Category Archives: View from Sweeten

Congratulations to the Class of 2014

Author: Janell Wiseley




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Filed under Academics, Alumni Programming, Alumni Weekend, Alumnni Education, Campus Life, Commencement, Janell W., Leaving Penn, Locust Walk Talk, Memories of Penn, Reunions, Sweeten Alumni House, Traditions, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten

It’s Cold Outside!

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @kierareilly

I work in Penn’s Los Angeles office, and I always enjoy returning to campus for some seasonal weather. When I was back on campus the last week in February for campus meetings and the annual Penn Alumni board retreat, I was treated to a real winter blast.

I left this in Los Angeles….

Sunny and warm in California (Manhattan Beach, CA)

Sunny and warm in California (Manhattan Beach, CA)

And arrived for a week of cold weather and some snow!

Snow falling as seen from my temporary office in the Sweeten Alumni House

Snow falling as seen from my temporary office in the Sweeten Alumni House

My Sweeten House colleagues were less than excited to see more snow given the harsh winter this year, but I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I even enjoyed bundling up in all my winter clothes that I never get to wear in Los Angeles, especially on Friday, when the temperatures were in the teens.

Cold temperatures!

Cold temperatures!

Bundled up in a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, a scarf and gloves! Brrr!

Bundled up in a sweater, a down jacket, a hat, a scarf and gloves! Brrr!

College Green looking magical in the snow.

College Green looking magical in the snow.

The next time I’m on campus, for Alumni Weekend, campus will be lush and green and in bloom for spring.


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Filed under Kiera R., Photos, View from Sweeten, West Coast Regional Office

My Top Penn List: Ten to Penn Holiday Edition

Author: Casey Ryan, C’95

When I first moved back into West Philadelphia, I wrote my second Ten to Penn entry extoling the sights I enjoy on my trek to work through University City.

Now in honor of the holiday season, I share with you my newest and snowiest Ten to Penn from the snowstorm of December 10.



At the corner of 45th & Baltimore, morning commuters leave Milk & Honey with office for the trek



A house spruced up for the holiday season



A snow covered sign at Green Line Café suggesting folks to “warm up”



Bright gingko foliage is now covered in snow



Holiday lights still on from the evening against the falling snow



The first glimpse of campus – the Hill Pavilion of the Vet School – behind snow crusted trees



Walking along Woodland Walk, spying the snowy Quad



The Class of 56 Trolley making a lovely winter scene



The view of College Green from my West Philadelphia approach



My destination – a warm Sweeten House on a cold wintry day

I hope that this photographic journey reminds you of how you found Penn to be so special! May your Holidays be fantastic and best wishes for a Happy New Year! (Plan to come back for Alumni Weekend 2014, May 16-19 and enjoy the spring in Philadelphia.)

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Filed under Casey R., To Penn in Ten, Top Ten, View from Sweeten

Home Sweet Home

Author: Janell Wiseley

I have worked at Penn, more specifically the E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House for over 10 years, and every day I’m thankful that I do not work in your typical nine to five office building.   Sure, we have desks and a conference room, but we also have a fire place in the living room and comfy couches in the lounge.  It’s also been a part of the Penn campus for a long time…

In 1897 two events took place at the University of Pennsylvania which would culminate 85 years later in this building.

During that year the General Alumni Society filed its papers of incorporation with the County of Philadelphia, and the Delta Tau Delta fraternity established its Delta chapter at the University of Pennsylvania in a row house at 3533 Locust Street.

Woodland Avenue at the intersection of 36th and Locust Street

Woodland Avenue at the intersection of 36th and Locust Street

In 1914, Delta Tau Delta decided to rebuild its premises and acquired the two adjacent houses, 3535 and 3537, the latter having been briefly the home of the Lenape Club. The three structures were thrown together.  The firm of two young architectural alumni was retained for the new commission: Bissell, Sinkler &Tilden (E. Perot Bissell 1893 and John D.E. Sinkler 1898): the cost was $24,000. The house was occupied in May 1915.

The campus neighborhood in which the fraternity house stood was improved by the University’s post-World War II development programs.  The most dramatic change came in the mid 1950’s when the College Hall Green was created with the closing of Woodland Avenue and the construction of a subway system to carry the trolley cars that once crisscrossed the campus.

Further demolition in the area left the Delta Tau Delta House with a clear view of the Green, which was dramatically landscaped in 1979 as part of the Blanche Levy Park project.  In 1972 the office of the Dean of Students moved into the house when the fraternity closed its local chapter.

