Category Archives: Ivy+

My Ten Penn List: Ivy Plus at Penn

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Last year I shared with you some insider knowledge about our Alumni Relations peer conference, Ivy Plus, which Dartmouth hosted.  This year, we are the hosts welcoming the Alumni Relations Offices from the 7 other Ivies, Stanford and MIT.

This conference provides fantastic career training with sessions like Changing the Status Quo, discussing the numerous challenges alumni relations offices face in promoting programs and events to a wide population of alumni; Collaboration: Breaking Down Silos within Alumni Relations, focusing on the working within our universities as well as our own departments for programming opportunities; and How do You Measure Success and Engagement? Setting and Measuring Program Goals, tackling the vague science of quantifying alumni engagement in a purposeful way.  On the other hand, we are in the business of connecting people to each other and their almae matres, so we also know how to have some serious fun, too.

Here are my top ten photos from the conference, albeit some are candids and others were tweeted, instagrammed or facebooked.  (note: the opinions and views expressed through these Twitter, Instagram or Facebook accounts are the opinions of those individuals and do not reflect the opinions or views of the University or myself).


 @amywolf A sultry summer evening at @Pennalumni’s #IvyPlusAR… just the right kind of night for quizzo!


irishwombat Talking about culture with Prof. Jackson #IvyPlusAR.


Teamwork with the last minute prep for Ivy Plus. (photo, Ivy Plus facebook page)


@emilieckl Filing into the Barnes. #ivyplusAR @IvyPlusAR



A candid of some of the directors, deep in discussion.



Some of our Ivy Plus colleagues on the Early Bird Tour of the Penn Museum. (photo, Ivy Plus facebook page)


@krl67  #ivyplusar, Philly market tour…I’m in heaven!


@jenlynham Everyone else is in the wrong session: mimosas at class benchmarking! #ivyplusar


Yea, we can have some serious fun, too.

ebetz Lisbeth rocks! #ivyplusar @uofpenn @pennalumni


Delco is short for Delaware County, the Philadelphia southwestern suburbs from which several of our staff hail. It IS quite an honor to be accepted and loved by these ladies. (photo, Kiera Reilly)


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Alumpics Day 6-Community Service

Author: Jason Strohl

It it day 6 of the Ivy+ Alumpics, and the topic is Community Service. Make sure you visit the Penn Facebook page and “like” today’s photo. Every person counts!

Members of Penn’s Class of 1981 brought their families together for community service with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Project.


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Alumpics Competition: Day 4

Author: Aimee LaBrie

This is the fourth day in a row of the Alumpics Ivy+ photo competition, and Penn is decidedly behind the rest of the pack, in large part because we have so many loyal followers to our Penn Facebook page.

However, you can still make a difference by liking today’s photo on Facebook here. The topic was academics, and I thought I’d post something totally adorable. Here is the associated photo from Penn Vet’s Summer program. He’s looking right at you and saying, VOTE!

To see what our peer institutions are posting, visit the Alumpics website.

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“Like” it

Author: Aimee LaBrie

In conjunction with several of our peer institutions, Penn is competing in a Facebook challenge to see which university has the most active members on Facebook.  The Alumpics competition runs for ten days and was inspired by the 2012 Olympics.

How it works: Each day at exactly 11 AM EST, we will post a photograph on the Penn Facebook page and see how many “likes” we can get on the photo.  Gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded daily for the universities with the most “likes” and then, at the end of the ten days, an overall tally will be made, and one Ivy will receive the gold medal in participation.

How you can help: You can either check back here every day to find the link to the day’s Facebook photo (listed below), or just visit the Penn Facebook page to find the day’s photo.

Perhaps most importantly, we ask that you post the link on your own Facebook page and ask your friends to vote too.

Let’s show the rest of our peers that Penn alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends are the most active and engaged people in all of the Ivies. Vote today and check back for the next ten days to help us win the gold!

Below is the first photo in the series. The theme was reunions.

You can “like” it here now!

And, if you’d like to follow the competition to see how other universities are doing, view the competition website here.

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Filed under Academics, Aimee L., Campus Life, Ivy+

Locust Walk Talk: Dartmouth College

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

I’m going to take a different angle for Locust Walk Talk this week and share with you what we Alumni Relations professionals do to hone our craft. Annually, the Alumni Relations groups of the 8 Ivy League Universities as well as MIT and Stanford gather for the Ivy Plus Alumni Relations Conference, or Ivy+ for short.  This year, the conference was hosted by Dartmouth College.

Baker Library, quintessential Dartmouth

Nestled in the town of Hanover, NH, Dartmouth College sits as an idyllic institution of higher education. So perfect is the image, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 said “this is what a college is supposed to look like.” It is quite charming and, if Penn didn’t exist, I would agree with Eisenhower (for the record, I think that Brown, Cornell, Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford and Yale are all what college is supposed to look like.)

