Category Archives: Guest blogger

Vietnam on Locust: The Peace Symbol Statue & History of the Vietnam War on Penn’s Campus

By: Jorge Penado, C’19
International Relations Major
Work-Study Student, Sweeten Alumni House

peace.01-744x496

Source: The Penn Art Collection

As one takes a stroll through Penn’s campus, one can easily notice the variety of public art on display across campus. From the notable LOVE Statue to the Covenant on 39th and Locust, it’s clear that Penn has devoted time to the beautification of campus. However, we don’t always consider the context and history of some of these pieces of art as we walk hastily down Locust. In particular, one piece of art that remains almost hidden from the sight of students is Robert Engman’s 1969 Peace Symbol standing in front of Van Pelt Library. At first glance, we wonder what significance it has, but one would soon discover the piece’s history as related to the university and the Vietnam War.

But first, it would benefit us to learn a bit more from the sculptor. Robert Engman was born in Belmont, Massachusetts in 1927 to Swedish immigrants. At the young age of 15, he joined the US Navy and served in the Pacific theater of World War II. After returning to the US, he received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and later, his MFA in Painting and Sculpture from Yale University in 1955. It wouldn’t be until 1964 that he would become Penn’s Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture and until 1974 that his now familiar piece, Triune, would be found across City Hall. However, it was in 1969 that he, alongside eight Penn students, would install the sculpture, Peace Symbol, an emblem of student protest against the University’s lack of a stance on the Vietnam War.

Now, you may ask yourself, what was the stance of the university? Well, as many college campuses had done, Penn’s students and faculty began to hold various protests against US policy in Vietnam. Efforts emerged around campus such as in April 1965 with posters urging students to join the Washington March or from April 8-15, 1967 when Vietnam Week was held on campus. On June 5, 1966, sixty-seven Penn faculty members signed a nationwide petition urging the government to stop its policy in Vietnam. Nevertheless, protests against Penn would begin as a reaction to two things: Penn’s involvement with the Dow Chemical Company, the principal supplier of napalm to the Department of Defense, and Penn’s “bacteriological warfare unit.”

On one hand, students would challenge Penn’s connection to Dow with protests held in early November 1967. At a recruitment effort with Dow and the CIA, eighty protesters would line the hallways of Cohen Hall in a sit-in meant to disrupt recruitment efforts which it eventually did. On the other hand, students once again rose to protest against allegations that the university was involved in a top-secret bacteriological warfare unit. On October 15, 1965, students would protest outside the Institute for Cooperative Research (ICR), the alleged unit, which led the university to admit it’s research in biological and chemical warfare was being done from a defensive standpoint. Protests would again emerge against ICR on October 1966 at Houston Hall, and the university would report that ICR was disbanded even if President Gaylord P. Harnwell stated it had no connection to warfare.

Ultimately, the university would still maintain their lack of a stance with regards to the war. Arguments presented at the time spoke of institutional morality and whether the university even wanted to engage with national policy. Nevertheless, even though the university never adopted an official stance, other organizations and student groups continued their efforts. Whether it was the Graduate Students Association who called for an immediate withdrawal of forces, the Vietnam Commencement in 1969 which saw students and faculty commemorate 1969 graduates who were expected to die in the war or anti-war protests at the 1972 Hey Day, it was clear that Penn’s campus was exercising their right to protest in a tumultuous time in America’s history.

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Source: University Archives Digital Image Collection

Protests would continue until the end of the war in 1975 and mark a finale to the wartime dissent on Penn’s campus. From this time, the Peace Symbol would remain in front of Van Pelt as a representation of the opposition of Penn students and faculty and a focal point for the gathering of students in protests. While the sculpture would be the site of the tragic suicide of Kathy Change, a political activist, in 1996 meant to send a message against violence, it remains as a reminder of politics on Penn’s campus. Even though its history is riddled with unrest and violence, it’s important to see it as a reminder of the necessity to respect and promote the namesake of this piece of art.

