Working in an academic community is the biggest fringe benefit.

Bob Pallone

Photo by Candace diCarlo

Bob Pallone (C'77,G'83) had several reasons for staying at Penn.

One was gratitude. "Penn contributed a lot to my success, and I wanted to give something back," said Pallone, the director of development and alumni relations services in the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.

Another was values. "Doing information systems for Clorox isn't enough for a life's goal," he said. Besides, he added, businesses appear and disappear, which also didn't appeal to him. "Penn is an enduring institution, and I wanted to be part of something that endures."

Being part of what former Provost Stanley Chodorow called "one of our few surviving medieval institutions" also appealed to the one-time student of medieval archaeology, a subject which has more in common with information technology than one might think. "Archaeologists try to figure out how societies work by looking at pieces of things," he said. "IT people also peel away the layers of things and look at the pieces to find out what the workings of a system are."

Then there were the fringe benefits. For Pallone, the biggest one is the campus atmosphere. He encourages his staff to spend their lunch hours walking through the campus, and considers it a big plus in attracting talent: "Interviewees are astonished when I take them out onto the campus for coffee, and they see that they would be working in a park," he said

And even though he no longer lives in the campus area, Pallone and his wife Jill Haber (CW'73, G'76, GrE'77) make a point of returning to campus each year on move-in day. "It charges us up," he said.

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Originally published on October 29, 1998