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Penn Nursing Celebrates Alumni Weekend 2017

Penn’s 2017 Alumni Weekend, held May 12-14, brought thousands back to campus, including those celebrating milestone reunions for classes ending in ‘2’ and ‘7’. While Saturday’s weather did put a damper on things, it certainly didn’t stop Penn Nursing alumni from showing off their Quaker spirit.

The day started in familiar Fagin Hall with the Legacy Breakfast, which drew 34 attendees including a group of alumni from the BSN Class of 1992 who were celebrating their 25th reunions. Dean Villarruel hosted, with greetings by Ada Sue Hinshaw, HON’17, and her colleague, Suzanne Fetham. Several BSN alumni from the School’s early years were also in attendance – including Joan Trachtenberg, Nu’65, GNu’81, Deidre Blank, Nu’69, GNu’72, and Carolyn McGrory, Nu’57. A graduate of the Penn Nursing’s first BSN class in 1957, Carolyn brought along her uniform and blazer and kindly donated it to the Bates Center. Finally, director of The Bates Center, Pat D’Antonio, GRN’92, PAR’15, gave remarks on post-WWII nursing knowledge development.

Next up came a lecture in the auditorium by Pam Cacchione, Nancy Hodgson, GNu’88, GR’99, and Adriana Perez. Titled ‘Making the Most of Your Golden Years,’ it brought an audience of about 40 people who were highly engaged and asked questions throughout. The BSN class of 1992 was a co-sponsor of the lecture and had approximately five class members in attendance, including Christi Stille, Nu’92, who served as a liaison with the Nursing Alumni Office to establish the co-sponsorship.

Heading out into the rain, the fate of the parade was uncertain, but Penn decided to go ahead and hold it anyway. Nothing stops our nurses, and a group of about 25 marched! The procession went past the Reviewing Stand with Penn Nursing’s chosen song of “I Feel Good” by James Brown. Dean Villarruel and Alumni Board President Ashley Ritter, Nu’07, GNu’10, GR’20, led the way, followed up by a group from the BSN Class of 1992, various others, and first time participant faculty member Adriana Perez with her husband Nick.

Again, in spite of the rain, a great crowd rallied around noon for the annual Alumni Weekend Picnic. A constant stream of alumni stopped by the Nursing tent, many flowing between the School tent and their reunion tent. We were joined by Ada Sue Hinshaw and Suzanne Fethan, and had a group from the BSN Class of 1992 make a strong showing. Representing the Alumni Board were Ashley Ritter, Maya Clark-Cutaia, Nu’03, GNu’06, and Ellen McCabe, Nu’88, GNu’91, GR’21, PAR’18, with husband Bruce Goldfarb, C’87, W’87, PAR’18. Alumni attendees included Ruthlyn Greenfield Webster, Nu’92 (inducted into Penn Athletics Hall of Fame just a few weeks ago), and members of the BSN Class of 1997, including Sigrid Ladores, Nu’97, GNu’02. Dr. Fran Dunn Butterfoss, Nu’72, GED’75, (last year’s Lillian Brunner Alumni Award for Innovation winner) stopped by with her classmate Roberta Fedder, Nu’72, and their spouses, Dr. Stephen Fedder, RES’87, and Dr. Thomas Butterfoss, EE’72, D’78, GD’88. A group of staff and alumni were treated to a fun and an unexpected science demo on nitrogen, and classes from 1965 to 2013 were represented throughout our time at the tent.

While we will all hope for a sunny day next year, it was a fabulous weekend made even more wonderful by our high-spirited alumni!