Alumni, friends and family with memories of Penn that have been seasoned by decades, or are as fresh as yesterday, made their way to campus on Oct. 28 through 31 for Homecoming 2010.
Strolling down Locust Walk, cheering at Franklin Field and visiting other favorite campus haunts, Penn alumni returned to campus to enjoy a festive weekend of athletic and cultural events, networking, workshops and the Alumni Award of Merit Gala.
At Franklin Field, the Quakers captured first-place in the Ivy League with a resounding 24-7 win over Brown in front of 14,854 homecoming fans on Saturday, Oct. 30. That was also the day that Penn was presented with the Heisman Trophy in honor of 1892 Penn Law graduate John Heisman's distinguished career as a student athlete and coach for the Quakers. Heisman Trophy Trustees Michael Comerford and Jim Corcoran presented the trophy to Penn President Amy Gutmann and Penn alum George Weiss, W'65, during the University's dedication of the newly built George A. Weiss Pavilion at Franklin Field.
The weekend roster also included the Alumni Arts Fair, performances by student arts groups such as the all-female musical comedy troupe Bloomers, Penn Dance and the Penn Glee Club. Homecoming participants also attended lectures, workshops and discussions on topics that ranged from urban renewal in the late 20th century, to ethics, queer art, and the 21st century science of social networking.
Many alumni encountered a team of men and women dressed in blue T-shirts and wielding digital recorders. The team was asking alumni to share their memories of campus life as part of a continuing oral history project called Penn Back Then. The project was launched in May 2005 by the School of Arts and Sciences, and seeks to chronicle notable anecdotes and remembrances in an audio scrapbook that can be accessed by alumni over the internet.
At the 76th Annual Alumni Award of Merit Gala, Friday Oct. 29, A. Eugene Kohn, AR '53, GAR '57; Herbert Moells, Esq., W'53; Lawrence Nussdorf, Esq, W'68; Leonard Shapiro, W '64 and Susan Molofsky Todres, CW '75, WG '77 were presented with the Award of Merit. Harris Romanoff, EE '98, GEN '09 received the Young Alumni Award. The Penn Creative Spirit Award was given to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C.K. Williams, C '59.
Also during the Homecoming weekend, Kelly Writers House celebrated its 15th anniversary as a writing hub with an open house and readings by former students of KWH Director Al Filreis.
Video of Homecoming's Penn Back Then activities is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6V56OOmgHQ
Text by Tanya Barrientos
Photos courtesy of Penn Alumni