Photos by Tommy Leonardi C’89

A Decade of Band Slamming

At the 10th annual Blutt Band Slam, held on College Green shortly after the Homecoming football game ended, the band Wonderchild—which featured nine Penn undergraduates, including lead singer Zachary Arnold EAS’24 (seen on the mic above)—captured the $500 student prize. Jonathan Iwry C’14, a freestyle rapper who goes by the stage name “J-Boy,” was the alumni winner, following previous wins as a student and an alum. And the Penn Glee Club Band brought home the grand prize of $1,000. Healthcare investment executive Mitchell Blutt C’78 M’82 WG’87, whose support and vision has been a catalyst for the event, served as one of the four judges.

Merit Awards

Faculty Award of Merit
Camille Z. Charles PAR’23

During your 2018 remarks at the Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Commencement, you asked graduates to consider their legacies and how they would make a mark on the world.

Over the years, you have built a legacy-in-process that anyone would be proud of.

As a respected sociology professor and researcher, your perspective has changed the way we understand areas like inequality, identity, racial attitudes, segregation, and higher education. As the author of books including Young, Gifted, and Diverse: Origins of the New Black Elite, you have established yourself as a trusted expert whose work focuses on the intersection of higher education and the Black experience.

You are a shining example of turning research into real-world impact, adeptly applying your academic expertise to your role as the Faculty Co-Director of Penn First Plus, where you meaningfully enhance the academic experiences of Penn students from first-generation, modest-income backgrounds. In 2011, you were awarded the James Brister Society’s Dr. Gloria Twine Chisum Award for Distinguished Faculty, for your exemplary leadership in promoting scholarship and inclusion.

Given the broad impact of your work, you have held several prestigious faculty positions across the University, including serving as the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences; as Professor of Sociology, Africana Studies, and Education; as Chair of the Department of Africana Studies; and as Director of the Center for Africana Studies Summer Institute for pre-freshmen since 2006.

Beyond teaching and mentoring students, you have also made essential contributions to informing and inspiring an untold number of lifelong learners—members of our Penn alumni community. A true champion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, you have enlightened alumni on topics including diversity in technology, the second civil rights movement, the impact of the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and other issues of critical importance to the Black community and so many other marginalized groups. For over 13 years, you have been a sought-after panelist at Red and Blue events like Penn Spectrum Weekend, the Penn Alumni Reading Club, Penn Spectrum on the Road, and the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Symposium.

For years, you have been an incredible and inspiring partner to Alumni Relations. In fact, you have engaged alumni from every decade, including many who had not been involved with Penn since they graduated.

Fortunately for our alumni community, your future includes even more impactful Penn plans. You have signed on to serve as the faculty host for an eye-opening Penn Alumni trip to Alabama in 2024, where, with your guidance, participants will delve deeper into the history of the civil rights movement. Your ongoing involvement is helping generations of alumni find a deeper meaning with their Penn affiliation. You once said that “Penn has shaped and fostered my purpose, to define the legacy that I want to leave.” Having already made an indelible mark, you are setting an inspiring example. Indeed, your legacy grows more prolific with each passing semester.

In recognition of your passionate advocacy and academic prowess, and for your ongoing efforts to build a better tomorrow while improving the lives of our diverse alumni communities, we are proud to present you with the Faculty Award of Merit for 2023.

Social Impact Award
Judith Browne Dianis W’87

Over a four-decade career—and counting—you have been fighting to improve the lives of others. As a civil rights lawyer, racial justice activist, and voting rights expert, you know, more than many, the sacrifices it takes to make an impact.

Your parents, Jacqueline and Harold, ignited your interest in social justice at a young age. You learned from your father about the indignity of serving in a racially segregated Army, and from your mother, what it meant to be a community activist; she took you to your first protest at age three.

At Penn, you thrived while studying marketing and economics at the Wharton School. When you saw or experienced injustices on campus, you took action and found community with like-minded students who were similarly passionate about civil rights and social justice. You rediscovered the power of protest as a student. You have credited Penn with helping you find your voice, and you have used it to fight for good. Your close friend, Sara M. Lomax C’87 said, “The seeds of Judith’s brilliance were evident even when we were freshmen living a few doors apart on the seventh floor in High Rise East.”

