Category Archives: The Penn Fund

Why We Give – Giving Tuesday with Penn 1993 (24 Weeks To Go)

By the Class of 1993 Reunion Gift Committee


Black Friday.

Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday Giving Red and Blue Day The Penn Fund

Today, on Giving Tuesday, we asked the Class of 1993 Reunion Gift Committee to share the reasons why they give to Penn.

This fiscal year, the year of our 25th Penn Reunion, we’re striving to set a new record of 1,047 class donors. The previous record was set by the class of 1982 in their 25th reunion year and has not been touched for 11 years; no other class has even reached 850 donors.

Gifts of any size—from $25 to $25,000—help the Class of 1993 get to this participation milestone. Help us reach our goal by making a gift today:

Penn Class of 1993 Ivy Stone on the Palestra

Penn Class of 1993 Ivy Stone

The passion and engagement of our class should make setting a new record a breeze—but we need you to get there! For more inspiration, read why our fellow classmates give back to Penn:

Sapna Shah, C’93, W’93

Educational access is a cause I deeply care about and by giving scholarship funds to Penn, I’m supporting students who might not otherwise get to experience all that Penn has to offer. Penn was transformative to me and I want other students to have those same opportunities.

Fred Goltz, C’93, W’93

My reasons for giving to Penn are pretty simple:  to repay in some small measure what Penn has given and continues to give to me.  The opportunities afforded to me by my association with Penn have truly been life changing.  Helping to provide those same opportunities to future generations is not just effective philanthropy; it is a constant reminder of the importance of education as a critical stepping-stone to progress and hope.

Penn Class of 1993 flag #93tothe25th

Our Penn Class of 1993 flag

Jason Pantzer, C’93

It has been 25 years since I graduated Penn and each time I return I am impressed by new, exciting, and revolutionary developments on campus.  Penn continues to evolve and improve as one of the top universities in the country.  As a supporter of Penn, I am proud to know that each donation is used to invest in its students, campus and community in an extremely thoughtful manner.

Rachel Wagman, MD, C’93

I am passionate about the undergraduate experience at Penn – the depth and breadth of opportunities across the academic compass, and the freedom to engage with some of the top minds and leading thinkers across disciplines. University Life represents a key area of focus in my endeavor to make a contribution to benefit others: it is humbling to help students touch the experience that is Penn.

Darren Fogel, W’93

Penn is one of the finest universities in the country. The school’s reputation is bolstered by the ability of alumni to support its many unique academic and extracurricular programs and by offering assistance to those outstanding students who otherwise would not be able to attend. Our efforts help ensure the continued success of the University.

Herald Chen, ENG’93, W’93

Penn had a tremendously positive impact on me. Importantly, it is an experience that I could not have had without assistance from Penn’s financial aid and grant programs. Further, Penn is an even better institution than when I attended, but what also comes with that is an increasing cost. As the largest university in the nation to have grant-based financial aid, Penn’s undergraduate financial aid budget requires in excess of $200 million per year. Therefore, my wife and I enjoy giving to the Penn through the Penn Fund, Undergraduate Scholarships and the M&T Program as a way to ‘pay it forward’.

Ben on the Bench at the University of Pennsylvania #93tothe25th

Ben on the Bench with Penn 1993

Brett Barth, W’93

I give to Penn for many reasons.  But it was one of the most important and transformative experiences of my life.  I feel compelled to give back and Penn is worthy of my support.  It continues to improve and evolve to stay one of the preeminent universities in the world. There are many ways to give to Penn, but supporting Undergraduate scholarships and the Penn Fund (also contributing to undergraduate financial aid) are the most impactful. You are giving a gift of a Penn education and the experience that meant so much to me to those who could not otherwise afford it.

Michelle Peluso, W’93

I give to Penn for a very simple reason – it helped shape me into the person I am by introducing me to people and ideas that vastly expanded my world, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.  And just as much, perhaps now more than ever when our world is facing so much division, I want others to have that same unbelievable opportunity.

