Category Archives: Penn Club of Philadelphia

Locust Walk Talk: Renewing the dreams of past glories

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

Many of you may remember my blog entry over a year ago where I shared with you the story of my rugby team, Philadelphia Gryphons, working on going to Australia, (Locust Walk Talk: What Penn’s Taught Me After Graduation). The anniversary party was only the beginning of this trek. We were able to reinvigorate our alumni and our current players to work together to create that important network of support to bolster the team and to implement new programs.

Good Game

Good Game

The club has implemented seasonal boot camps for new and interested players to learn some basic rugby skills in order to introduce them to a scrimmage with the veteran players at the end of the two hour camp. The board has institutionalized our first Saturday socials, which typically are social gatherings at our sponsor bars to increase the team’s visibility among the community and city; we supplement bar nights with outings to rugby tournaments, marching in Philadelphia’s Pride Parade, and hosting viewing parties for European matches to flesh out our calendar for the year. The fall season will be the Gryphons’ inaugural season for our new recruit/veteran mentorship program. We have initiated Alumni Days, for the first match of the season, to increase attendance at our games. Finally, the Gryphons are working to establish both a day to give back to urban youth and to regularize a Founder’s Day celebration to commemorate the team’s anniversary.

joe and tony

Gryphons at the Anniversary: Joe, GEd’14; Tony, Gr’13; and Marc.

Due to this diligent work, we were successful in getting ourselves off to Sydney – raising over $15,000 to help defray some of the costs of the trip.  Starting yesterday, twenty-one Gryphons, supporters, partners and spouses will start making their way down to Australia for the Bingham Cup. With Anthony Chieco, Gr’17; Joe Ciesielski, GEd’14; Phil Cochetti, C’06; Joe Cruz, C’97, CGS’04, GEX’12; Chris Hatfield, CGS’02; Ted Panczyszyn, Penn staff; Dan Stringer, NU’13, GNU’16; and myself, over a quarter of the team and support staff going to the tournament has a Penn connection. In short, very little of the Gryphons’ success would have been possible without the team’s collective Penn experience.


More Gryphons at the Anniversary: Phil, C’06, and Ken signing the team ball for the raffle

Personally, the Gryphons have been a huge labor of love for me – helping me maintain the work/life balance that we strive for. The team has taught me leadership, patience and perseverance. Most importantly, it’s been the source of several amazing friends over the years – especially during the times in life when it’s typically more difficult to make new ones.

Marching in Philadelphia Pride

Marching in Philadelphia Pride

And speaking of new, you also may know that I am leaving Penn. I’m graduating from my tenure at Penn to go over to University of the Sciences, about 9 blocks southwest of Sweeten House, as Director of Alumni Relations. Founded in 1821, University of the Sciences is a leading science and top pharmacy college in Philadelphia. In fact, it is America’s first pharmacy school. While I’m leaving Penn, I won’t be too far and, as an added bonus, USciences’ president is a proud Penn alumna, Helen Giles-Gee, CW’72, GEd’73, Gr’83. In addition, another teammate of mine, Greg Wallace, PCP’14, is USciences alumnus and I’ve already been cultivating him to return to reunion weekend this year.

Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 rules social media. Anthony, Gr’17, was the 1000th person to LIKE Bingham Cup Sydney 2014. From the Facebook page, “From the looks of it Anthony plays hard! An official Bingham Cup ”Play Hard” T-shirt is coming your way mate!”

It’s been a pleasure sharing my Penn experiences with you as a staffer over the last two and half years. I have already promised to work on my reunion as my 20th comes up in 2015 and I will be joining the Penn Club of Philadelphia. When I settle into my role at USciences, I will approach the interview program about helping out. Lastly, I have promised our communications staff that I will post quarterly on the blog as an alumnus.


#tbt, Sydney 2005

In the meantime, feel free to check up on my trek through Australia – Perth to Syndey – via stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok at

This tournament is getting major media attention in Australia. Here are two South Sydney Rabbitohs, brothers Sam and Tom Burgess, who have backed the Bingham Cup and have called for an end to homophobia in sport in Australia. The Rabbitohs are partially owned by Russell Crowe.

Truly Red and Blue,

Me and Lex Ruby Howe, C’07, WEV’09, WEV’10, GEd’12, my favorite Aussie at Penn. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!