After Penn, you went on to earn a JD from Columbia Law School. When you entered the legal profession, it fueled your ability to create positive change. As a managing attorney for the NAACP and later as the Executive Director of the Advancement Project, you continued your life’s mission to combat structural racism. You did this in many areas, including criminal justice, education, voting, policing, and immigration. Your victories in the courtroom have been many, but one that stands out is the restoration of voting rights for people with felony convictions in Florida.

In 2012, you addressed Congress about the school-to-prison pipeline, an issue you had been advocating against for years and about which you had authored several reports. You have used the legal system to represent displaced Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana, to stop politicians from engaging in voter suppression tactics in Ohio, and to ensure equitable allocation of voting machines in Virginia.

Having returned to Penn as a guest speaker on multiple occasions, your visibility and work speak for themselves. You told the Pennsylvania Gazette, “We’re in the business of hope. My hope is that we’re building the kind of country we want to see.” Penn has been incredibly fortunate to have you—such an intelligent, selfless, and passionate person—as an engaged alumna.

With gratitude and admiration for your pioneering efforts to advance civil rights and racial justice, the Office of Social Equity and Community and Penn Alumni are proud to present you with the inaugural Social Impact Award for 2023.

Creative Spirit Award
Katherine Sachs CW’69 PAR’95 PAR’06 PAR’10

You have graced the stage at this ceremony before, when you received the 2015 Alumni Award of Merit. Your friend and mentor, Leonard A. Lauder W’54, introduced you, saying, “She brought the arts to life at Penn.” Not only did you bring the arts to life—you have brought life to the arts, at Penn and throughout the Philadelphia region. In doing so, you have encouraged and enabled countless others to reap the benefits of enjoying, understanding, and creating art.

Growing up, your home was full of music and art. You developed an appreciation of the benefits of art and a passion for sharing its power with others. After graduating with a degree in art history from Penn—where you met your beloved husband Keith W’67—you embarked on a lengthy career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Beyond carving out a profession, retiring as Adjunct Curator, you made substantial contributions to its eminence. Before Keith’s death, you and he donated 97 works from your private collection of contemporary art to PMA in 2014, which named the Keith L. and Katherine Sachs Collection in your honor. As Co-Chair of PMA’s It Starts Here Campaign, you helped steer a record-breaking, future-defining fundraising effort with over $600 million raised.

You have said that art requires vision and determination. Fortunately, you have those qualities in spades. You recognized that Penn has world-class museums, presents outstanding performing artists, and has excellent programs in art history, music, and fine arts & design. You also recognized that collaboration among these departments was limited. There, you saw an opportunity to make an impact.

As Chair of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Board of Advisors, you were a force of transformation. You and Keith established the Sachs Professorship in Contemporary Art at Penn Arts & Sciences and the Sachs Guest Curator Program at ICA, as well as a fund for contemporary art programming. The gift not only helped bridge ICA with Penn’s academic mission; it raised the bar for the ICA Board’s philanthropic culture. Your vision, leadership, and mentorship has resulted in a stronger, more vibrant institution today.

That is a strong legacy, but it is not the end. You joined the Board of Trustees in 2004, and your impact only multiplied from there. You were instrumental in founding Arts Leadership Day, which evolved into Homecoming Weekend Featuring Arts and Culture. You and Keith also established a visiting professorship at the Weitzman School of Design. Still, the best was yet to come.

In 2016, you and Keith established The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. In recognizing this landmark gift, President Amy Gutmann Hon’22 remarked that you and Keith were “the undisputed patron saints of the arts at Penn.” To date, the Sachs Program has funded over 250 projects, distributed approximately $1.5 million in artistic and creative support, and supported renovations to the Annenberg Center’s public spaces, including creating the Arts Lounge in the Feintuch Family Lobby. The Sachs Program and its Advisory Board have also been instrumental in modeling and encouraging collaboration, completely altering the landscape of the arts at Penn and addressing the key challenge you and Keith identified all those years ago. Today, you are a member of the Penn Live Arts Board of Advisors, as well as a Trustee Emerita and a Member Emerita of the ICA Board. For you, the value of art is not just about the objects themselves. It is about appreciating the role of artists in the larger community. Their work can challenge us, but it also can bring us together. More than a patron of the arts, you are a friend to artists and to all who appreciate their work.