Lincoln Singleton, W’93

Penn was a transformative experience for me.  I really felt empowered by the student and faculty community there to develop and confidently be my own person.  I attended Penn by the virtue of copious financial aid programs.  I left Penn having shouldered about 10% of my four year education via student loans. Today, a student from a working poor, single parent family like mine would graduate from Penn loan free.

Give Back to The Penn Fund on Giving Tuesday

As of today, the Class of 1993 has 153 donors this fiscal year, and so close to reclaiming the #1 spot among reunion classes—the class of 2013 has 155 donors. Let’s pull ahead of them in a big way and make major moves towards our goal!

Give Today!

Some facts about our 25th reunion class gift and participation:

  • Every size gift counts and matters deeply. Your gift shows your gratitude for all Penn has brought to your life, and is your vote of confidence in Penn’s present and future. Give what is personally meaningful to you, and know how grateful we are for it whatever the size!
  • ’93 couples count as two donors in participation!
  • Your gift supports our class reunion fund, which supports our two class projects (an addition to our Class of 1993 Endowed Scholarship and the establishment of the Class of 1993 Endowed Internship at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships) and The Penn Fund (the University’s central annual fund supporting student financial aid and critical undergraduate initiatives); gifts to most individual endowed scholarships are also counted for class gift credit.
  • As a whole Penn has gone from 7th to 3rd place among our Ivy+ peers in alumni participation by percentage. Still, only about 35% of alumni give back, compared to 60% for Princeton. We can and will do better, one gift at a time!
  • Contact our class giving director Rachel Robinson at or 215-898-3645 with any questions. She’d love to hear from you!

Make your gift to The Penn Fund in celebration of our 25th Reunion here:

#93tothe25th Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Committee #PRLC2017

1993 25th Reunion Committee planning our reunion at Penn in September, 2017

Penn Class of 1993 25th Reunion Countdown

The weekend of November 24 – 25, 2017 marked 24 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!
  • Join our reunion committee – email Lisa Grabelle at
  • Follow us on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
  • Classmates are invited to join our Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Important hotel update! Overwhelming response from our great class has sold out the Downtown Marriott Class of 1993 room block for Saturday night. There are alternative hotels. We recommend booking ASAP! Please see our class website for additional details.


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Giving Tuesday and the Class of 1993 Giving to Penn (78 Weeks To Go)

By Kiera Reilly, C’93

The Penn Fund Giving Tuesday #LovethePennFund

Today, November 29, 2016, is Giving Tuesday, a day for global giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

On this #GivingTuesday, I encourage you to consider a donation to The Penn Fund. The Penn Class of 1993 has always been generous in giving back to Penn, and I hope we can continue that tradition, as the Penn Fund hopes to secure 500 alumni donations today.

Senior Class Gift

Our senior year, 603 classmates donated to our Senior Gift Drive, raising $14,190.02 in support of Penn and our class project, the Class of 1993 Endowed Scholarship. This was a 27% participation rate, a record-setting level of engagement (almost 150 more donors than 1992, the next closest year).

I was on the Senior Class Gift committee, and I remember the many meetings we had deciding on our class project and working to secure as many gifts as possible from fellow classmates. I found this note from our Gift Drive co-chairs Stephanie Fish and Lincoln Singleton in my pile of ’93 memories.

The Penn Fund Class of 1993 Senior Class Gift at the University of Pennsylvania

Letter from Senior Class Gift co-chairs Stephanie Fish and Lincoln Singleton

Stephanie shared her memories of co-chairing the Senior Class Gift Drive with Lincoln:

“I do remember working with Lincoln who was always full of energy and enthusiasm. I remember that we had great participation from our class, and I was very excited to hand over the big check on Alumni Day. I think that I felt that it was important to give back to Penn because I really had such a great four years–interesting classes, wonderful friends, and lots of new experiences. I wanted to make sure others could have that same great experience. Giving back is my way of saying thank you. It also makes it possible for the next generations to have these great opportunities.”

