Category Archives: Commencement

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.

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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

 

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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

Come back to campus this May 16 – 19, 2014

Author: Kelly O’Connor

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Come back to campus this May 16 – 19, 2014 to catch up with friends and celebrate all things Penn!

Registration opens Monday, March 3rd.

Check the Alumni Weekend website for event details and updates.

New for 2014 – The Parade of Classes and Alumni Picnic will be held at Penn Park!

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Filed under 20th Reunion, 5th Reunion, Alumni Benefits, Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Class of 1993, Class of 1995, Commencement, Events, Family Programming, Kelly P., Memories of Penn, Reunions, Uncategorized

Senior Year

Author:  John Mosley, C’14

I literally cannot believe that it has been almost four whole years since I first stepped into the Sweeten Alumni House to begin my work-study. Since then, I have been given the opportunity to work on a plethora of Penn Alumni projects, including this great blog and the first annual meeting of the class presidents. I also refuse to believe that I have almost completed my undergraduate studies here at Penn. It feels like no more than a year ago I was a wide-eyed freshman excited for the intellectual journey that awaited me. Now I’m just a dead-eyed senior waiting for it all to be over….

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Just kidding (of course)!! I still love Penn as much or more than I did when I first arrived here in the fall of 2010. Now I’m just very sad to see my four years come to an end. I have learned so much from the teaching staff. Now I can confidently convey my opinions and findings in both an academic and a conversational context, and I can more succinctly synthesize new information into my current understanding of a wide variety of subjects. Penn has not just taught me a bunch of facts to help me pass some tests—Penn has taught me how to learn. And I love to learn. Also, as I transition from student to alumnus, having worked closely with the staff at Sweeten House, I know that I am in great hands. I have learned firsthand that Penn takes care of its alumni. I am both greatly enthused and incredibly terrified of what the future may hold (a topic I will get into in a later blog entry), but I know with certainty that I could not be happier with my higher education at Penn thus far.

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Filed under Campus Life, Commencement, John Mosley, Student Perspective, Sweeten Alumni House, Uncategorized

My Top Penn List: Alumni Weekend and Commencement 2013

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Did Alumni Weekend really start 13 days ago? Did Joe Biden speak at Commencement just early last week? If it’s a blur for me, it must have been something exciting for our alumni to see.

As in years past, we have asked you to share in the celebration by tweeting, sharing photos or “liking” our posts on Facebook. You rose to the occasion with your social networking chatter and engagement.

This time, I searched for the hash tags: #Penn AW and #PennCommence2013 to share with you my favorite 10 tweeted or Instagrammed moments from Alumni Weekend and Commencement. Feel free to check out our proud Penn Twitter users by clicking their handles  (note: the opinions and views expressed through these Twitter accounts are the opinions of those individuals and do not reflect the opinions or views of the University or myself).

Parade of Classes 2013

10 ‏@Harry_Cooperman The scene from the Locust bridge @Pennalumni #PennAW pic.twitter.com/j1RO9FHgwV

9 @Terner_p Just drove by the Palestra and started crying uncontrollably. #thatsnormal #penncommence2013

Classes of 2013 Classmates at Smokey Joe's

8 @xulucy Thx for the memories, @SmokeyJoesPenn! You’ll be missed but frequently visited by this alum! #penncommence2013 pic.twitter.com/KXZdJHQ6BL

Live Music from Franklin Fest

7 @PennClub Live music at Franklin Fest! #PennAW t.co/8fANmJua54

6 @Penn Almost 50 years after leaving Penn for Vietnam, Mortimer O’Connor received a posthumous Ph.D. at #PennCommence2013. ow.ly/l1wUG

A Ton of Penn Tees

5 @alphawat: @Penn, thanks for the #tshirts… errrr #memories #penncommence2013 instagram.com/p/ZRZ2ChmY6d/

Ben on the Bench - Instagram
4. shanijamila Reunited with Ben @ Penn! #pennAW #penn5year #pennpride

3. @BrettTopche “This shirt isn’t too small. It’s aspirational.” #pennaw #10lbreunion

60 Miles to Philadelphia by air

2. @travelingheidi 60 miles from Philadelphia, listening to Jesus Jones &amp; Indigo Girls, landing soon for @pennalumni Weekend #PennAW  pic.twitter.com/aTFbcSi8cC

All the Graduates

1. @Penn A big round of applause to the more than 6,000 members of the #Classof2013! #PennCommence2013 pic.twitter.com/gqRjkmthJD

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Filed under Alumni Weekend, Casey R., Commencement, Social Networking, Top Ten