Tag Archives: Sweeten Alumni House

Do You Hear What I Hear . . . and See!

Beautiful music on Penn’s campus comes from the Alumni Carillon . . .

The Westminster bells chime on the hour, and popular songs are heard throughout College Green at exactly noon and 6 PM each day. Since the late 1980s, I have had the pleasure of listening from my second floor office to beautiful bells playing throughout the center of campus. There were a few years, however, in the late 1990s that the Carillon did not play, but in 2004 a new Carillon was installed and continues to fill the  center of campus with music.

This blog post is not only about the music of the Alumni Carillon, but to let you know that a plaque was just recently placed next to the front door of the E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House at 3533 Locust Walk.  This acknowledgement displays not only our Penn pride, but our thanks for such a beautiful gift to Penn . . . now for all to see, as well as hear!

Plaque installed next to the front door entrance of the E. Craig Sweeten Alumni House

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Filed under Campus Life, Historical, Kristina C., Sweeten Alumni House, The Sweeten Life, Traditions

Winning Photo

Author: Liz Pinnie

ImageA couple of weeks ago, the entire DAR staff met for a retreat featuring several options for classes as well as an Engaging Minds type forum with guest speakers and Penn Integrates Knowledge Professors, Jonathan D. Moreno and Ezekiel Emanuel.  We also heard a very moving speech by Dean Richardson of the Penn Vet School who spoke about treating the famous race horse, Barbaro. The presentations were awesome, the food was delish, and the icing on the cake was that Alumni Relations won the photo contest. Just so you’ll understand what we did, the name of this year’s conference was The Kentucky DAR-by (n part because the Kentucky Derby was happening right around that time). So, a few members of our staff got together and brainstormed how we could do a photo around this theme. Below are the results Thanks to everyone on the DAR Planning Committee–we all had a great time, got to connect with one another and to meet new people, and  I think all felt even more Penn pride by the end of the day.


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Making History…Living History

Author: Lisa Vaccarelli, C’02

It’s easy to take for granted the amount of history that surrounds you at a place like Penn – especially when you spend so much of your time on campus that it begins to feel like your second home.  For example, my office building – the Sweeten Alumni House – originally housed the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.  It was in the mid 1960’s after a fire – allegedly set off at a holiday party when a fraternity brother fell asleep with his cigarette too close to a crepe paper snowman – took the life of at least one young party-goer that the building eventually fell into the hands of the alumni association.  And yes, there are plenty of rumors about the ghost of said party-goer haunting the 2nd floor ladies room.  However, on a daily basis, one gets caught up in emails and phone calls and meetings and quickly forgets all of this.

Ironically, it was a recent trip off-campus that reminded me about Penn’s historical context.  Last week, as a previous blogger mentioned, the entire Alumni Relations staff headed down to 310 S. Quincy Street for a day long staff retreat at the Mask and Wig Clubhouse.  Most Penn alumni and friends are very familiar with the all male comedic theater troupe, the University’s oldest student group founded in 1888.

Mask and Wig Grill room circa 2010

Not as many, I would suspect, have had the chance to visit the group’s clubhouse, acquired in 1894 as a gathering place and rehearsal hall.  As per the Mask and Wig website:

Prominent Philadelphia architect Wilson Eyre was commissioned to convert the building, which had previously served as a church, a dissecting room, and a stable. He hired the young Maxfield Parrish, who would later become one of the greatest illustrators of the twentieth century, to decorate the interior.

Indeed, it is hard not to appreciate this history when you walk into the Mask and Wig Clubhouse.  The Grille Room – a wood-paneled bar/lounge on the first floor – is decorated with caricatures of members; a tradition that continues today, with the second century of members’ caricatures continued upstairs at the entrance to the theater.  Next to each member’s caricature is a peg for their personal mug, which they alone can take down and use when present.  Despite recent renovations to provide facilities for handicap accessibility, including an elevator, as well as air conditioning, the Clubhouse retains its authentic, historic atmosphere.

Mask and Wig Grille Room circa 1910

Next time you come to campus, I encourage you to take a moment to stop and take a moment to take in the history that surrounds you.  Maybe even read one of the plaques on those statues you’ve whisked past dozens of times before on your way to class or a reunion party.

Woodland Walk (aka Locust Walk) circa 1915

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Filed under Alumni Perspective, Campus Life, Historical, Making History, Memories of Penn