In accepting your Alumni Award of Merit, you said, “Art is the purest expression of our humanity.” As true as that is, there is another equally important expression: gratitude. It is with immense gratitude and utmost admiration that we honor you today. For sparking the creative spirit within all of us, Penn Alumni is honored to present you with the Creative Spirit Award for 2023.

Young Alumni Award
Brett Andrew Perlmutter C’09

Early in your Penn career, you realized an important truth: Penn is not just for four years. Penn is for life. Fortunately for us, from your undergraduate days to the present, you have worked tirelessly to strengthen the ties that connect your classmates—and all alumni—to the University and to each other.

Your promise was evident early. You completed a double major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and Hispanic Studies. A leader on campus, you were elected President of your class in your sophomore year and have held the position ever since. You were also a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, a member of the Sphinx Senior Honor Society, and the recipient of the Spoon Award—the top honor given to a male student upon graduation.

You were instrumental in building Penn Traditions, a student philanthropy and engagement program that celebrates Penn’s history and traditions, connects students and alumni, and promotes Penn pride. In your senior year, you collaborated with Alumni Relations to establish The Final Toast, a complement to Hey Day, where seniors rise to alumni status and toast to the rising seniors. The inaugural event was so successful that it became a beloved new tradition that continues to this day.

After graduating from Penn, you earned a MPhil from the University of Cambridge and began your career as a consultant at McKinsey & Company’s New York office, where you advised leaders across North and South America, Europe, and Asia in strategy and corporate finance. You then went on to lead Google Cuba, where you worked to increase internet access and put technology in the hands of those who need it the most. In 2016, you were named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List. Today, you are an Advisor to Schmidt Futures, which focuses on venture capital, project financing and credit facilities, and pre-IPO deals.

Penn has always remained a priority for you. Your commitment to the Class of 2009 remained strong as you stepped up to serve as Co-Chair of both your 5th and 10th reunions. Your 5th reunion, organized around the theme of #BY09, invited your classmates to “bring their own” friends, memories, and Red and Blue spirit to reunion. That reunion received well-deserved honors for its success and creativity. You proudly represented your class when it earned Penn Alumni’s Tyre Award for Excellence in Class Communication in 2014.

Your work on your reunion and class gift made you a natural choice for The Penn Fund Executive Board, which you joined in 2021. You now serve on the Young Alumni Steering Committee, using your connections to encourage support of Penn. To demonstrate your deep commitment to undergraduate aid, you joined forces with a close friend from Penn to establish the William B. Heyer and Brett A. Perlmutter Scholarship.

That same year, you continued your volunteer journey by joining the Liberal and Professional Studies Employer Advisory Board, where you help to shape programming for nontraditional students. You have used your considerable tech experience to help the board understand how our curriculum can best prepare our students on a global level.

Your influence and reach extend far beyond your official roles. You are recognized as a leader not only within your own class but also among the class presidents, bringing a positive, infectious energy to everything you do. You are unstintingly generous with your time and good counsel, keeping up with classmates, staff, and faculty members, and networking with current students and fellow alumni alike.

Just 14 years after graduation, you have already distinguished yourself as an alumni leader. In everything you do, you embody the principle you took to heart as a young undergraduate: Penn is not just for four years. Penn is for life. With gratitude for your enduring dedication to your alma mater and your class, your advocacy for the traditions that link all Quakers, and your commitment to giving back to Penn, we are delighted to present you with the Young Alumni Award for 2023.

Young Alumni Award
Victor Anthony Scotti Jr. C’13

Your course through life has been defined by your commitment to blazing a trail. You have followed your own path—professional success, community engagement, artistic fulfillment—but what makes you truly special is how you ensure that those who follow behind you can make use of the lessons you have learned. Through mentorship, through community, through philanthropy—you have paved the way for others to succeed in their careers and in their lives.

You graduated from the College in 2013 with a BA in sociology and minors in urban education and Africana studies. During your time as a student, you showed yourself to be adept at bringing people together. No matter where you were involved—the LGBT Center; Makuu, the Black Cultural Center; the Civic Scholars Program; Alpha Phi Alpha—you drew people in and helped make every community you were a part of more vibrant.