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Filed under Guest blogger, Student Perspective

Letters from Penn (29 Weeks To Go)

By Alice Lai Platt, C’93
Alice Lai Platt found a treasure trove of Penn documents when she visited her parents.
Do you remember once you received your acceptance letter from Penn all the mail that we received about our first year?
Penn acceptance letter for class of 1993

The Penn Acceptance Letter for the Class of 1993, courtesy of Alice Lai Platt, C’93

After acceptance, there was usually a local reception for admitted students – to convince you to matriculate at Penn.

Penn admitted students reception in Ohio #93tothe25th

Invitation to an admitted students reception for Penn in Cleveland Ohio, courtesy of Alice Lai Platt, C’93

Alice received two letters from the United Minorities Council after she was admitted.

There is a letter about the academic integrity of Penn.

Letter on academic integrity from the Provost to incoming Penn freshman

Front page of a letter on academic integrity at Penn from the Provost

Another letter from the College about advising sessions on campus and a “hot-line” if you are unable to attend in person.

Penn School of Arts and Sciences advising letter

Letter from the School of Arts and Sciences about advising sessions during the summer

Finally, something Alice saved from the end of her time at Penn – a letter from the Annenberg School about a Communications Major reception for graduation.

Annenberg School for Communication at Penn graduation information

Reception and graduation ceremony for Communications majors in the Annenberg School for Communication

Do you remember receiving all of this communication from Penn? Did you save any of your letters?

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of October 20 – 21, 2017, marked 29 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.

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

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Guest blogger

Penn Serves LA Restores the Ballona Wetlands

By Michelle Wattana, C’09

Penn Serves LA at the Ballona Wetlands

Penn Serves LA at the Ballona Wetlands

It was a terrific day all around for the environment, community, and the twenty-six Penn volunteers who came out to help preserve native vegetation with Friends of Ballona Wetlands in Marina Del Rey! Donning hats and sunscreen, we started the morning off with a quick but informative overview on the local plants, insects, and animals found in the wetlands that are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. We learned that over the last century, invasive plant species have made their way into the wetlands (some from as far as New Zealand and South Africa!), slowly encroaching upon the beneficial species and detrimentally altering the balance of the local ecosystem. With every plant we pulled, we were going to make change that had positive lasting impacts!  And with that, we set out into the sunny outdoors to make way for the native plants that needed room to thrive, and for the insects and animals that depended on them.

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetland Acres of Vegetation to Preserve

Acres of Vegetation to Preserve

The Ballona Wetlands spans approximately 800 acres, and is one of Southern California’s precious remaining aquatic ecosystems. With only 10% of California’s original wetlands remaining today, restoration and preservation of local, beneficial species is more important than ever, as the wetlands are crucial to everything from air purification, flood protection, and fueling for the 240+ species of migrant birds that make the trek on the Pacific Flyway every year. Since 1978, Friends of Ballona Wetlands has been leading the effort to save and restore the area, working with environmental agencies, businesses, and over 95,000 volunteers to bring attention and resources toward preserving the wetlands.

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetlands volunteers learn to recognize invasive plants

Volunteers learning how to recognize invasive plants

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetlands

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetlands - family volunteering

Volunteering a family affair!

With just a pair of gloves each, Penn volunteers got right to work, pulling everything from ice plants to soft tumbleweed – adults and children alike had a great time helping the environment and getting to know one another better, while also receiving a nice morning workout! We took turns pulling, bagging, and carting off the invasive vegetation, and a few of us were lucky enough to catch sight of a hummingbird or butterfly, or two!

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetlands - smiles during break

All smiles during a well deserved break!