University of Pennsylvania Class of 1993 Senior Class Gift Drive Committee

Class of 1993 Senior Class Gift Drive committee photo from our yearbook – see if you can spot Penn President Sheldon Hackney in the back!

Reunion Giving

Since our senior year, we have continued to set records, still holding records for overall ($3million) and scholarship ($2.35million) fundraising in our 15th reunion, and unrestricted fundraising ($1.127million) in our 20th reunion. Thank you for your continued generosity to and support of Penn!

Penn Class of 1993 20th reunion check with planning and gift committees

Our 20th reunion planning and gift committees pose with our donation check at our 20th reunion party on May 10, 2013.

Penn Class of 1993 planning and reunion committees with gift check

More planning and gift committee members pose with our 20th reunion check on May 10, 2013

Penn Class of 1993 pose with Penn President Amy Gutmann and The Penn Fund Class of 1917 Award

Planning and gift committee members pose with President Gutmann at the annual President’s Volunteer Reception in May, 2014, with the Class of 1917 Award that we won based on our donations for our 20th reunion.

Giving Tuesday – Donate to The Penn Fund

Please join me in making a gift to The Penn Fund today. Your gift helps to support today’s Penn students, primarily through financial aid and by addressing the immediate needs to bolster the undergraduate experience. Your support WILL make a difference. To make a gift, please use the special Giving Tuesday Giving Page:

Show your support by posting on social media with the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #LOVEthePennFund. You can also share an #UNselfie that shows why you choose to give back to Penn.

The Penn Fund Giving Tuesday #LovethePennFund

*Thank you to Rachel Swartz Robinson, Class Giving Director, 25th and 30th Reunions, The Penn Fund, for sharing the Class of 1993 giving stats with us!

Penn Class of 1993 Reunion Countdown

The weekend of November 11-12, 2016 marked 78 weeks until the 25th Reunion of the Penn Class of 1993 (May 11 – 13, 2018)! Join us we countdown 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!
  • 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, Giving Tuesday, Kiera R., The Penn Fund

A Season of Giving

Author: Max Gaines


This winter season, The Penn Fund encourages you to make undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania a philanthropic priority.

Alumni annual giving is a treasured Penn tradition dating back to the University’s earliest years. The philanthropic support of our alumni, parents and friends each and every year provides the vital resources necessary to maintain the University’s vision of inclusion (our groundbreaking no-loan policy), innovation (world-renowned faculty and research), and impact (made by Penn undergraduate students and alumni on campus and around the world).

Making your gift in support of undergraduate education through The Penn Fund before December 31 will:

  • ensure that your gift will be tax-deductible for the 2013 tax season (if applicable)
  • confirm your name listing in your  2012-2013 class honor roll.
  • assist the University in increasing its alumni participation numbers

Celebrate this Penn tradition and fuel the advancement of this great university and your alma mater. Go Quakers!


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Penn Student On Track To Being Principal of Charter School

Author: Max Gaines

Jessica King, C’15, calls herself “a child of public school.” King was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania as an early-decision applicant. She received a “healthy” federal grant package including a work-study program award. Now a junior communications major with a specialization in civic communication, King has held jobs in the Community School Student Partnerships program of Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships since her freshman year.

“I was a mentor in the classroom at Lea Elementary School. I worked in an autism special needs class,” King says. “During the day, I worked one-on-one with individual students and as an after-school counselor.”

She found the mentoring work so fulfilling that she stayed with the program. In her sophomore year she rose to a senior staff position as director of CSSP at Lea site in West Philadelphia where 30 mentors serve 10-15 classes.

“Today, I oversee a board of 16. The CSSP organization as a whole has 300 mentors through the work-study program at five elementary and high school sites,” she says. Despite enjoying her work in the traditional public school arena and years of attending conventional public schools in Boca Raton, Fla., where she grew up, her dream job is to work as a principal of a charter school.