After graduating, you excelled in your career, working at tech companies like Google and Netflix, specializing in the intersection of technology; human resources; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. You led efforts at both companies to recruit and train diverse talent and to build a culture of inclusion. You also established Moving Mountains, LLC, which provides support, mentorship, and professional experience for young Black men, helping equip them for both their professional and personal lives. You are not afraid of making a change to follow your passions. After more than a decade in the corporate world, you embraced your artistic drive and enrolled in the Aveda Institute to pursue a career in cosmetology.

Your volunteer engagement with Penn also follows the ethic you have lived by. Through your work with the Alumni Interview Program and the Black Alumni Society, you offer your guidance and experience to prospective Penn students and the vast network of Penn graduates. When the University established Penn Leadership Q, an initiative to harness the energy and leadership potential of LGBTQ+ alumni, you were among the first leaders invited to join. More recently, you continued your dedication to enhancing the undergraduate mission of the College of Arts & Sciences and the experiences of its students by joining its External Advisory Board.

Your focus on the future is paired with a dedication to understanding the past. You remain a devoted member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest collegiate historically African American fraternity. When the Penn chapter had its 100th anniversary, you organized an exhibition of the chapter’s history in Sweeten Alumni House.

Your mission of lifting up those who come after you extends to your philanthropy as well. You are among the youngest alumni ever to endow a scholarship. The Scotti Legacy Scholarship Fund, which you established in honor of your 10th reunion, promotes student body diversity and supports students who would be otherwise unable to meet the costs of a Penn education. Despite being only a decade removed from your own days as a student, a new generation of Penn undergraduates will be able to follow their passions because of your philanthropy.

For your talent for cultivating diverse, thriving communities, your commitment to ensuring that even more opportunities are available for each successive generation of Penn students, and your personal dedication as a mentor and a leader, we are honored to present you with the Young Alumni Award of Merit for 2023.

Alumni Award of Merit
Ali Shapiro Cudby C’91 WG’97

The most fitting word to describe your connection to Penn is unwavering. No matter where you go, your engagement with Penn—and your commitment to increasing the opportunities it offers—only grows. You have been active in the Penn Club of whatever city you live in. When you moved to Indianapolis, where the Penn Club had fallen dormant, you reawakened it. There is truly no stopping you from bringing Penn people together.

You earned your BA in philosophy from the College in 1991 and an MBA from the Wharton School in 1997. After beginning your career in marketing at places like the New York Times, the Animal Planet TV network, and the Golf Digest Magazine Group, you started your own firm to help small- and mid-size companies grow. Since 2014, you have been the CEO of Alignmint Growth Strategies, and your bestselling book, Keep Your Customers, was one of the top sales and marketing books of 2020.

For over two decades, you have been an important member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women. Your leadership role on the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) sub-committee led to cultural changes to ensure everyone feels welcome and helped the organization take steps to be more reflective of the Penn community. When planning began for Momentum: The Power of Penn Women, you were an obvious choice to serve as one of the tri-chairs. It had been 20 years since the last women’s conference, which you had attended when you were a young alumna. The COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge that no one anticipated, but you worked tirelessly to re-envision the conference in a virtual format. You, however, set up shop in Sweeten Alumni House, so that you could help with on-the-ground coordination and bring a bit of Penn’s campus to everyone involved.

Owing much to your efforts, the conference was a tremendous success. More than 2,300 people registered for Momentum 2021, representing class years from 1955 to 2025, and participating from over 50 countries. It was a landmark event that brought together Penn women to share their experiences from across the years and from around the globe.

In addition, you have served on the Penn Libraries Board of Advisors since 2016, providing your leadership to ensure the Libraries remain an innovative hub of knowledge for our campus and beyond. Through your philanthropic commitment to the Libraries, you have helped keep its technology up to date and able to best serve the needs of its communities.

For you, Penn pride runs in the family. Your late father, Leonard A. Shapiro W’64, was a powerful example of engagement with the University. You could not have had a better role model; he was a Trustee of the University and served as the president of Penn Alumni when you were a young alumna yourself. He would surely be brimming with pride for all you have accomplished for Penn and the tradition that you proudly continue.

For your dedication to ensuring everyone feels welcome, for celebrating and advancing the women of Penn, for your leadership and support of the University’s Libraries, and for your unmatched enthusiasm and advocacy for your alma mater—no matter where your life takes you, we are honored to present you with the Alumni Award of Merit for 2023.

