Category Archives: Commencement

Penn Commencement 1993

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

Penn commencement 1993

The Penn Class of 1993 processes into Franklin Field for commencement, May 1993

Twenty-five years ago the Penn Class of 1993 celebrated their last week on campus as Penn students with a wonderful slate of activities for Senior Week. Then we participated in our first Alumni Day by marching down Locust Walk in the alumni parade of classes. After individual school graduation ceremonies during the weekend, the Baccalaureate service, and dinners with family and friends that were in Philadelphia for the celebration, we gathered in Super Block, processed through campus and down Locust Walk, and entered Franklin Field for the University’s 237th Commencement ceremony.

Penn Commencement 1993

The Senior Class Board gathers in Super Block. They will lead the class down Locust Walk and into Franklin Field

Classmates shared many photos with us, and this is only a selection from the day. It was the last Commencement ceremony for Penn President Sheldon Hackney as he left Penn to serve as the head of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He and wife Lucy were awarded honorary degrees. Our Commencement speaker was the new First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

We were blessed with beautiful weather, a celebratory atmosphere and memories to last a lifetime.

As many of us are returning to campus this weekend to celebrate our 25th Reunion, we are looking back fondly at photos that trigger happy memories of our time at Penn and the lifetime friends we made at this very special University.

Classmate Brian Newberry stated beautifully why this time in our lives was so special and why we are returning to campus this weekend:

Reading the postings in this forum (our Penn Class of 1993 Facebook group) over the past several months and especially over the past few weeks as more and more people began sharing memories got me thinking about why a reunion like this has such appeal to so many. We had about 2,200 graduates in our class and close to a 1,000 or so are in this forum alone. I remember once years ago, it may even have been just after graduation, flipping through the yearbook and doing a very rough count of how many people in our class I actually knew. It was around 300 – and I used a very generous definition of “knew” – so it isn’t because most of know most of us.

Even the postings in here show how different so many of us were and are, with our lives taking all kinds of various paths since 1993 never mind the fact that an urban school with 9,000 undergraduates has so many silos it was easy to get lost in them as students and never cross paths with most of your fellow classmates in the first place.

So what is it? Why the appeal to suddenly get together for a few days with some old friends plus a cast of strangers? That age, late teens to early 20s, regardless of background, is the crucible of what makes someone into who they are for the rest of their lives. Each and every person you experience that with becomes, in their own way, special to you, even if you never see them again. Likewise, anyone who shared that same environment with you, even if you didn’t know them, shares a kinship forever and that bond has some type of magical appeal.

Relationships and experiences. That is what matters most in life, something I hope we all realize by this age. … It is inevitable in the human experience I suspect regardless of what you spent your time doing at that age. All of us, even if we have never met each other, share our own common experience from that same crucial era and what are memories except a chance to relive an experience, preferably a pleasant one and what is a reunion but a chance to make those experiences come back to life for a few days?

So I want to thank everyone who has contributed here and I genuinely hope to meet all of you at some point next weekend.

Enjoy this stroll down memory lane.

Maceo Grant shared this photo of him and his mom at the College graduation ceremony.

Penn College graduation 1993

College graduate Maceo Grant and his mother Doris Grant

Penn Commencement 1993

Looking back to Super Block as we walk over the 38th Street Bridge

Penn commencement 1993

The class processes over the 38th Street Bridge

After gathering in Super Block, we began to walk through campus on our way to Franklin Field. We passed by the reviewing stand with Penn President Sheldon Hackney, the honorary degree recipients and the Commencement speaker, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Penn Commencement 1993

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Penn President Sheldon Hackney on College Green watching the procession. Photo by Wendy Spander

 

penn Commencement 1993

First Lady Hillary Clinton photo courtesy of Wendy Spander

Penn commencement 1993

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton walks through the graduates on Franklin Field

Penn Commencement 1993

Graduates seated on Franklin Field

Penn Commencement 1993

The Penn Class of 1993

 

 

We can’t believe it’s been twenty-five years, and we can’t wait to celebrate with classmates and fellow alumni from across the decades this weekend.

Meet me at the Button!

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of May 4 – 5, marked 1 week 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!
  • Book your hotel room or AirBnB now! See our class website for details.
  • Tag all of your social media posts #penn1993 and #pennalumni!

