Category Archives: Marvin R.

yPenn Speaker Series

Author: Ada Yeung, C’13

As part of the yPenn Speaker Series, Trustee David (W’87, WG’88) and Beth (W’88, WG’92) Ertel graciously hosted an intimate gathering of young Penn alumni at their beautiful home overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida. Giving was definitely the theme of the night as the Ertels initiated an engaging dialogue centered around on how young Penn alumni can give back and positively impact the Penn community. A dinner reception quickly followed where we had a chance to connect in smaller groups and meet other young alumni in Miami. Great food, great company, and great conversation definitely made this night a successful one.

ertel3 ertel2




Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Programming, Marvin R., Nicole S.

Alumni You Should Know About

Author: Marvin Rocha, C’05

Rocha 11-18

You probably know that John Legend, Candice Bergen, and Elizabeth Banks went to Penn, but did you know that there is currently a flock of Penn alumni making their way through Hollywood? Penn alumnus Matt Rosler (C’96), the creator of the Dueling Tampons, recently launched Penntertainment, a blog that chronicles the successes and appearances of Quaker actors, authors, directors, and musicians. Here, you can see 2006 College alumna Stephanie Lynn appear in a Funny or Die skit; you’ll hear Sean Hayes refer to Robert Gant (C’90) as “the handsome one”; you can event spot Penn alumnus Marcus McGee (C’01) on Scandal. All of these alumni are showcased in the website’s Penn Alumni You Should Know About, which is currently in its 9th Volume. These alumni give us a reason to stay tuned in.

Leave a comment

Filed under Marvin R.

For the “Red” in the Red and the Blue

Author: Marvin Rocha, C’06

Today is a “Red Day” on Penn’s campus. During the hot summer days, the amount of energy that Penn uses peaks. Employees, faculty, and staff across the University receive an email that asks them to reduce the demand they are putting on the grid during “Red Days.”

Through a coordinated effort, all 216 _ buildings on Penn’s 302 acre campus dim: window blinds are shut, lights in offices and hallways are turned off all together, computer screen brightness is lessened, unused appliances are unplugged, and most importantly, air conditioning units are strategically cycled-off.

The savings from one person’s working space are multiplied many times over and allows Penn to use resources in better ways—which is awesome when you consider what other things (like Financial Aid) are funded by the simple act of thousands of people at Penn turning off a light switch. Considering this, I don’t mind sending emails (or writing a blog post for Frankly Penn) in the dark.

Our hallway in the Franklin Building...Even the elevators seem more subdued somehow.

Our hallway in the Franklin Building…Even the elevators seem more subdued somehow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Marvin R., Sustainability at Penn, yPenn

Class of 2012 Celebrates One Year Reunion

Author:  Marvin Rocha

In Harvest Season Grill and Wine Bar’s backroom, a place that held a MarBar’s dance floor, 80 members from the class of 2012 converged for their first year reunion–a milestone for Penn as it was the first time that we’ve honored and celebrated this important milestone.  For decades, Penn has welcomed thousands of former students back to campus during Alumni Weekend, with a special invitation sent to those in reunion year.  The first reunion events included the yPenn Highball, Franklin Fest, Taste of Penn, the alumni parade of classes, and the signature class specific event at Harvest.

Members from the class of 2012 reconnected and walked away with a little piece of Penn in their pocket: the 1st reunion gift was a credit-card-sized bottle opener.


And here is the Class of 2012, carrying their class flag and Penn traditions banner with parade during Alumni Weekend 2013! We hope to carry this new Penn tradition ever onward.


Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Weekend, Marvin R., Reunions, y-Penn, yPenn

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

Authors:  Nicole Svonavec, GEd’09 and Marvin Rocha, C ’06

After a great Final Toast event on Wednesday, April 24, the Class of 2013, led by Class President Jon Youshaei, has officially passed the senior torch to the Class of 2014.  Pending the passing of final exams (fingers crossed!), we ecstatically welcome 2013 as our newest yPenn cohort!  Here’s a small taste of the fun, but click on the photos to link to all Final Toast pics:

Final Toast Tree Planting 2013

final toast 2013

We had a BLAST at the event, and we’re pumped that it’s only the first of many Senior Week festivities!   More information about Senior Week (including tickets to all ticketed events) will be available outside Sweeten Alumni House Monday-Wednesday (May 6-8) from 11AM – 3PM.

In the meantime, here’s the information about a few other Senior Week events we’re hosting:

yPenn Senior Leadership Reception
Monday, May 6
Hall of Flags
5:00 – 6:30 PM

Senior Resource Fair
Monday, May 6
Hall of Flags
6:30 – 8:00 PM

Association of Alumnae Wine & Cheese Reception
Tuesday, May 7
College Green
7:30 – 8:30 PM

We’ll close out Senior Week with an exclusive event on Friday, May 10.  What better way to welcome the Class of 2013 into the alumni realm than by throwing them a party!  We’re so excited to invite 2013 to their first official alumni event – the yPenn Highball!

yPenn Highball
Friday, May 10
Hall of Flags
9:00 PM – 12:00 AM

And to think we knew them when:


Some of our nearest and dearest members of the Class of 2013 at the end of their freshman year – my how far they’ve come!