Alumni Award of Merit
Richard David Feintuch W’74 PAR’05 PAR’08

For you, the show must go on—especially if that show is at Penn.

Your ties to the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts go back more than half a century, to 1971, when you attended a performance of a Broadway-bound show with your classmate and fellow theater-lover, Merry Henig W’74. That first date would not be your last—you and Merry would marry and become a Red and Blue Family, with two sons, Jason W’05 and Jonathan W’08, following you to Penn.

That was not the only important relationship that began that night: It was also the start of your 50-year commitment to the performing arts at Penn.

At Wharton, you majored in accounting and were elected to Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society, and Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society, where you served as President. After graduating, you went to New York University Law School, where you served as Executive Editor of the Law Review. From there, it was on to a distinguished legal career. You joined the New York City law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz as an associate, eventually rising to partner. You became a leader, not just within the firm, but in the national practice of bankruptcy, restructuring, and financing, working on some of the most significant legal transactions of the era. You remained at the firm until your 2004 retirement.

Despite your busy schedule, you always made time for Penn. You were an alumni leader from the beginning, serving time and again as a reunion volunteer and class gift chair. You and Merry supported Penn’s goals of inclusion and access by funding the Feintuch Family Endowed Scholarship. You also served as an alumni interviewer, a leader in the University’s Making History Campaign, and a member of the Penn Press Board.

But there was one area above all that benefited from your generosity and good counsel: the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. You enthusiastically accepted an invitation to join the Center’s Board in 2005. As a lifelong patron of the arts, you recognized the Center as a vital resource for both Penn and for Philadelphia, part of the University’s contribution to the culture of the city, and a place where students not only experienced world class artists, but also developed their own creative voices through acting, directing, and learning all aspects of theatre management and production.

You have said that you wanted to be part of a university board where you could make an impact. Happily for Penn, you have done just that. Your impact at the Annenberg Center has been both immediate and lasting. As an Advisor, you raised the bar for both leadership and philanthropy. With an eye to the future, you recruited new members who would take the Board—and the Center—to a new level of success. And you enthusiastically supported the Center when it rebranded as Penn Live Arts (PLA) in time for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Your philanthropic support kept pace with your dedicated service. In 2005, you made the largest individual gift to the Center to date. You supported Ben’s Tix, which makes discounted tickets available to Penn students. You also lent valued support to the Center’s innovative theater programming and added to your scholarship. Your generous contributions encouraged others to step up, paving the way for new leadership gifts that put Penn Live Arts in the strong position it occupies today.

As the Center’s 50th anniversary approached, you and Merry chose to mark this milestone with a gift supporting renovations at the place where it all started: the Annenberg Center’s lobby. In the spring of 2021, Penn Live Arts dedicated the Feintuch Family Lobby in much-deserved recognition of your generosity and longtime service.

Thanks to you, the show at the Annenberg Center—and at performance venues across campus—can and will go on. Best of all, you have truly set the stage for an even brighter future for this place you love so well. With gratitude for your enduring commitment to your alma mater and your class, your unflagging commitment to the performing arts on campus, and your role in raising the bar in leadership and philanthropy at Penn Live Arts, we are delighted to present you with the Penn Alumni Award of Merit for 2023.

Alumni Award of Merit
Stanley H. Greene C’78

Your career on the men’s basketball team was full of incredible moments—culminating in an epic run to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in your senior year. Throughout that time, a familiar cheer would echo across the Palestra: “Go, Stan Greene!” You were the ideal sixth man: a spark who could make things happen and a quintessential team player.

After graduating from the College with a BA in urban studies, you brought that same spark to your career in business. You rose through the ranks to become a vice president at Verizon, then again embraced your trademark sixth man role—stepping into leadership positions at struggling companies and sharing your talent and energy with them.

You turned around multiple media companies and even a turf manufacturer. You then brought your skills to state government, serving as director of Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property and then as deputy state treasurer. For more than a decade, you have been the President and CEO of PowerThinking Corp., providing resilience training to clients including major corporations like Aflac and Comcast.

As you have excelled in your career, you have continued to support Penn basketball. In your nearly decade of service on the Basketball Sports Board, including almost five years as co-chair of the Basketball Alumni Relations Committee, you have helped connect current players and alumni throughout the generations, fostering a continuing spirit of Penn pride on the court and beyond.