Nine years later the house was designated to be the new home of the alumni program.  The architectural firm of Dagit, Saylor, (Peter Saylor, AR’63) was commissioned to plan the renovations and refurbishing.

All of the funds for the renovation and refurbishing were contributed by Trustees, alumni, friends, classes and associations of the University.

E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House

E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House

On June 19, 1981, the Trustees approved a resolution naming the new Center in honor of Senior Vice President for Development and University Relations, E.  Craig Sweeten a member of the Class of 1937. On May 14, 1982, at the opening of the Class of 1937 45th reunion program, Mr. Sweeten raised the flag, officially opening the new Alumni Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

The alumni office had been one of the most peripatetic of the University departments.  Originally located in offices in downtown Philadelphia, the General Alumni Society moved to Irvine Auditorium on campus prior to World War II.  In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s there was a series of five moves that ended with the General Alumni Society and the Department of Alumni Relations in Eisenlohr Hall.

The new Sweeten Alumni House brings together under one roof the offices of Penn Alumni, the Regional Alumni Clubs, Multicultural Outreach, Classes and Reunions, the Alumni Interview Program and many other alumni programs.  It also provides facilities for alumni and student meetings and a reception area for returning alumni.

Text and pictures courtesy of University Archives.

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Filed under Historical, Janell W., Photos, Sweeten Alumni House, View from Sweeten

Summer Cooking

Author: Liz Pinnie

Summer is here and with it the bounty of our local farmers market!  Every Wednesday, I like to step out of the office and head over to the corner of 36th and Walnut to see the delicious produce.  Yesterday there were perfectly ripe Pennsylvania strawberries, rhubarb, greens, tiny zucchini and an abundance of mushrooms from a new vendor.  Seeing this fresh local produce gets me excited to clean off the grill, step outside, and get cooking!

Greens from the Farmers Market

Greens from the Farmers Market

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Sweeten Alumni House Staff Holiday

The Sweeten Alumni House staff took time out of their always busy day to celebrate the holidays with each other.  Each person pitched in and brought food for all to share . . . we had meatballs, sausage, buffalo chicken dip, cheese steak dip, many different salads, cookies, cake, and plenty of beverages!

We also had an Ugly Sweater Contest and our very own Jeanine McAdams won for best look!!

Our gift swap was really fun and everyone left with a little gift whether a joke or something nice  — nothing over $5.00 was the rule.  gifts

We have a wonderful group of people who work in Alumni Relations.  We had a wonderful afternoon!!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

holiday staff


Filed under Kristina C., Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life, View from Sweeten

Beat the Heat, Sweeten Edition

Author: Liz Pinnie

It’s summer in Philly, which means two things: 1. that Rita’s Water Ice consumption is up, and 2. that it is HOT as a just-baked biscuit in here!

In honor of this, I have asked my lovely co-workers to share some tips with myself (and thus all of you) about how they beat the heat during the work week**.

Ms. Marla Brown is full of great ideas (she’s an island fan, so she has lots of experience with 90 + temperatures) which include, but are not limited to, drinking lots of water, wearing natural fibers, focusing on cool thoughts- and using her vacation days, of course.

Janell has her fans set up to the perfect angle for maximum all day breeze blowing.  She also finds that nagging Liz (me) about the second floor temperatures is fun, and makes her feel in some small way, a little cooler.

One co-worker who shall remain nameless finds that the best thing you can do to beat the heat in the office is to wear next to nothing.  What can I say?  Sweeten is a fairly liberal place.

On the other side of the second floor, Kelly says “I would make frequent trips to Kiwi, but since I’ve been healthy for two days, I can’t.   So instead I go home and water my flowers and my feet”.  What a brilliant alternative, Kelly!

Members of the third floor find that a visit to me on the first floor does the trick, as it is a veritable tundra down here (ah, the joys of historic buildings).

And what do I do, you might ask?  I’m a big fan of sticking my head in the freezer for a few minutes.  I also find that if I eat something really hot and spicy for lunch, when I’m done the whole world feels a little cooler.

So there you have it, folks: Sweeten’s top survival tips for staying cool during the work week while stuck in the city heat.  Now go get some Rita’s (you know you want to).

**If any of you have been on the second and third floor of Sweeten, you’ll understand the irony.

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Filed under Liz P., The Sweeten Life, Uncategorized, View from Sweeten