Category Archives: Amanda D.

Ode to the Penn Quaker

Author: Amanda D’Amico

Walkers, Banes, and Kantisses took the world by storm this Halloween. While these costumes — and each corresponding show or movie — represent today’s pop culture, I thought Halloween was the perfect time to highlight a costume that never goes out of style: the Penn Quaker.

Despite widespread belief among students, the Quaker has nothing to do with the University’s founder or its early administration. According to an article in the Daily Pennsylvanian from February 2010, the “Penn Quakers” came into being during the late 19th century.

Sportscasters referred to many teams in Pennsylvania as Quakers—as the Commonwealth was founded by a Quaker, William Penn, and guaranteed Quakers the freedom to practice their religion. Because of the University of Pennsylvania’s outstanding athletic prowess during this time (and into the mid-20th century) the nickname “Quakers” stuck to the University.

So no, Benjamin Franklin was not a Quaker. And no, “the Fighting Quaker” isn’t the mascot’s real name. But despite these common misconceptions and the fact that Penn has no historical ties to the Religious Society of Friends, the Quaker remains an icon on campus —through multiple iterations.

Old Quaker

New Quaker

Read more about the history of the Penn Quaker in the Daily Pennsylvanian or view images of the beloved mascot on the University’s Flickr stream.


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Filed under Amanda D., Athletics, Ben Franklin, Historical

Just a Few Days Left to Register for Homecoming Weekend…

Author:  Amanda D’Amico

The air is crisp, and the leaves are starting to change color. It’s time to pull those sweaters and jackets out of your closet for fall. And while you’re digging in the back of your closet, grab your favorite Penn gear to wear at Penn’s Homecoming Weekend featuring arts & Culture, October 26 to 28, 2012.

After discussing contemporary jazz or modern libraries in our Classes without Quizzes and reconnecting with old friends at Quakerfest, you can head over to Franklin Field to watch Penn take on Brown. The weekend features social events, film screenings, other sporting events, and much more.

And, best of all, you get to add the newest Homecoming Weekend scarf (included in the cost of a Red or Blue Quaker Pass) to what I hope is a growing collection!

Here are just a few other reasons you should return to Penn for the weekend:

  1. Arts & Sciences Quizzo
  2. Beyond the Screen: Social Impact through Film
  3. California Impressionism: Masters of Light
  4. Classes without Quizzes: Arts@Homecoming Launch Party
  5. Penn Park Homecoming 5K Run
  6. PennGALA Homecoming Happy Hour
  7. Performing Arts and Children: Beyond the ‘Mozart Effect’
  8. The Philadelphia Film Festival presents Flight
  9. Rugby Alumni Social
  10. Taste of Penn Spectrum: A Celebration of Diversity

To learn more about the events at this year’s Homecoming and to register, visit See you in Philadelphia, Oct. 26 – 28!

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Amanda D., Campus Life, Homecoming Weekend featuring arts and culture, Philadelphia, The Arts, The Arts at Penn

The Class of 2016 Comes to Penn

Author:  Amanda D’Amico

With more than 2,400 members, getting the Class of 2016 together is no easy task. There are only three events in their collegiate careers that will include all their classmates—convocation, Hey Day, and commencement.  On Sept. 4, 2012, the Class of 2016 was determined to make the best of the first of these three events, despite flash flood warnings and heavy rains.

Students from the College, Wharton, Engineering and Nursing crowded into the historic Palestra. Four of the most prominent members of the Penn community—Eric J. Furda, C’87, dean of admissions; Penn President Amy Gutmann, HOM’04; Provost Vincent Price, HOM’98; and Lee Spelman Doty, W’76, president of Penn Alumni—greeted the newest members of the Penn community.

These new Quakers are among the most distinguished classes in Penn’s history. With outstanding SAT and ACT scores, excellent high school grades and many extracurricular and philanthropic activities, the class is a welcomed addition to the Penn community—and will surely challenge each other and members of other Penn classes.

Doty noted that the academic and social communities the members of the Class of 2016 build will likely last the rest of their lives. And when she told each student to look at the people sitting next to him, because he may find that these individuals will be in the rest of their lives, the previously quiet stadium grew noisy as excited students introduced themselves to one another.

Convocation is only the beginning for these students, and a lot will change before they all meet again for Hey Day in 2015. Tests will be taken, papers will be written, and Spring Flings will be flung. In the next four years, these students will face challenges and grow tremendously. And judging by their excitement during a hot, sweaty night in the Palestra, they’re ready for it.