We look forward to celebrating Senior Week and welcoming the Class of 2013 into our alumni family!

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Commencement, Marvin R., Nicole S., y-Penn, yPenn

Drink a Highball at Nightfall…

Author: Marvin Rocha C’06 and Nicole Svonavec GEd’09

The yPenn Highball event has become a tradition – the Penn party of the year for young alumni 0-10 years since graduation.  There’s no better way to celebrate Penn than this huge party, complete with drinks, dancing, and PLENTY of red and blue spirit.  Over the past three years, we’ve hosted this party in Philadelphia and New York, and can’t wait to bring Highball to other cities in the future.

To celebrate Penn’s hometown (and the city with the second highest alumni base), our next two Highballs will be in Philadelphia! On Saturday, April 6 from 9 PM to 1 AM, we will host our 2nd Annual Philly (Center City) Highball at Stotesbury Mansion near Rittenhouse Square.

Check out our Facebook page and register here today.

To help tempt you to attend, here are two of our favorite photos from last year’s event:

iphone Oct 2012 016

Christian with complimentary glow sticks.

iphone Oct 2012 017

An enthusiastic and vibrant crowd of young Penn alumni dancing the night away.

During Alumni Weekend, we’ll host a second Highball on Friday, May 10 from 9 PM to midnight to bring the Classes of 2002-2012 together and welcome our newest alumni, the Class of 2013.  Check your emails over the next couple of weeks for more information on registering to come back to campus.  We’ll be ready for you (with glow sticks)!

Leave a comment

Filed under Alumni Perspective, Alumni Weekend, Campus Life, Marvin R., Nicole S., y-Penn

Six Penn Roommates Live it Up in New York

Authors: Nicole Svonavec, GEd’09 and Marvin Rocha, C’06

If you were to walk into a SoHo apartment in New York City, you could very well find yourself re-writing the opening lines of MTV’s Real World to:

This is the true story…of six Penn alumni from the Class of 2012, who, picked to live in a house, launch careers in New York, and find out what happens when people stop being undergrads and start getting real…

That’s precisely what happened when Jordan Brown, Stephanie Chung, Triston Francis, Kesi Irvin, Juan Felipe Rendon, and Ned Shell —all members of the Class of 2012—moved into the NYC apartment they affectionately call the PennthouseAs with many apartments in New York, the group had to be aggressive in their search. “It was the Friday of Spring Fling last year when we decided to put down the deposit; a couple of us bussed up to NYC to check it out—a huge sacrifice of fling time! Those who didn’t go Skype’d in wearing tank tops from one of the high-rises” said Ned Shell, who graduated from Penn with a degree in International Relations.

One thing that came easy for the group was decorating. They opted for an enlarged picture of the six residents from graduation – mounted on a wall across from a giant Penn banner. Both of these Penn mementos greet the dozens of Penn alumni who have crashed with the roommates for weekends at a time. The Real World never felt quite as welcoming as this Penn home in the big city.

The roommates at graduate in 2012.

The roommates at graduation in 2012.

The roommates today in New York City.

The roommates today in New York City.


Filed under Marvin R., Nicole S., yPenn

yPenn – A Year in Review, And So Much to Look Forward To…

Authors: Nicole Svonavec and Marvin Rocha

Happy New Year!  In 2012, the yPenn program hosted events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, New York City, and of course TONS of fun right here on Penn’s campus and in our own City of Brotherly Love!  Check out our year in photo review on the yPenn website!  Here are some highlights:

NYC Arts & Wine at the American Folk Art Museum – 12.6.12

LA  Arts & Wine at The Vault – 1.26.12

Philly Alumni Weekend Highball in Philadelphia – 5.11.12

Philly Alumni Weekend Highball in Philadelphia – 5.11.12

DC Penn2You and yPenn Nightcap at Hotel Monaco – 11.13.12

DC Penn2You and yPenn Nightcap at Hotel Monaco – 11.13.12

New York City Arts & Wine at The American Folk Art Museum - 12.6.12

New York City Arts & Wine at The American Folk Art Museum – 12.6.12

In 2013, we can’t wait to visit even more young alumni around the globe! We’ve added yPenn nightcaps to many of our end-of-campaign celebrations (called Time to Shine). Here’s when we’ll be in your city in 2013:

April 19 – Philadelphia (Time to Shine kick-off celebration)
June 18 – Washington, DC
September 17 – New York City
September 25 – Boston
October 1 – Chicago
October 8 – Los Angeles
October 10 – San Francisco
November 13 – London

Don’t see your city here? No worries – the tour continues into 2014.  We can also help you host an event in your city – email us at  Until then!

Leave a comment

Filed under Marvin R., Nicole S., yPenn