Amid the swaying palms of the city’s financial district, the Penn Club of Miami hosted the last regional Power of Penn Campaign event scheduled for this calendar year. The event attracted more than 50 alumni and friends to the W Hotel on November 29. Guests enjoyed a networking reception and a program featuring Daniel Levy, C’87, W’87, PAR’16, who is Founder and Managing Partner of Prince Capital Partners. Andrea Brody Lieberman, C’88, moderated the discussion with Levy, who expressed his passion for Penn and support for the undergraduate financial aid program. Penn Club of Miami President Stacey Shoer, C’88, PAR’18, PAR’19—who is something of an expert when it comes to engaging alumni on behalf of Penn, having more than quadrupled the Club’s membership in recent years!—shared some of the many ways that alumni can get more involved. She emphasized for all alumni, “There is a place for you,” and alumni relations staff are happy to help if you aren’tsure where to start.
The Power of Penn Campaign sailed into “the Venice of America” with a stop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Wednesday, November 28. Nearly 50 alumni, parents, and friends celebrated their Penn connections while enjoying the beachfront views from the Bungalow Room of the city’s W Hotel. The event was hosted by the Penn Gold Coast Alumni Club, which holds a wide variety of events for Penn community members in Florida’s Palm Beach and Broward Counties, ranging from professional networking, community service, and outdoor activities, to gatherings around arts and culture. After Club President Audrey Caan, C’76, WG’79, welcomed the guests, Lizann Rode, Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Development at the Wharton School, highlighted some of the ways The Power of Penn Campaign is shaping Penn’s future. The program that followed featured Wharton Overseer Andrew Heller, WG’79. The Founder of Heller Capital Corp., who spoke about his experience as a Penn student and his current involvement as a volunteer leader. Heller noted that he has participated in more than 24 Wharton Global Forums in cities all over the world! He encouraged attendees to take advantage of similar opportunities to stay connected to Penn.
Penn Alumni celebrated The Power of Penn Campaign at San Antonio’s Plaza Club on November 12. The speaker was the Mayor of San Antonio, Ron Nirenberg, ASC’01. Mayor Nirenberg spoke of the impact the Annenberg School had on his life and career, noting that he has kept in touch with his professors and continues to value their advice. When asked to describe Penn in three words, he said, “achievement, intellectual, home.” Elise Betz, Executive Director of Alumni Relations, emphasized the goal of making all alumni feel at home at Penn, and encouraged the audience to visit campus and stay connected with other Penn alumni, as well as faculty and staff. Penn Club of San Antonio President, Robert “Bob” Weidman, C’63, closed the event with a rousing group chant of “I am the power of Penn!”
The Power of Penn Campaign kicked off the month with a regional celebration in Dallas on November 1. Penn Club of Dallas-Fort Worth Co-Presidents Laura Lai, ENG’02, and Thomas Trujillo, W’98, welcomed 55 people to the La Cima Club. The featured speaker was Michael Brown, C’62, M’66, winner of the 1985 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Dr. Brown shared stories about the many ways Penn’s campus has changed for the better since the sixties and answered audience questions about the future of medical care. Dr. Jonathan Epstein, Executive Vice Dean and Chief Scientific Officer at the Perelman School of Medicine, moderated the program portion of the evening. Dr. Epstein highlighted a number of examples that demonstrate the groundbreaking work being done at the Perelman School. Before and after the discussion, guests enjoyed the pre- and post-receptions along with the venue’s panoramic city views.
More than 40 people gathered for a Regional Campaign Celebration at the historic Houstonian hotel on Monday, October 29. They were welcomed by the Penn Club of Houston President, Amy Kelso, W’96, who delivered an overview of The Power of Penn Campaign. The featured alumni speaker was Ilona Carson, C’97. A reporter and anchor for ABC 13 in Houston, Ms. Carson spoke candidly about her time at Penn and the special bond she shares with other alumni. During the Q & A portion of the program, she addressed questions about the challenges of reporting in the “fake news” era, social media as a medium for news, and work-life balance. The program, which culminated in a lively post reception, was moderated by recent graduate Ashley Berg, ENG’17, W’17.
The Power of Penn made a stop in New Orleans on October 16, greeted by alumni at Lula Restaurant and Distillery. The evening’s program was moderated by the Penn Club of New Orleans President Austin Lavin, C’06, and featured guest speaker Justin Ehrenwerth, L’09, President and CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf Coast. Mr. Ehrenwerth spoke about his work at the Water Institute and described how his experience at Penn prepared him for the work he is doing today. During the animated post-program reception, guests explored how the Penn community in New Orleans exemplifies the Power of Penn!
On Monday, October 15, Chicago was host to the first of over twenty regional campaign celebrations organized by Penn Alumni Relations in partnership with Penn Clubs across the country. Over 60 alumni and friends were in attendance at Marshall’s Landing, an exciting new venue in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.
The evening featured a line-up of alumni speakers, introduced by the Penn Club of Chicago President Eric Williams, C’89. The alumni panel discussion featured Penn Trustees Connie Duckworth, WG’79, PAR’16, PAR’18, Founder and CEO of Arzu, a non-profit organization that aims to provide sustainable income to Afghan women; Jim Johnson, C’74, L’77, former General Counsel for the Boeing Company and most recently for Loop Capital Markets; and Lynn Jerath, W’95, President and Founder of Citrine Investment Group, a real estate investment management firm. The panel was moderated by Sarah Doherty, ENG’10.
The speakers each discussed the life-changing impact Penn had for them, as students and as engaged alumni. A lively Q&A session was followed by a reception where guests enjoyed networking and connecting in an intimate setting.