 

 

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

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 upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • 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

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Commencement

Commencement Again – 25 Years Later

By Kiera Reilly, C’93, Lisa Nass Grabelle, C’93, L’96, and Heidi Howard Tandy, C’92
One of many Penn traditions is the alumni parade of classes during Commencement. The University’s Commencement ceremony is traditionally held on the Monday immediately following Alumni Weekend.
Penn Commencement in Franklin Field

Penn Commencement in Franklin Field

Graduates gather in various spots around campus ahead of the ceremony and then march with their undergraduate or graduate school classmates down Locust Walk, past Van Pelt and College Hall, then across 34th Street, by the Engineering buildings and arrive at Franklin Field for the Commencement ceremony.
Lining Locust Walk as the graduates process is the alumni parade of classes.  Representatives from every undergraduate class year stand on either side of Locust Walk, holding their class flag and cheering for the graduates. There are two special groups among the alumni procession – the 25th and 50 reunion classes.
Penn Commencement alumni class representatives

Walking through the Alumni Class representatives in front of the Sweeten Alumni House on Locust Walk

Penn tradition honors the 25th Reunion class by inviting us to march in the commencement procession. We strongly encourage you to remain on campus through commencement. It is the happiest day of the year at Penn, and it is very special to see the new graduates proceed down Locust Walk, lined on either side by Penn Alumni.
Penn Commencement 1993 Hillary Rodham Clinton

Commencement at Penn 1993, marching past Commencement Speaker First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Penn President Sheldon Hackney

We invite you to re-live the happy day twenty-five years ago when we graduated from Penn by joining us and your fellow 1993 classmates and walking as a class in the alumni procession into Franklin Field for commencement. The deadline to register to join us is Sunday, April 1st. Click here to register now!
Penn Class of 1993 senior class board commencement

Led by class president Michael Scoops Rosenband and the Senior Class Board, the Penn Class of 1993 enters Franklin Field for Commencement, May 1993

Last year, member of the Class of 1992 marched in Commencement, and Heidi Howard Tandy, C’92, shared her thoughts with us:

The experience of walking with your class down Locust Walk in cap and gown isn’t just a once-in-a-lifetime experience; being able to march at your 25th reunion (and your 50th) gives you another moment to reconnect with your classmates on Commencement Morning, and celebrate the new graduates with applause, cheers and a magical Hurrah! Hurrah! And if you don’t remember what it was like to walk into Franklin Field on Commencement Day, here’s your chance to refresh your recollections!

Penn Commencement Class of 1992 25th reunion

The Class of 1992 celebrates their 25th Penn reunion by marching in Commencement, May 2017.

Class of 1993 President Lisa Nass Grabelle has represented our class many times at commencement. She highly recommends that you join us!
As our class president I have had the honor to march in graduation several times over the years, carrying our class flag in the alumni procession, as well as marching in 1996 at my Penn Law graduation with lots of fellow Penn Law/Penn ’93 grads.  To be among a literal sea of Penn graduates and alumni is a moving experience.  It reminds me of the excitement I felt the first time I marched during our graduation with my best friends and housemates (4049 Locust) by my side.  While marching today is so different since there are tons of cell phones being held up to capture the experience and no more Palladium to pass by, the Penn tradition is very much the same as it was for us in 1993, and I am sure way back for decades and decades.  I hope that many of you choose to join me and the Class of 93 as we march on Monday after reunion weekend to celebrate our 25th anniversary.  This is an honor the University bestows on us to be recognized for our special and BIG reunion!

Commencement Information

The University of Pennsylvania’s 262nd Commencement ceremony will take place on Monday, May 14, 2018 in Franklin Field at 10:15 a.m., and will be preceded by student and academic processions through campus. The ceremony will feature the conferral of degrees, the awarding of honorary degrees, greetings by University officials, and remarks by the Commencement speaker, Andrea Mitchell, CW’67, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News and Host of “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” MSNBC. To see the complete list of honorary degree recipients, click here.

If you are marching with our class, start time is 8 AM for Continental Breakfast and Robing. The procession across campus begins at 9 AM; with the ceremony beginning at 10:15 AM. Rain or shine. A light lunch is provided after Commencement in Sweeten Alumni House.

You can register to participant when you register for our 25th Reunion.

You must RSVP by April 1 to order regalia and be listed in the Commencement Program.

 

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion #93tothe25th

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of February 23 – 24, marked 11 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 upenn1993@gmail.com!

Book Your Hotel Room for Alumni Weekend NOW!

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 nearby. Some classmates are booking via AirBnB. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.

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

Commencement 1993 (48 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93, Allison Feder Fliegler, W’93, and Jennifer Jarett, C’93

A few weeks ago we shared photos from the 237th Commencement at the University of Pennsylvania on May 17,1993, to mark the one year countdown until our 25th reunion.

Some classmates still have programs and tickets from that day.

University of Pennsylvania Commencement Program photo courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler for May 17, 1993

Commencement Program photo courtesy of Allison Feder Fliegler

Graduates on Franklin Field for Commencement, May 17, 1993. Photo by Lisa Nass Grabelle

Graduates on Franklin Field for Commencement, May 17, 1993. Photo by Lisa Nass Grabelle

Jennifer Jarrett still  has the commencement program as well as tickets for seating for her parents.