Most recently, you joined the Athletics Board of the James Brister Society, which helps the University engage alumni of diverse backgrounds as leaders, especially in supporting student athletes, and promoting anti-racism. As a season ticket holder, your cheers for each new team of Penn basketball players echo throughout the Palestra, just as the cheers for you did when you were a player. You are well known to everyone involved with Penn basketball. Your strong presence, cheers of support, and willingness to connect with people have made you such an effective leader who stands out in the crowd.

Of course, your enthusiasm for Penn does not stop at the court. For more than a decade, you have served as president of the Class of 1978, as well as the reunion chair; you are also a member of the Alumni Class Leadership Council. You have given generously of your time and have provided equally generous philanthropic support throughout the years for both the basketball program and your class gift.

For your steadfast commitment to Penn athletes past, present, and future; your outstanding leadership in your class and the entire Penn alumni community; and your dedication to using your many talents to further advance the University’s mission, we are honored to present you with the Alumni Award of Merit for 2023.

Alumni Award of Merit
Ann Nolan Reese CW’74 PAR’06 PAR’12

A strong community means people who are there for one another—bound by a sense that together, we can accomplish any goal and overcome any obstacle. This describes you to the core. Your tenure as Penn Alumni President was marked by historic triumphs and unprecedented challenges. Even when we had to be separate, you were there to keep us together.

As a student in the early 1970s, you were here as Penn ramped up its commitment to diversity. These formative years foreshadowed your priorities as an alumni leader. After graduating and earning an MBA, you went on to a successful 25-year career as a finance executive. When you stepped away from finance, you stepped up for vulnerable children by founding the Center for Adoption Policy, which aims to remove legal and policy barriers.

You have frequently said, “It’s never too late to get involved with Penn.” You proved this after attending your 25th reunion. It may have been a silver anniversary for you, but for Penn, and Penn people, it was pure gold.

Being there for people has been a hallmark of your volunteer history. At every step, you have dedicated yourself to bringing alumni closer to each other and to Penn. As a member of the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW), you helped launch the TCPW career-networking program. Your people-first approach made you a natural fit on the Board of Advisors at the School of Social Policy & Practice, whose mission is to elevate the fortunes of those who are disenfranchised, marginalized, and in need of a powerful advocate. Powerful, indeed, was your advocacy, as was your philanthropy across Penn, running the gamut from student aid and program funds to faculty and research support.

Your outstanding leadership earned your election to the Board of Trustees in 2012, including a term as Vice Chair. As with all you do, your energy was unbounded, as you devoted your counsel and commitment to a multitude of committees. Yet, you always found a way to do more, reach more people, make our future even brighter. This was your charge when you took on the role of President of Penn Alumni in 2018.

Your goals were informed by your social justice work at SP2; your commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging; and your experience as a first-generation student. You worked tirelessly to engage diverse alumni groups, foster anti-racist education, and promote broader representation in alumni leadership roles. Your involvement with the James Brister Society and your role in the founding of Penn Leadership Q: The LGBTQ+ Pipeline are especially notable.

It was an exciting time, with the announcement of a fundraising and engagement campaign, The Power of Penn. Then, the emergence of COVID-19 changed everything. Undaunted, you took the challenge in stride, with an eye on what the future would look like when we could be together again. You encouraged Alumni Relations to produce engaging online content for alumni, parents, and friends living in lockdown. Not only did you embrace it; you also showed up at countless virtual events, from faculty lectures to networking conversations. These efforts created vital pathways for connection and reconnection, with many regional alumni clubs reporting increased attendance when virtual options became a necessity.

It is often said that Penn’s greatest power is its people. You are a testament to that belief. Through you, we remained united even in distance, and diverse amid our solidarity. You have spent your life standing up for others, and today, we stand up in appreciation and admiration for the impact you have made on so many of us.

For always being there, in person or in spirit—with equal parts pride, panache, and personal conviction—and for helping your alma mater weather the tides of both fortune and adversity with fortitude and optimism, Penn Alumni is delighted to present you with the 2023 Alumni Award of Merit.