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What I’ve learned from Ohlin – One of the Penn Vet Working Dogs

Author: Jean Findlay

It has been just about a year since Ohlin has arrived at Penn and into my life. I am the Foster for the chocolate labrador named Ohlin, the 8th puppy to join the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. He arrived on Halloween Day 2012. He is now a constant companion and rides to work with me every day and attends school at one of the finest working dog programs in the country located at Penn on the Gray’s Ferry Campus.



If Ohlin could speak these are the things that I think he would be reminding all of us to do:

  1. Stretch when you wake up
  2. Wag more – bark less
  3. Be loyal
  4. Live simply
  5. Take naps
  6. Don’t feel guilty about eating a treat
  7. Make new friends
  8. When loved ones come home run to the door to greet them
  9. Long walks are good for you
  10. When someone is having a bad day just sit next them – no words necessary

There are 16 puppies that are in training to be detection dogs. This week you may have seen in the news that the center celebrated its one-year anniversary with a special program and graduated the first puppy, K9-Socks, who will join Penn’s Division of Public Safety as their first explosive and tracking dog. These puppies are all named after 9/11 rescue dogs. There were more than 300 search and rescue dogs that helped in the rescue effort at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. This video tells their story. Ohlin’s namesake was deployed to the World Trade Center.  Here is a photo of the original Ohlin at work.


In the past year, Ohlin has grown from a little ball of fur into 58 pound sleek, athletic, energetic, and let me repeat energetic dog. He is a handsome boy who is always happy – his tail wags all of the time. He would never be able to work with explosives!


In Ohlin’s first weeks with me he went into the election polls to vote on November 6, rode in a shopping cart, visited the Penn Student Calling Center, attended the Penn-Harvard football game and helped me to meet neighbors who wanted to say hello to the cute little chocolate lab at the end of the leash!


Ohlin is currently part of the cancer team of three dogs, which also includes, McBaine (sponsored by St. Germain Catering) and Tsunami. This collaborative project, launched by Penn and the Monell Chemical Senses Center, with an $80,000 grant from the Kaleidoscope of Hope Ovarian Cancer Foundation, involves experts in such disparate fields as veterinary science, oncology, physics, organic chemistry, and nanotechnology. Follow this link to the article that appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer.


If you are interested in learning more about the Penn Vet Working Dog Program please reach out to them or me. There are many ways to get involved as a volunteer and spend time with these little super-heroes in training. I plan on trying to get a superman costume on Ohlin for Halloween this year. We’ll see how that goes.


Visit and sign-up to receive their eNewsletter.

Other links of note are:

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Moving In

Author: Max Gaines

Campus was abuzz last week as Penn welcomed freshman members of the Class of 2017 – while welcoming back returning undergraduates. All the hallmark signs of a move-in were on display: Boxes, bags, suitcases, carts and excitement.

This year, in a move to curb the anxiety felt by parents and students, photo booths were dotted across campus. There, students and parents alike took a break from all the heavy lifting to commemorate and share their experiences.

The move-in process officially came to an end as members of the Class of 2017 were welcomed at Convocation 2013 held in the Palestra. University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann called on the newest members of the Penn community to embody “knowledge that helps humanity.”\

Here’s the video of the Class of 2017 as they assembled on Franklin Field

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Calling All Quakers!

Authors:  Zack Seigel, C’14, and Taryn Williams, C’14

As supervisors of the Red & Blue Call Center, we maintain a staff of about 80 Penn students who help grow the University’s culture of philanthropy – one phone call at a time. Throughout the year, we speak with alumni, friends, and students’ parents for both the undergraduate and graduate schools.  While the main objective of our calls is to raise funds for the schools, we also update contact information and make connections with alumni who often have great wisdom and stories to pass on to us as current students.

StuCall 1

Zack (right) celebrating winning caller of the month in October with fellow caller Charles!