Commencement program listing all the graduates, Academic Honors, program for the School of Arts and Sciences graduation, and tickets for faculty, courtesy of Jennifer Jarett

Commencement program listing all the graduates, Academic Honors, program for the School of Arts and Sciences graduation, and tickets for faculty, courtesy of Jennifer Jarett

Penn Commencement on Franklin Field, May 17, 1993. Photo courtesy of Kiera Reilly, C'93.

Penn Commencement on Franklin Field, May 17, 1993. Photo courtesy of Kiera Reilly, C’93.

Jennifer also has an order form for the Commencement video. Did anyone order the video, and if you did, do you still have it?

University of Pennsylvania Commencement video order form! Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jarett

Commencement video order form! Photo courtesy of Jennifer Jarett

 

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of June 9 – 10, 2017, marked 48 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 upenn1993@gmail.com!
  • Join our reunion committee – email Lisa Grabelle at lisagrabelle@yahoo.com.
  • 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, Class of 1993, Commencement, Kiera R.

70 Years Since Graduating and He’s Still Got the “Hurrah!” for Penn

By Kiera Reilly, C’93 @KieraReilly

I always tell people that Commencement Day at Penn is the happiest day on campus, and this year, on May 19 as Penn celebrated its 258th Commencement, was no exception. In Alumni Relations, we help with the alumni processional portion of the event – alumni from every undergraduate class at Penn carry flags from their graduating year and march into Franklin Field after the graduates.

We arrive early in the morning, so we can “get robed” in our caps and gowns, and then wait for the alumni to arrive. The alumni robing is near the academic processional staging area, and I happened to be looking at President Gutmann and commencement speaker John Legend’s, C’99, chairs when the University Mace was delivered. Leslie Kruhly, the Secretary of the University, leads the academic procession carrying the mace.

IMG_3450

The staging area for the academic procession. The University’s mace was just delivered.

Me and my colleague Casey Ryan, C'95. We lead the alumni procession down Locust Walk and into Franklin Field.

My colleague Casey Ryan, C’95, and I are robed and ready to go. We led the alumni procession down Locust Walk and into Franklin Field.

After everyone is robed, we wait a bit before we get the cue to begin. Here everyone is lined up waiting for the academic procession to pass.

The alumni procession waiting for the academic procession.

The alumni procession waiting for the academic procession.

 

Then we march down Locust Walk to the front of the Sweeten Alumni House. It was a beautiful day and everyone on campus was lining the walk cheering and clapping for the alumni.

Alumni flag bearers line Locust Walk to congratulate the newest Penn Alumni!

Alumni flag bearers line Locust Walk to congratulate the newest Penn Alumni!

The alumni flag bearers then line Locust Walk and wait for the graduates. The graduates march down Locust Walk through our line of alumni flags, and the alumni cheer, clap and congratulate the newest members of Penn Alumni.

Some graduates casually walk by, others pose for pictures with their friends, or their parents and family try to capture a candid moment of them walking to graduate. And in the midst of the several thousand graduates passing us by, at the front of the alumni flag line, was Harry Gross, W’44. Harry graduated in 1944, that’s seventy years ago for those of you having a bit of trouble with the math. He wore a fun Red and Blue hat, and as he sat in his chair holding the Class of 1944 flag, he was arguably the most popular man on Locust Walk. Yes, everyone wanted to wave to President Gutmann and take a selfie with John Legend, but Harry was the star.

Graduates thanked him for coming. They shook his hand, they said wow. And when they said congratulations, Harry simply replied, “Congratulations to YOU!” And then he told them that they’d be in his same spot in seventy years!

Me and Harry

Posing with Harry

Congratulations to Penn’s Class of 2014! We’ll see you in 2084 (and we hope every year in between).

Hurrah, Hurrah, for the Red and the Blue!

Commencement from the alumni flag bearer's view.

Commencement from the alumni flag bearer’s view.

Here’s Harry leading the alumni processional into Franklin Field.

Watch videos of President Gutmann’s commencement speech and John Legend’s address here (and also photos of the day).

See all the Penn Commencement tweets #PennGrad.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Class of 1993, Commencement, Kiera R., Notable Alumni, Photos

My 25 Year Penn Reunion: Living an “As Is” life in a world that only wants “So Perfect!”

Author:  Lisa Ellen Niver, C’89

Wandering on Madison Ave in Manhattan last week, I noticed paparazzi everywhere. After asking, a woman told us, with tears in her eyes, that JLo was eating lunch. I would have missed her. She did not look “So Perfect” but she is stunning. As I left New York City for Philadelphia for my twenty-five year college reunion, I have been thinking about what have I done and what do I want for the next twenty-five years!

In a life filled with product placement where JLo is lifting her Coca-Cola glass so many times per hour on American Idol, our lives have been given a structure that we might not purchase if it were not so insidious.