Class and Club Awards

Alumni Club Award of Merit | PennNYC
As a club known for its hustle, you offered a robust slate of programming that contributed to an exciting year in the city that doesn’t sleep. … Your board, led by Club President Laura Loewenthal C’88, was a top-notch University partner. You were committed and organized, and with more than 27,000 to serve, you were also proactive about creating inclusive programming for everyone. … Your monthly PennNYC Entrepreneurs Give & Take was a popular way for the Red and Blue community in NYC to build relationships virtually. For in-person interactions, your members came out in force for events like Penn Forward with President Liz Magill, the Penn Spectrum Mixer, Engaging Minds, PennGALA+ LGBTQ Intercollegiate Ivy, and Ben Talks NYC. … Succession planning was a priority this year after long-time leader Jason Shapiro WG’09, stepped into the President Emeritus role. During this time of transition, you didn’t miss a beat in showing what your club is capable of. That is a testament to the strong leadership of your board, including Vice President Jesse Tendler ENG’03 W’03, Treasurer Sarah Dong ENG’06 W’06 GEN’11 WG’11, and Secretary Ramzi Ghannam ENG’12, among others. … You grew your social audience this year, with your Facebook page reaching more than 3,000 followers and LinkedIn clocking in at over 700—two goals of many achieved in your social media and marketing plan. … PennNYC is a shining example of exceptional alumni leadership. We appreciate your hustle, grit, and networking nature.

Innovation Award | Penn Club of Seattle

Engagement Award | Penn & Wharton Club of Panama

Community Service Award | Penn Club of Hong Kong

Class Award of Merit | Class of 1993
Just a week after your 25th reunion, you began forming the committee for your 30th. Your motto was simple: the more volunteers the better! Eventually, your committee included more than 200 classmates who worked together to plan a memorable weekend. … You came up with a catchy slogan, “Talk Thirty to Me,” which you used, together with the Quaker mascot, to generate excitement and promote attendance. A parody music video, “You Down with ’93,” featured your classmate, Eddie Matz W’93, dressed in denim overalls and a custom gold 1993 necklace, who brought back memories of college in the ’90s. … You also created a play on Flat Stanley—Flat Quaker. Enthusiastic classmates posted photos of themselves with the Quaker all over the world—from Amsterdam to Dubai and from the World Series to the Super Bowl. … Your reunion attracted 660 attendees, representing 31 states and 26 countries. You not only broke the 30th reunion record—you smashed it! Your class has received the coveted Penn Alumni Presidents Cup for Outstanding Reunion Attendance in recognition of its winning efforts. … The Class of 1993 led all classes during the reunion cycle for total giving across the University, raising more than $25 million. For your class gift, you generously supported two meaningful priorities: building on a Netter Center internship first funded during your 25th reunion cycle, and creating an endowed Arts & Entertainment Summer Scholarship, for the benefit of Penn students exploring careers in this field. … For five years, your class did everything, everywhere, all at once to ensure a smashing 30th reunion.

David N. Tyre Award for Excellence in Class Communications | Class of 1968
Your inclusive and collaborative planning process and your deeply personal communication strategy served as an inspiring model for other classes and resulted in a 55th Reunion weekend that was unique, welcoming, and most of all, fun. … You did not waste a moment harnessing the momentum from your 50th Reunion to plan for your 55th. Under the capable and inspiring leadership of Elsie Sterling Howard CW’68, more than 70 classmates enthusiastically joined your planning efforts. … You solicited personal testimonials, shared nostalgic Daily Pennsylvanian articles from your time at the University, and invited classmates to answer a Question of the Month. Your Class Friendship Hours were a hallmark of your success. … Your 1968 Digital Reunion Book was a commemorative masterpiece that included memories and photos from 360 alumni—and counting. Touchingly, you researched deceased classmates and honored them with a special section in the book. You also created an impressive documentary-style film, Not Done Yet, which celebrated the accomplishments, perseverance, and ingenuity of your class. … Your class set an attendance record for a 55th Reunion with 160 classmates attending, while raising nearly $900,000 for your class gift. … As part of your reunion giving, you also dedicated a Class of 1968 Memorial Bench and a newly planted tree in the Legacy Garden. In doing so, you honored the memory of longtime class gift chair, Doug Cox W’68 WG’73, who, sadly, was added to the list of your classmates lost. … Though it is true that tomorrow is unknown, we know one thing for sure: the Class of 1968 is Not Done Yet!

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