Penn Serves LA Restores Ballona Wetlands

Penn Serves LA board member Jane Gutman CW’73 and volunteers stacking the fruits of their labor

Penn Serves LA board member Jane Gutman CW’73 and volunteers stacking the fruits of their labor

Towards the end of the event, we stood back and marveled at our work – a good chunk of land was cleared for beneficial plants to thrive, and for seeding to take place in the Fall. We were then rewarded with a cool breeze and a beautiful view overlooking the salt marsh, reminding us just how important it is to keep the wetlands thriving. It was a true pleasure to do our part for mother nature!

Penn Serves LA restores Ballona Wetlands

The beautiful salt marsh

Penn Serves LA's Michal Clements, W'84, Jane Gutman, CW'73, XXX, and Michelle Wattana C'09

Penn Serves LA’s Michal Clements, W’84, Jane Gutman, CW’73, Elizabeth Gourlis, GED’08, and Michelle Wattana C’09 (impressive line-up of Penn attire ladies!)

Jane Gutman, CW'73, helps to clear out invasive vegetation

Jane Gutman, CW’73, helps to clear out invasive vegetation

Stay tuned for more fun, upcoming events with Penn Serves LA!

About Penn Serves LA

Penn Serves LA logo volunteering with Penn Alumni in Los Angeles

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

Since our founding in 2012, we have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Stay tuned for additional fall events which will be announced soon!

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at pennserves@gmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Jeff Weston, C’05 | Michelle Wattana, C’09 | Denise Winner, W’83

Read about our previous events:

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Filed under Guest blogger, Los Angeles, Penn Serves, Penn Serves LA

Reflections on “Protesting” (61 Weeks To Go)

By Josh Frank, C’93, and and Jef Pollock, C’93

Protesting the drinking ban at the Palladium, front page of the Daily Pennsylvanian, April 12, 1993

Protesting the outdoor drinking ban at The Palladium

We were freshmen in the fall of 1989. It’s not like we weren’t interested in politics and protesting, but one doesn’t get to choose the era during which one attends college, or what issues might arise during one’s four years in school. It’s not like nothing was happening in the world during our years at Penn – the Soviet Union, and the Cold War, were rapidly ending, and we had the first Gulf War, which we watched on CNN along with most everyone else. Closer to home, there was the beginning of “political correctness” with the infamous “water buffalo” incident, the Take Back the Night march, and Gay Jeans Day (when you wore jeans to show support for gay rights).

We were both history majors at Penn concentrating primarily on American history, and we took every class Penn had to offer on contemporary politics, especially those from Dean Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Frank Luntz. We both started our careers in politics while still in school – Jef spent the summer of 1992 in Dallas working with Luntz as the Democratic part of the Ross Perot campaign and polling operation, and Josh worked in DC for a Democratic media consultant, Bob Shrum. By the fall of 1992, our senior year, we were excited for Bill Clinton’s pending victory, and attended a rally on College Green with Ken Olin (Thirtysomething!), Elisabeth Shue (Cocktail!), and Rhea Pearlman (Carla!). Josh took a job on Capitol Hill right out of school before going to law school, and Jef has managed to make his living working in politics as a Democratic pollster.

All of which is to say, had there been some reason to protest or join a rally on any of the myriad causes we’ve seen over the last few years, we would have certainly been active participants. But what was there to protest in 1993 that was drawing masses of people?

We both sought an honors degree from the History department, which meant writing a senior thesis – Jef wrote his under the watchful eye of Professor Tom Sugrue on George Wallace’s surprisingly strong performance in South Philly in 1968 (after being rejected for the brilliant idea of doing a history of the Big 5 basketball league), and Josh wrote his on the history of the Mask and Wig Club. In other words, we kept our interests local. Apparently, we took the same approach with our protesting.

Until a few weeks ago, we had completely forgotten about our small efforts at protest, which happened to make the front page of the DP. It was spring of 1993 and we were seniors, finally legally “of age” and able to enjoy a beautiful spring day sitting on the outside patio at the Palladium enjoying our beverage of choice, or so we thought. The Palladium had particularly fond memories for both of us – Jef bought his now wife, Deborah Brown, C’93, a shot there on her 21st birthday, while Josh had brought his now wife Carolyn Frank (nee Friedman), C’93, there on one of their first dates. And we had once parked a lukewarm portable hot tub outside the place during Spring Fling for a 48 hour hot tub-a-thon for charity (and were joined in the hot tub one night by Kevin Nealon!).

