The Grandfather of All Penn Alumni Clubs Turns 100

The year was 1908. Theodore Roosevelt was in the final months of his presidency. The Chicago Cubs were on their way to a World Championship. Charles C. Harrison C1862 was Penn’s provost. And in the anthracite-rich hills of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, an alumni club was born.

The University of Pennsylvania Alumni Club of Northeastern Pennsylvania is the oldest of the more than 120 alumni clubs of the University, and on June 1 it celebrated its centenary at the Waterfront restaurant in Plains, just outside Wilkes-Barre. (Originally the Alumni Club of Luzerne County, it later changed its name to the Alumni Club of Greater Wilkes-Barre, and in 2004 merged with the Alumni Club of Scranton.) Co-hosted by club president Bill Runner WEv’66, vice president Sally Connor CW’51, board member (and club historian) Anthony T. P. Brooks CGS’89, and Global Alumni Network associate director Bart Miltenberger, the club celebrated its centennial with “all the pomp and ceremony worthy of its founders,” in the words of Lee Piatt L’80.

That ceremony included a pictorial tour of the past, present, and future Penn campus by executive vice president Craig Carnaroli W’85; the presentation of a large plaque from the University (thanking the club for its leadership within the Penn Alumni community) and a book of some 35 congratulatory letters from Penn alumni clubs around the world; and finally some spirited and harmonious serenading by the Penn Band and the Glee Club.

The final song was “The Red and Blue”—which happens to have been written by one of the club’s founding officers, William John Goeckel C1895 L1896. It was, as Piatt noted, “inevitable that the afternoon would end with all in attendance on our feet, and red and blue napkins waving in the air, as we sang … ‘Hurrah for the Red and the Blue!’”—S.H. 

Israel. Penn Nursing Dean Afaf I. Meleis recently met with the Penn Club of Israel in Jerusalem for dinner and presented an update on a range of University affairs. Dean Meleis made a late-night walk through the Old City first climbing to the roof of a home owned by Shmuel Bisk’s W’82 family to view the Al Aqsa Mosque then walking to the Western Wall. Penn Club president Dov Hoch C’86 and former club president Adam Cutler C’03 both attended the event which was held on the balcony overlooking the Old City walls of the law firm of Jerusalem Chapter head Dave Wolf GL’02. To learn more about Penn Club of Israel activities, contact Dov at

London. The Penn Club of the U.K. has been re-activated! Last summer, we hosted an event around the King Tut exhibit, a wine-tasting, and launched a monthly Happy Hour series. To learn more about what the club has planned or to get involved, contact club president Amy Finegold C’02 at

Los Angeles. Welcome to Southern California Class of 2008. We have a number of great events planned for you from our first September Happy Hour to our Football viewing parties. We are offering PennClubLA membership to the Class of 2008 for a discounted rate. Visit our website for the most up to date information on our events and the club. Join today!

Metro New Jersey. The Penn Club of Metro New Jersey has many exciting events and activities planned for the upcoming year. In September we will have our opening board meeting at the home of Fern Eatroff C’85, two Intro to Penn nights as well as a cooking class where we can all learn to cook Philadelphia style including the famous cheese steak sandwich. In October the club invites you to join us at our annual Fall dinner, and also to a book discussion with author Cindy Kaplan C’85. To find out more information about these and other programs, please contact club president Fern Eatroff C’85 at or visit our website at

Northern California. Join us at our annual First September event as we welcome the Class of 2008 to San Francisco. This event is always well-attended and a great way to celebrate the end of summer. Also, tour the special exhibits with us at the MOMA and the Asian Art Museum—or if you’re looking for that someone special, join us for Speed Dating! Visit our website for details on these events and information about all our activities in the Bay Area.

Portland. First September event/Fall Happy Hour, Wed., September 17, 5:30 p.m. Recently graduated members of the Class of 2008 are invited to join other alumni and friends of Penn for food, beverage and conversation at the Lucky Labrador Beer Hall in an old Freightliner Trucking warehouse “in the final frontier of inner Northwest Portland.” Gather on the outdoor deck in the September Oregon sunshine or, in the unlikely event of a drip or two, inside under the “resident five ton crane hovering above the tables.” Look for friendly faces and our small and tasteful tabletop Penn flag. On Fri., Nov. 7, join us for dinner and a chance to meet and listen to thoughts from Penn Professor Peter Stallybrass, Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. Show solidarity with the incoming Class of 2012 by reading the assigned Penn Reading Project book Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, and discuss the book with other readers at an event later in the fall. The Penn Club of Portland once again presented book awards to outstanding students at five Oregon high schools. This year’s book was Andrea Mitchell’s CW’67 Talking Back, with each book graciously inscribed by the author. For more detail on the events and the book awards, check our website

New York. PennNYC and the Penn Club of New York invite area alumni and recent graduates to the annual First September Bash on Thurs., Sept. 18, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. No cover charge and drink specials throughout the evening. To RSVP, please email Sat., Oct. 18, PennNYC members will come together once again as a team for the 17th Annual New York Cares Day. We will paint, clean, and help revitalize a public school. Look for more information about these PennNYC events and more on our website, Activate your membership to enjoy all the site’s features, including the job board and the ever-popular apartment listings. To volunteer, please contact club president Dale Kramer Cohen W’76 at

Westchester/Rockland Counties. Sat., Oct. 25, the Penn Club of Westchester & Rockland Counties will join the Penn clubs of Fairfield, New Haven, and Hartford,  as we cheer on the Quakers in New Haven at the Penn vs. Yale football game. The Penn band as well as a representative from the Athletics department will be stopping by as we tailgate under the tent before the game. Look for our mailing with the 2008-09 event calendar. For more information, please contact club presidents, Sharon W’85 ( or Jeff Mulholland W’86 (

Profiles : Events :
Notes : Obituaries

Sept|Oct 08 Contents
Gazette Home

Previous issue’s column

ACA | The Alumni Council on Admissions is Penn’s resource for undergraduate legacy applicants. The staff will be available for informal Legacy Advising Sessions, Monday through Friday (except University holidays), 12:15-1:00 p.m. and 3:15-4:00 p.m., in the Sweeten Alumni House, 3533 Locust Walk. Legacy Advising Sessions will also be held on Saturdays, September 6 through November 15, 1:15-2:00 p.m. Additional sessions will be offered during Homecoming Weekend, October 31-November 1, visit Reservations are not required. For more information, visit or call (215) 898-6888.

©2008 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 08/25/08