You can view images from the day’s event here.

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Filed under Amanda D., Campus Life, Student Perspective, Traditions

Penn’s Got Game

Author: Amanda D’Amico

With the Olympics on TV day and night, it’s hard not to think about sports. In fact, every two years, I’m reminded of some obscure sports and games that most people don’t normally discuss on a daily basis.

But Penn students are usually talking about them.  In fact, Penn hosts 25 of 35 official Olympic sports, either as an official athletic team or as a club activity. Here’s a complete run-down of those events.

With these numbers, we’re sure to have alumni at Olympic games for many years to come.

And while we’re at it, let’s not forget to congratulate Penn alumna, Susan Francia, C’04, G’04, who just received her second the gold in the rowing competition at the London 2012 Olympics! Read  more about it here.

Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania

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Filed under Amanda D., Athletics

Free Classes at the Ivies

Author: Amanda D’Amico

How many times have you come across a problem in your career, only to wish you paid more attention in this class or taken that one while in school?

Penn has teamed up with Princeton, Stanford, and Michigan to offer a solution: Coursera. In addition to the many lifelong learning events and opportunities at Penn—including classes through the College of Liberal and Professional Studies—Coursera offers free online courses to anyone who would like to take them. From computer science to health care, these not-for-credit courses are taught by accredited faculty and staff at one of the four sponsoring universities and range in length from four weeks to 12 weeks. The outstanding faculty members teaching courses via Coursera include the following:

• Ezekiel J. Emanuel, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, with appointments at the Wharton School and the Perelman School of Medicine;
• Robert Ghrist, the Andrea Mitchell Penn Integrating Knowledge Professor, appointed at both the School of Engineering and mathematics department in the School of Arts and Sciences; and
• Kevin Werbach, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School.

Check out Coursera’s video or visit to learn more.

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Alumnni Education, Amanda D.

One Month to Go!

Author: Amanda D’Amico

June 1 has great significance to staff members in every school and center at Penn: it begins the final month of the fiscal year. Gift officers across the University will use the next 30 days to explain the importance of giving annually to as many alumni as possible.

You may receive a phone call or email from a Penn staff member. In fact, you may receive more than one, as there are several fundraising offices at Penn. Here is a short listing of all of the annual funds at Penn:

In case you do not notice an email in your already crowded email Inbox, I encourage you to explore these annual funds’ websites. Each annual fund supports different priorities, so be sure to check each site carefully as you decide where to make your gift.  And of course, these annual funds aren’t the only way to support Penn: you can also endow a scholarship or make a planned gift.

Make your gift by June 30 to be counted as a Proud Penn Donor for the 2012 fiscal year!

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Penn Weddings

Author: Amanda D’Amico

In exactly one year to the day, I will be walking down the aisle. During my wedding planning, I’ve often searched online for local venues to hold the occasion. When I searched “weddings” and “Philadelphia,” I was surprised to find “Perelman Quadrangle” at 3417 Spruce Street come up on Google Map. Weddings in the Quad?

 Sure enough, weddings are time-honored tradition for the Quad. From ceremonies to receptions, Perelman Quad offers personalized attention and a unique atmosphere. For more information, go here.

But the Quad isn’t the only Penn place that can accommodate weddings. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, was listed The Knot’s 2010 best of reception sites. With 92 acres of gardens and outdoor space, the Morris Arboretum makes an amazing background for wedding photos. For more information, visit their website.

 Or, I could try Penn Museum, right at the corner of 32nd and South in University City. Penn Museum is a large, historic venue, and is available for a number of different events (not just weddings). Who doesn’t want to hold their one-of-a-kind event near one-of-a-kind artifacts? For more information on events at the Penn Museum, click on this link.


Filed under Amanda D., Campus Life, Events, Penn Museum, Philadelphia

The Few. The Proud. The Alumni of Penn.

Author: Amanda D’Amico

I did the math: I’ve spent over 4,000 hours on Penn’s campus.  To put that in perspective, I spent about a quarter of that on GW’s campus, earning my Master’s degree.  I’ve been to Penn sporting events, graduations, alumni weekends, lectures, and campus events.  I’m proud of Penn’s distinguished history and growth.