A ban was announced – no more drinking outside at the Palladium. A protest was organized – without the internet or cellphones or social media, we’re at a loss to explain how word spread – and we managed to get a few dozen people to unobtrusively and calmly enjoy some drinks on the sidewalk outside the Palladium.

Did our protest work? Memories are hazy, but probably not. The Palladium doesn’t even exist anymore. Did reading this story bring back fond memories? You bet. It also made us wish for a “simpler” time when calling Penn students “apathetic” wasn’t an insult (it’s not like there were serious protests happening on other campuses). In 1993, the Cold War was over, we’d elected a new generation of leadership (Clinton/Gore), and the economy was on the upswing – so what exactly was there for us to protest?

College students today are, rightly, much more politically engaged than we were, or more to the point, ever really had a chance to be. The last few years have seen the highest levels of political engagement and protest on campuses since the 1960s. We once had a teacher ask us which era in American history we would have liked to have lived through, and we said the sixties. The teacher, who had lived through the sixties, thought we were crazy, but we thought it sounded glamorous in hindsight (also in the sixties’ favor was great music and the whole “free love” thing). If we were college students today, we almost certainly would have been out protesting on any number of issues, but we don’t look back with regret or disappointment that the biggest issue we could find to protest was the outdoor alcohol ban at the Palladium. OK, maybe a little regret, but we still enjoyed our little moment in the sun, as inconsequential as it may seem in hindsight.

Editor’s note: Thank you to Heidi Howard Tandy, C’92, for reminding us of our protest thanks to the online archives for The Daily Pennsylvanian. Follow the Class of 1992 as they prepare for their 25th reunion this May.

The Daily Pennsylvanian front page April 12, 1993 protesting the outdoor drinking ban at the Palladium

Front page of the DP on April 12, 1993 – protesting the no drinking ban on the Palladium’s terrace.

The Daily Pennsylvanian on April 12, 1993 article protesting the outdoor drinking ban at the Palladium at Penn

The story continues inside the DP on page 7.

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

March 10-11, 2017, marked 61 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 upenn1993@gmail.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, Guest blogger, Memories of Penn

The Class of 1993’s NYC Community Service Project (64 Weeks To Go)

By Jackie Einstein Astrof, C’93, and Bleema Bershad, W’95

On February 8, 2017, several members of our class spent the evening together in Midtown Manhattan as part of a group of 50 volunteers supporting the clients of Upwardly Global, an organization which helps highly skilled new immigrants embark on their American job search. Jackie Einstein Astrof, Brett Barth, Jennifer Bernstein, Jennifer Jarett, Heather Pavell and Ralph Sutton also participated in the event planning committee. Other members of the class who participated were: Todd Aronoff , Valerie (Broadwin) Mutterperl and Walt Piecyk.

Penn Class of 1993 members at the PennPac community service event in NYC, February, 2017

Penn 1993 classmates at the PennPAC event in New York City: Todd Aronoff, Jackie Einstein Astrof, Jennifer Eisenberg Bernstein, Jennifer Jarrett, Heather Caslow Pavell, and Valerie Broadwin Mutterperl

Volunteers worked with 18 new immigrants from 18 different countries, conducting mock interviews and networking exercises. As depicted in the photo, the room was full and loud. Volunteers literally “leaned in”, so engaged in their conversations.  At the end of the evening there was a full group debrief which provided many good ideas to the job seekers. Several volunteers even noted that they gathered some good advice to apply to their own job searches. Kudos to our very own Valerie (Broadwin) Mutterperl who was especially helpful in identifying several tips for job seekers.

Penn Class of 1993 and PennPAC event in New York City

A full room for the PennPAC event in New York.

