Campus Buzz

Good morning, Baltimore: We must be doing something right with our West Philly initiatives—other cities have been picking off the people who made them happen, one by one. The latest catch: Associate Vice President Jack Shannon, who has been tapped to head a new nonprofit organization, East Baltimore Development, Inc. The group seeks to revitalize the neighborhood around Johns Hopkins Hospital. We believe that Jack will prove more than capable of bringing the vision to fruition, based on what he’s done here at Penn.

Picnic on the Plaza: It’s time once again for the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival, and Penn Presents has a special opening night event just for faculty, staff and their families. The TIAA-CREF Picnic and Opening Night Performance on Wednesday, April 30, will feature food and fun with the Phillie Phanatic on the Annenberg Center plaza starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. Opening Night performance hosted by NBC10’s Tiffany McElroy and featuring performances by a variety of festival artists. It’s only $6 per person for the whole shebang, and you will get 2-for-1 vouchers good for John Flynn’s performance on Saturday, May 3 and the Kotchenga Dance Company on Sunday, May 4 to boot. Sound like fun? Call 215-898-3900 or visit the Annenberg Center box office at 3680 Walnut St. to purchase tickets.

Clothes make the man: As has become customary, the execution of the annual Models of Excellence awards ceremony was flawless—even new Executive Vice President Cliff Stanley seemed to get the hang of the affair quickly in his rookie performance as award co-presenter. His partner, Provost Robert Barchi, for one, was glad to have him on hand; as he explained to the audience, it meant he no longer had to worry about dressing to keep up with the sartorially splendid John Fry. Not to mention the return of a fashion accessory neglected during the Fry years: “I know you can’t see this with the podium,” Barchi said, “but Marines always wear socks with their loafers.”

Marathon man: Our congratulations and a pitcherful of hot chocolate go to Visiting Lecturer in Political Science Maurits Van der Veen, the winner of the inaugural Frederick Marathon in Frederick, Md. We imagine he’s still trying to warm back up from the March 30 race, which he completed in 2 hours, 37 minutes, 11 seconds. The Washington Post reported March 31 that the runners had to deal with heavy, wet snow and bone-chilling temperatures, and quoted Van der Veen as saying, “I started thinking, ‘You know, I shouldn’t really be out here in shorts’” after the race.

It’s not too late to win: There’s still time for you to fill out our readers’ survey for a chance to win dinner at the White Dog Café and other prizes. The deadline is April 24. If you can’t find a copy of our April 3 issue or didn’t get one in the mail, fill it out online at (or just click on the survey link on our home page).

Originally published on April 17, 2003