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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Casey R., Leaving Penn, Lex. H., Locust Walk Talk, Penn Club of Philadelphia

Penn Club of Utah Fifth Annual Day of Service

By Kiera Reilly, C’93 @KieraReilly

Art Warsoff, W’83, and his wife Diane Warsoff, W’83, submitted this note about the Penn Club of Utah’s Fifth Annual Day of Service:

On April 5th, the Penn Alumni Club of Utah held our 5th annual day of service. This year we volunteered with Tree Utah and followed it up with lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Red Iguana.

We are glad that the weather cooperated and we were able to get all four large columnar oaks and an apple tree planted at Wheeler Historical Farm. We were also able to cheer runners participating in a 5k run which went right past us.

As in prior years, we invited alumni from Princeton, MIT, Franklin & Marshall and University of Virginia to join us. All twenty-five alumni, friends and family that participated are looking forward to next year’s activity.

Planting trees in Utah.

Planting trees in Utah.

You can see more photos from the day’s event here.

Many Penn Clubs around the world contribute to their communities through service activities. Some recent examples are from the Penn Club of Northern California, Penn Club of Philadelphia, and a group in Los Angeles, Penn Serves LA, that includes members of both PennClubLA and the Wharton Club of Southern California. You can also read about the Penn Club of Utah’s 4th Day of Service here.

We hope that many other clubs will plan events to serve their communities – and share your story with us. Please contact Kiera Reilly, C’93, from the regional clubs team, or your regional clubs liaison, if you would like to plan an event or you organized an event you would like to share on our blog.

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Clubs, GAN, Kiera R., Penn Club of Philadelphia, Penn Clubs, Photos, Volunteering, West Coast Regional Office

Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia Board Open House

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

The Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia is hosting an open house on Tuesday, September 10th at Sweeten Alumni House on Penn’s campus.

sweeten_alumni_house_e _craig_sweeten

We will be meeting at beautiful Sweeten Alumni House.

We invite you to join us for wine and Insomnia Cookies to mingle, provide feedback, and share ideas! BTW did you know that Insomnia Cookies was founded by Seth Berkowitz in 2003 from his dorm room while attending Penn? Now there are more than 30 store locations nationwide. Hooray for Penn alumni baking up tasting treats!

Insomnia Cookies. Need I say more?

Insomnia Cookies. Need I say more?


The Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia is always looking for new alumni volunteers who are interested in planning social events and volunteer projects. The open house will be a great way to get involved with the club, meet other alumni, and have fun. Feel free to bring ideas for activities or projects to share, or just come and network.

Sign up for our open house here! How can you say no to Insomnia Cookies?

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Clubs, Penn Club of Philadelphia, Penn Clubs, Stephanie Y., Sweeten Alumni House

Penn Rugby in the College Rugby Championship

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

The Penn Men’s Rugby team competed in the College Rugby Championships this past weekend at PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union. The College Rugby Championship is a “7s” tournament – Sevens is the rugby variant which will be played in the Olympics in 2016. It’s 7-on-7 for 7 minute halves. This was Penn’s first year in the College Rugby Championship. The Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia joined Penn Rugby Alumni and current Penn students to cheer on the Quakers.


Penn flag in the PPL Park concourse

Penn Rugby on the field

Penn Rugby on the field


Beautiful day in PPL Park

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Filed under Alumni Programming, Athletics, Clubs, Penn Club of Philadelphia, Stephanie Y., Uncategorized

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Philadelphia

Author: Stephanie Yee, C’08

January 1st has come and gone. Now it’s time to prepare for another new years celebration: Chinese New Year!

 2013 is the year of the snake.

2013 is the year of the snake.

The Penn Alumni Club of Philadelphia is celebrating Chinese New Year by going to dim sum on Sunday, February 3rd, only one week before Chinese New Year. Think of dim sum as Chinese tapas. There is a huge selection of sweet and savory dishes and something for both vegetarians and meat lovers.

A sample of dim sum dishes.

A sample of dim sum dishes.

This event is great for anyone who is looking for an alternative to the typical brunch. Dim sum is affordable, fun, and always delicious! Sign up for the event here. See you at Joy Tsin Lau. I will be the one eating the turnip cakes.

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Penn Club of Philadelphia, Penn Clubs, Philadelphia, Stephanie Y.