Walt Piecyk found the event to be a “good use of time to give back and help some people if even just a little bit”. Another participant felt that “it was inspiring to see what the job seekers are doing; it felt good to be able to help and was nice to do it as a Penn community. I also really enjoyed learning about UpGlo and PennPAC.”

The event was co-hosted by the Class of 1993, the Penn Club of NY and PennPAC (Pro bono Alumni Consulting.) PennPAC brings together alumni to support nonprofits in New York, Philadelphia and Silicon Valley. This “ImPACt” event is a signature PennPAC event, occurring 2-3 times per year. PennPAC offers alums volunteer opportunities throughout the year. Visit www.pennpac.org to learn more.

PennPAC and Penn 1993 in the DP!

The Daily Pennsylvanian covered the event in their Feburary 9, 2017 issue. You can read the article here.

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

February 17 – 18, 2017, marked 64 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 upenn1993@gmail.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, Guest blogger, Penn Club of New York, Volunteering

The Class of 1993’s Annual Community Service Day at the Netter Center (65 Weeks To Go)

By Lisa Bardfeld Shapiro, C’93 and Natalie Taub Cutler, W’93

On February 4, 2017, the Penn Class of ’93 annual service project was held at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships on campus. Our class president Lisa Nass Grabelle started this great tradition four years ago and has organized it every year since then. Isabel Sampson-Mapp, Associate Director at Netter, led us in creating goodies for various groups in Philadelphia.

We made tutus for a day care center in West Philly, bracelets and Valentine cards for kids at CHOP and bags and pillows for a senior center in North Philly.

This year we were joined by other alumni classes as well. We had a great time with our families and friends!

Penn Class of 1993 annual community service day at the Netter Center

Classmates Rebecca Schaefer Rizzo, C’93, and Natalie Taub Cutler, W’93, work on bracelets and Valentine cards for patients at CHOP along with Tracey Newcomer Malick, C’88, and Natalie’s daughter Michelle.

 

Penn Class of 1993 Annual Community Service Day at the Netter Center making tutus

Miriam Stern, MSW’95, makes tutus with the girls for patients at CHOP.

Penn 1993 Community Service day at the Netter Center

Isabel Sampson-Mapp instructs the boys on painting a moonscape on bags and pillow covers for seniors in North Philly.

 

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Penn 1993 Community Service Day at the Netter Center - whole group photo

The whole gang showing off the results of an afternoon of giving back!

What is especially nice about this class activity is that it was family friendly! How nice to see classmates and fellow Pennsylvanians together with their children serving the Penn community!

About the Netter Center

Founded in 1992, the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships is Penn’s primary vehicle for bringing to bear the broad range of human knowledge needed to solve the complex, comprehensive, and interconnected problems of the American city so that West Philadelphia (Penn’s local geographic community), Philadelphia, the University itself, and society benefit. Interested in helping? Find out here how alumni can get involved.

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

February 10-11, 2017, marked 65 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Think we skipped week 66? We jumped ahead to post about that a few weeks ago. Our 66th week post is here (about the Palestra) and our 67th week post is here (about course registration).

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.

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Filed under 25th Reunion, Class of 1993, Guest blogger, Volunteering

Penn Serves LA Toasts the New Year

By Irene Park, C’05

Tucked away in the warm and welcoming home of alumna, Christine Belgrad, Penn  alumni from a cross-section of backgrounds, interests, professions, schools, and years gathered to celebrate the work of, and welcome interested new members to the Penn Serves LA New Year Social in late January.