The efforts made by the callers have definitely paid off throughout the years. We consistently surpass many of our goals and expectations thanks to generous alumni, parents and friends. We have been doing so well, in fact, that last year we raised over $2.5 million from over 14,000 donors. We reached this right before ending for the year, and everyone was excited. Obviously celebration was necessary, so we marked this milestone at the end of the year with this custom-made pretzel (thanks Penn)!

StuCall 2

While raising money for the school is the primary reason that many of us choose to work here, there are other reasons why we love this job. Every evening we play a game together – often Jeopardy or Family Feud – that motivates everyone in the center. Friendships are made during the downtime when nobody is answering the phones – and it’s always a bonus when Staci, our boss, bakes us cupcakes!

The Penn Fund visits to celebrate $1,000,000 raised!

The Penn Fund visits to celebrate $1,000,000 raised!

We celebrate all of our accomplishments here in the center and we often have visitors from the University come to show their appreciation.

When we surpassed 1 million dollars raised for undergraduate education, staff from The Penn Fund came to visit and presented us with a thank you plaque for our efforts. They also brought us these cool mugs to show their appreciation. By the end of the fiscal year, we had raised over 1.3 million dollars for undergraduate education through The Penn Fund.

We had a fantastic year and are expecting an even better year in 2014. Thanks for your support and don’t forget to say “hi” if we call you!

Taryn (left) with caller Michael thanking The Penn Fund for the AWESOME coffee mugs!

Taryn (left) with caller Michael thanking The Penn Fund for the AWESOME coffee mugs!


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Goodbye, Fiscal Year 2013…

Author: Max Gaines

... Hello, fiscal year 2014!

With the start of the University of Pennsylvania new fiscal year 2014, we here at The Penn Fund are joining forces with Alumni Relations to remind our proud Penn alumni that reunions are quickly approaching.

With that comes a little house cleaning. The University of Pennsylvania is seeking to confirm or renew the contact information for all alumni:

image (2)

You can always just call us to update your information to. We’d love to hear from you! Seriously, we would – it’s kind of dead around here.

Oh,  and remember Alumni Weekend on May 16-19, 2014, so updating your information before then would be great.


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Every Donor Counts!

Author: Max Gaines


This fiscal year, The Penn Fund is striving to reach an ambitious goal 27,000 alumni donors. Every donor counts! To date we’re just under 3,873 away from reaching our goal before June 30, 2013.

Why is giving so important at Penn you ask? Because it provides:

  • · Student financial aid
  • · Faculty support
  • · Improved residential life
  • · Innovate classroom technology
  • · Support student activities and clubs
  • · Make campus improvements possible
  • · Establish labs for innovative research

Be a part of the 27,000 standing behind Penn students today. Giving is easy. You can return the attached pledge card, call The Penn Fund at 800.237.2655 or visit our secure online giving site at

Thank you in advance for being counted as a Proud Penn Donor!

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326,952 Thank You Notes

Author: Dan Bernick, C’14

Penn made history. Five years and $4,302,890,707 later, Penn has accomplished and surpassed the Making History Campaign goals. Faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and Penn family and friends are rightly overjoyed by our collective accomplishment.

But what does the Campaign mean for students?

In a word, everything.


$366.3 million was raised for undergraduate financial aid. That means more of my friends can take advantage of a Penn education for years to come. It means Penn will continue attracting the best and brightest students in the world, no matter their background.

$752.7 million was raised for buildings and facilities. This money goes to create new collaborative spaces for students, like the Education Commons; it goes towards improving dining and living facilities, so students can make Penn their home; and it goes towards building the world class facilities where students are learning and building and curing and discovering the future.

In total 326, 952 donors gave to Penn. That means my friends and I are graduating into a great big Penn family – thousands of individuals we can turn to for advice, support, friendship, (and a job!).

Ben Franklin would be proud.

Penn President Amy Gutmann wrote, “At Penn, we know that history does not just happen; it is made.” Well, we made it. Now, It’s Time to Shine.

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