I talk about Penn’s accomplishments so often that my fiancé feels compelled to regularly remind me that I’m not a Penn alumna.  While it’s true that I’m not a Penn graduate, there are many recognizable and well-respected individuals who are:

–          Owen J. Roberts, Class of 1895, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

–          William J. Brennan, Jr., Class of 1928, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

–          Charles Addams, FA’34, Creator of The Addams Family

–          Arlen Specter, C’51, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania

–          Ronald S. Lauder, W’65, Ambassador of the United States to Austria

–          Ed Rendell, C’65, Former governor of Pennsylvania

–          Andrea Mitchell, CW’67, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC

–          Michael Nutter, W’79, Mayor of Philadelphia

–          Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., C’85, Ambassador of the United States to China

–          Elizabeth Banks, C’96, Actress

–          John Legend, C’99, Grammy-winning Recording Artist

–          Vanessa Bayer, C’04, Saturday Night Live cast member

–          Jerome Allen, W’09, Former NBA Player and current Penn Basketball Coach

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are literally thousands of recognizable and renowned Penn alumni who shaped the political world, the media, entertainment, medicine, and business.

Below, please find two examples chosen at random. To learn more about Penn’s distinguished alumni, visit the Alumni Relations web site or the Penn archives.

Honorary degree recipient, Nnamdi Azikiwe (Doctor of Humane Letters) with Professor Sandra Barnes, May 19, 1980.

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Filed under Alumni Profile, Amanda D.

Women at Wharton

Author: Amanda D’Amico

Today is the second day of the Wharton Women in Business Alumnae Conference. This third annual conference focuses on “Case Studies in Women Leadership” and features Wharton professors and prominent alumnae.

Women’s history at Wharton is interesting.  It wasn’t too long ago that women weren’t welcome at Wharton.  It wasn’t until 1954 that women were admitted to the best business school in the world, making it the last school at the University of Pennsylvania to do so.  Although female faculty members were at Wharton since 1921, a female professor wasn’t selected as a chairperson of Wharton department until 1977. Even after this, the female infiltration of Wharton was slow.

But times have changed. Today, 40 percent of Wharton single-degree undergraduates and 45 percent of Wharton full-time MBAs are women.  Women are part of every cohort and major at Wharton.  Women support the School as prominent faculty members and senior members of the administration.

And there are a number of resources for female Wharton students and alumnae.  Wharton Women  is an undergraduate organization, which seeks, “to facilitate the personal and career development of females in business by building a network of exceptional undergraduates, professionals, and faculty.”  Similarly named, Wharton Women in Business is a graduate organization that “strives to increase career, mentoring and networking opportunities for all women at Wharton. […] The organization initiatives efforts in admissions, alumnae outreach, professional and personal development, recruiting and community service.”  These two groups help to shape the Wharton female experience.  Their role is invaluable, as Wharton comes closer to reaching equal numbers of men and women in its classes.

If you are interested in learning more about women at Wharton and Penn, please visit this site.

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All Penn, All the Time

Author: Amanda D’Amico

As a staff member at Wharton External Affairs, I write for two Penn blogs: Frankly Penn (obviously) and the Wharton Blog Network. Since both are official Penn blogs, I started to wonder how many others are out there. As it turns out, the answer is a lot. Here are just a few of the ones I found:

–          Institute of Contemporary Art

–          Making History: The Campaign for Penn

–          Making the Rounds: Perelman School of Medicine

–          Penn & Beyond: Career Services

–          Penn Design MFA Forum

–          Penn Gazette

–          Penn Gazette: Arts

–          Penn Medicine

–          Penn Museum

–          Penn Press Log

–          RegBlog: Penn Program on Regulation

–          University Life Arts Initiatives

–          WXPN


But this only led to further research. If there’s that many blogs, how many official Penn micro-blogs (i.e. Twitter feeds) are there out there?  The simple answer: more. There are so many more feeds, in fact, that I can’t list them all. But here are a few Twitter lists (Twitlists) that will help point you in the direction of Penn’s extensive Twitter presence:

–          Daily Pennsylvania’s “Penn”

–          Penn Alumni’s “Univ of Penn”

–          Penn Law School’s “Penn”

–          Wharton Digital Press’s “Wharton Affiliates”

With so many options, it seems that news from Penn could be overwhelming. Of course, you could narrow your focus to only the schools or subjects of interest. But by following multiple Penn feeds on Twitter and reading multiple Penn blogs, you’ll be able to receive all the news about the University. Social media gives you the unique opportunity to read all things Penn, all the time!

Happy re-tweeting!

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