Guests chatted easily over wine, beers, and light refreshment provided by Penn Serves LA board members, which lent to an elegant yet homey feel. The highlight, of course, being alumna Kiera Reilly’s “P” for Penn shaped sugar cookies! Herein lies the very nature and appeal that is so unique to Penn Serves LA: Started by a small group of alumni who have always been philanthropically inclined whose passion was to serve their community while connecting with other alumni made this organization a true grassroots effort. It was a void that they met outside of the mandate of other existing alumni groups and the University; one that the LA alumni community and its community partners had no idea was missing until the need was met.

sugar cookies baked by Kiera Reilly, C'93 for Penn Serves LA New Year Social

Home baked sugar cookies from Kiera Reilly, C’93 – Red and Blue P’s for Penn of course

Once a majority of the guests arrived, everyone gathered in the living room and shared their experience at Penn and what brought them to the Penn Serves Social that evening. Over the sounds of a roaring fireplace, the room was brimming with a fellowship between friends and strangers alike with one shared history and love, Penn. All jokes about the oldest alumnus in the room and on-campus curfews aside, the genuine excitement over projects they’ve participated in with Penn Serves LA since its inception in 2012 (in a ‘meet cute’ facilitated by Kiera who brought together alumni superstars, Jane Gutman, Leanne Huebner, Aileen Level, and Denise Winner) was palpable.

Penn LA alumni introduce themselves at the Penn Serves LA New Year Social

Penn LA alumni introduce themselves at the Penn Serves LA New Year Social

Much of what has captivated the alumni community is Penn Serves LA’s disregard for the geographical boundaries generally defined by popularity and traffic. Additionally, instead of marrying itself to one particular organization, cause, or issue, Penn Serves LA addresses a broad-spectrum of needs throughout the community. Penn Serves LA has fed the homeless, built homes, refurbished schools, knitted blankets for babies and new mothers in need, and gardened for Vets just to name few of their projects. This inclusive approach not only means alumni have the opportunity to deepen or discover new organizations, causes, or skills, but it also means more organizations are getting the help they need. Some Penn Serves LA members have gone from a single day volunteer to a regular volunteer to become an organization’s Board member.

Learning about Penn Serves LA

Learning more about Penn Serves LA

From the South Bay to Downtown LA, from the west side to East LA, our alumni are happily committing their weekends to regroup from the buzzy focus of their careers and daily responsibilities to meet new alumni, strengthen existing relationships, connect with people and places they may never have organically met, while serving the community. Though many of the organizations and communities served by Penn Serves LA are ones that its committee is already familiar, they also welcome and have partnered with organizations suggested by alumni volunteers.

A great crowd of alumni of all ages and backgrounds coming to learn about Penn Serves LA

A great crowd of alumni of all ages and backgrounds coming to learn about Penn Serves LA

The moment that solidified the evening for me, and the reason I’ve committed to the organization since its inception was when an alumnus that I had met, perhaps once at another volunteer event, gave me a familial hug after his eyes lit up at the idea of being able to bring his professional resources to Penn Serves LA. Though we all had our own private pursuits, professionally and personally, we felt as though we were unified for the common purpose of doing good. Truly the Quaker way.

It wouldn't be a Penn LA without a great spread of food and wine!

It wouldn’t be a Penn LA without a great spread of food and wine!

About Penn Serves LA

pennservesla_logo_final-1

Penn Serves LA impacts the Los Angeles community by engaging University of Pennsylvania alumni, parents and families in meaningful community service activities.

We have done everything from serving meals to the homeless to restoring the environment to fixing homes. Six times annually, we find another great opportunity to learn about interesting nonprofits, lend a hand and enjoy fun experience with fellow alumni.

Join Us

We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!

If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.

Upcoming Events

  • March, 2017 – Food Forward Harvesting – Date and Location TBA
  • April, 29, 2017 – Habitat for Humanity

Contact Us

Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at pennserves@gmail.com.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter!

The Penn Serves LA Team

Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Michal Clements, W’84 | Justin Gordon, W’05 | Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Jamie Kendall, W’04 | Irene Park, C’05 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Jeff Weston, C’05 | Denise Winner, W’83

Read about our previous events:

 

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Filed under Guest blogger, Los Angeles, Penn Serves, Penn Serves LA, Volunteering