Dartmouth Hall, the original college building

The Dartmouth Alumni Relations staff dazzled us with their school pride and shared with us their traditions like the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, the Salty Dog Rag, the Winter Carnival, and Homecoming.  From D-Term to Animal House, from Sophomore Summer to Occom Pond, we were taken on a crash course of all that is Dartmouth.  By the end, several of us were seeing green – Dartmouth Green.

Christine Tempesta, Director, Strategic Initiatives, delivering her TEDx-style speech (note the ice sculpture of a beaver – MIT’s mascot)

Each of us found our specific conference track – focused on our area of expertise, including Affinity Groups and Shared Interest Groups; Alumni Education and Travel; Classes and Reunions; Clubs and Regional Associations; Marketing, Communications and Technology; Student and Young Alumni Programs; and Volunteer Management and Alumni Boards.  In these sessions, we discussed best practices and shared success stories that we can hopefully adapt at our home University. The intent is that when we return to our campus, we follow up and continue the conversations started at Ivy+.

Vijay addressing the Ivy+ crowd

Outside of our tracks of expertise, we had daily plenary sessions. Two of these featured Christopher Trimble, adjunct professor of Business Administration and Vijay Govindarajan, the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College – the authors of The Other Side of Innovation.  During Ivy+, their discussions were based on our pre-conference reading (a.k.a. homework), How Stella Saved The Farm: A Wild and Woolly Tale About Making Innovation Happen, a fable based on their business best-seller. The discussions revolved around how to change the way we think about the planning for the future (where will the firm be in 20 years and what products or services will being the firm there) and addressing the need of mutual respect for the business’s production engine and its innovation team (both of which will be in conflict with each other).

The Tower Room, in Baker Library – the statue is a tribute to the original mission of the College

The other plenary discussion was from fellow Pennsylvanian, Peter Post, C’72, Director, The Emily Post Institute who discussed the etiquette of tough situations.  Peter annually comes to Dartmouth during their sophomore summer for a lunch which pairs the current sophomore class (the Class of 2015) with the matching 50th reunion class (the Class of 1965). The lunch is a wonderful opportunity for the two classes to make connections and discover each others class, while learning (or refreshing) their table etiquette. For us, though, Peter focused on what the contemporary meaning of etiquette is while being true to his great-grandmother’s mission: etiquette is the relationship between two people that is respectful, considerate, and based in honest. In remembering these three tenets, Peter assured us that we would have proper etiquette in the business world. He finished his talk with some role play to manage some of the most challenging interactions in today’s social world.

The Steam Tunnel Tour ( (picture from the Ivy+ Facebook page)

We talked shop, but we had fun too. On Wednesday, we had the options of a tour of the Hood Museum of Art for the show – Nature Transformed: Edward Burynsky’s Vermont Quarry Photographs in Context, a walking tour of campus led by Dartmouth sophomores or underground steam tunnel tour.  On Thursday, we had a Dr. Seuss-themed Oh, the Places You’ll Go! excursion (Theodor Seuss Geisel is a Dartmouth Class of 1925 alumnus), which mirrored the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, to the Connecticut River for either canoeing or kayaking, to King Arthur Flour Store and Bakery, to Simon Pearce – glassblowing and pottery studio, to a guided hike along the Connecticut, to the Hood Museum for the presentation “Ancient Art, New Media: Bringing the Past to Life,” or to the Harpoon Brewery. I opted for Harpoon.

I am enjoying my excursion

At the end of the three days, the conference ended with a handful of TEDx-styled talks from our peers, including our own Elise Betz. They were charming, informative, evocative and emotional.  The motivational chats moved the audience and summarized the amazing experience of getting to spend 3 days with our Ivy+ peers, sharing our skills, brainstorming ideas and meeting such impressive people who love their alma mater! Ending on a high note, we announced that Penn would be hosting Ivy+ in 2013. It’s a lot of work, but we’re looking forward to it.

For your information, Peter Post’s guidelines for good business etiquette

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Gorgeous Gorges

Author: Aimee LaBrie

In my next life, I believe I will be moving to Ithaca. My colleagues in Alumni Relations and I were just there for several days last week to attend Ivy+, a conference where alumni relation staff working from all the Ivies get together to share best practices (the “+” universities are MIT and Stanford).  This  year, Cornell University sponsored the conference and they did an excellent job making us feel welcome. So, for three days, I got to be around a bunch of very smart and very nice people who do a lot of the same things we do–plan reunions, work on getting alumni back for Homecoming or to join their local club, find new and improved ways to use social media to engage alumni.  And, on our off time, we were served delicious meals. Example:

A clock tower filled with white chocolate mousse. Sinful.

We had no trouble devouring it. Here is Lisbeth before she destroyed and devoured the tower.

Lisbeth and tower

On the last night, they hosted an outdoor BBQ with a tour of the gorges.

Penn people and our tour guide

And a short video capturing the beauty of the falls combined with the beauty of Marge, our GAN (Global Alumni Network) team member. Thanks, Cornell, for an awesome (and awe-inspiring) conference.

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