In As Is by Rachel Michael Arends, the story is told through several narrators and Arends is able to share deep perspectives about how people with different lifestyles lock themselves into their own cage about money, sexuality, and professions of what they think that want and should own and should do.

Through Arends’ intriguing characters, we are able to wonder and wander. Is it a good choice to be an artist? Is it okay to defer your dream to care for your father? Most of the interactions and characters would have accepted the decisions of their friend or family member if they had only been told. Fear made nearly every character in this book withhold their personal truth.

Hiding themselves made them seem like a cheap imitation of what they could have brought to the table. Choosing to be courageous and wish for what they really wanted and reach out to receive it often only comes after tragedy and hardship but hopefully Rachel Michael Arends’ novel gives you the hope to share your story and live a life painted fully without regrets.

Early in the novel, Gwendolyn says: “On television it can look glamorous, and perhaps some people would love this lifestyle. But I don’t,” I wondered what didn’t she like? And who was she really?

Wandering the parade and picnic at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought what would life be like if we did not pretend. Gwendolyn believes that Armand “actually enjoys being So Perfect all the time,” it gave me pause to think about who do I know who resembles that remark and do they feel like Gwendolyn that “it just seems wrong, incongruous, and unnatural,” and more of a cage than a life.

There were many buttons to wear at Reunion: “I met my wife at Penn,” “<3 Penn,” and “Don’t worry, I don’t remember you either!” Maybe several alums felt like Gwendolyn: “I find it scary and unnerving when strangers approach me as if we’re old friends. I don’t like to worry about what I wear, if my hair and makeup look good enough (according to Armand they never do), what I say, or how I say it. I prefer to stay at home behind our high fences, inside our security system.”

w/ Joyce Lim Twomey

w/ Joyce Lim Twomey

 

She has been told by Trey, her producer, “I’m lucky to have this job, that anyone in her right mind would want it.” At an Ivy League institution, in marriage or in many other settings, we are sold that line about being lucky. I went to medical school because I was smart in science. Like Gwendolyn I felt, “I don’t want to let anyone down…[but] I’m beginning to fear that I’ll be trapped in this mansion forever.” We sometimes become embroiled in a labyrinth or career and we seem to be stuck. Breaking out of the mold and consciously taking a different path can be a struggle but isn’t the freedom, to be who we really are, worth it?

When we become lost from our selves, we often need someone like Gwendolyn’s sister, Megan, to ask us: “What’s your plan? Are you going back there?” We all want to have someone in our life that we can tell as Gwendolyn does, “You’re like an island of sanity in the craziest day I’ve ever had.” It is possible we have those people already if we would only be honest with them about how we feel and what we need. Most of us keep our wounds and concerns a secret only sharing what we think looks “So Perfect” to the constant measuring up on Instagram and Pinterest.

When one character with a cane walks on a floor above Gwendolyn with a sliding sound, she muses, “It’s strange to think of carrying your damage on the outside where everyone can see it.” What if we shared our fears and foibles on Facebook and not just our fairytales that come true? Carrie, a character who is a fan of Gwendolyn on television but becomes a true friend in the story, shares, “The biggest thing I’ve learned over the course of this year is that life is one big surprise after another, and maybe I should loosen up and try my best to roll with it.” As I walked the parade on Saturday standing in between the two wonderful women who were my college roommates, I realized that I am so lucky in both an “as is” and “so perfect” way to have walked this road surrounded by people who know what I look life in real life and want to be friends anyway! Whether there are tears of joy or sadness, they have always run to my side, whenever I am ready to share this rollercoaster of life.

Arends’ character, Armand, realizes that “As Is,” could be his “motto for acceptance. Not an excuse to settle necessarily, but a reminder that at a certain point, you just need to say, OK, enough is enough! I’m sick of chasing the dream of perfection and that’s not a failure.”

Gwendolyn does believe in fate, as she says, “You have to. I just saw a falling star out the window and I wished for you. When I looked up, there you were!” In some ways like the movies, we want to say, “I wished for you” and for the person to appear. What if you are really wishing for yourself to stand up, take up space and live your dreams? I wish for you that you are inspired to pause and think about your own parade and find a path that leads you to yourself and the fulfillment of your best dreams.

w/Barbara Yorke

w/Barbara Yorke

About the Author: Lisa Ellen Niver (CAS 1989) was honored to walk in graduation on May 19, 2014 with her classmates from twenty-five years ago! Learn more about her journeys at WeSaidGoTravel.com and ScienceisntScary.net.

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Commencement, Lisa Ellen Niver, Memories of Penn, Penn Alumni Travel, Penn Park, Reunions, Traditions

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Author: Janell Wiseley

 

Comm-6comm-8Comm-5Comm-3

comm-4Comm-7Comm-2

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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