-1958), winning his Olympic gold medal, July 1900

George Washington Orton (1873-1958), winning his Olympic gold medal, July 1900

Donald Fithian "Don" Lippincott (November 16, 1893 – January 9, 1963)

Donald Fithian “Don” Lippincott (November 16, 1893 – January 9, 1963)

William Arthur Carr (1909-1966), B.S. in Economics 1933, at the starting line

William Arthur Carr (1909-1966), B.S. in Economics 1933, at the starting line

Anita Luceete DeFrantz (born 1952), J.D. 1977, yearbook photograph

Anita Luceete DeFrantz (born 1952), J.D. 1977, yearbook photograph

Gold medal winner Susan Francia C'04 G'04, and Koko Archibong C'03, stopped to pose together in the Olympic Village earlier this week

Gold medal winner Susan Francia C’04 G’04, and Koko Archibong C’03, stopped to pose together in the Olympic Village earlier this week!

This photo is today’s competitor in the Ivy+ Alumnipics competition.  Show your Penn Pride by “liking” the photo on Facebook here before 11EST tomorrow.  The more “likes” we receive, the greater our chances of winning the gold medal!

(Archival images courtesy of the University Archives Digital Image Collection,

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Athletics, Historical, Lisa Marie Patzer, Notable Alumni, Photos, Uncategorized

Poconos Sunrise

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

I spent this weekend in the Poconos celebrating my Penn classmate and good friend’s upcoming nuptials. Sometimes, a quick trip away from the city is the perfect getaway. I woke up on Sunday just in time to watch the sunrise. It was breathtaking. The lake house was the perfect place to relax and to reunite with old Penn friends and to meet new ones. Here are three photos, each taken several minutes apart.

Sunrise at 5:34 AM

6:41 AM

7:06 AM


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Maria Popova, C’07, Curator of Interestingness

Author: Lynn Carroll, C’93

Maria Popova, C’07, is an “interestingness hunter-gatherer obsessed with combinatorial creativity.” She blogs at and tweets prolifically @brainpicker (to 200.000+ followers, I might add).  Chosen as one of the 100 Most Creative People In Business for 2012 by Fast Company, she ravenously consumes the printed—and electronic—word, curates a selection of gems from mountains of past and present information, then adds her insights as an editor – completing this process three times each day for her blog.

When not writing for her blog, the Atlantic, or Wired UK, she is a “Futures of Entertainment” fellow at MIT.  One of my favorite posts of Maria’s is Words to Live By:  5 Timeless Commencement Addresses which includes snippets from, or links to, Commencement addresses by J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs, Robert Krulwich, Meryl Streep, and Jeff Bezos.  Enjoy her blog, and don’t blame me if you’re not even the slightest bit productive at work for the rest of the day.

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Penn’s Senior Auditing Program

Author: Kristina Clark

Penn’s Senior Auditing Program started in the 1970’s as a noncredit offering open only to retired Philadelphia schoolteachers.

One of Penn’s most devoted alumna and life-long learners, Mae Pasquariello, CW’53, GRD’85

The program soon expanded to include anyone older than 65.  Classes currently cost $500 a course – all of which goes toward funding scholarships for undergraduates in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies – and over 160 seniors are currently enrolled.

The program invites life-long learners aged 65 and older to audit undergraduate lecture classes in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences at a reduced tuition rate. Senior auditors may enroll in a maximum of two classes per semester.

Enrich your life.  Learn new skills. Be engaged, energized and intellectually stimulated. Make new friends. Attend classes with brilliant young minds. Have fun. These are a few reasons that we’ve heard as to why the Senior Auditing Program is so worthwhile.

One of Alumni Relations’ most devoted volunteers is alumna, Mae Pasquariello, CW’53, GRD’85, age 81, who registers each semester for a class.  As Mae puts it “I’m committed to being a lifelong learner. I’ll be doing this as long as I can walk into a classroom.”

Over the last 30 years, Mae has studied women and religion, Italian cuisine and culture, 20th-century American poetry, and she even took a course about gun control that had her practicing on a shooting range.

For information on Penn’s Senior Auditing Program, please email:

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Filed under Academics, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Kristina C., Uncategorized

2012 Wharton MBA Graduation in the Palestra

Author: Stephanie Yee, C08

I was skeptical when I heard the 2012 Wharton MBA graduation would be held in the Palestra. The Palestra is a beautiful place for sports, not graduations. Boy, was I wrong. Yesterday, the historic Palestra was transformed into a beautiful graduation venue for the 850 MBA and Executive MBA graduates. But don’t take my word for it. I have the images to prove it!

850 Wharton MBA and Executive MBA graduates

Panoramic view from my seat in the Palestra stands


Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Profile, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Commencement, Stephanie Y.