The month of August reminds me of why I have committed my professional life to supporting Penn State’s mission of providing a world-class education to students pursuing their goals and dreams on our campuses across the Commonwealth.
The return of our students for the fall semester energizes me. Simply walking alongside students on campus provides me with a sense of their optimism for the weeks and months—and in some cases—years ahead as undergraduates. Their spirited conversations convey to me a passionate commitment to academic achievement and the sheer joy that defines college life. I hope that my reference to the annual start of classes will stir wonderful memories of your own experiences as a student at Ivyside Park.
Anticipation also fills the air in Kazmaier Building, home of our Development and Alumni Relations team. In this edition of IvyLink, we offer a profile of our new team member Toni Feret. Based on Toni’s professional track record of success and eager embrace of her new responsibilities, I have great expectations for the many ways she will contribute to the realization of our team’s strategic vision and success for our college.
Our team’s fall calendar of events also supplies plenty of reasons to begin each day with a spring in my step. Penn State Altoona will celebrate the generosity of our benefactors and spotlight the powerful impact of that giving during two annual events: our Ivyside Society Induction Ceremony in September and Student Benefactor Dinner in October. These events provide our campus community with opportunities to not only recognize donors, but demonstrate to them how their philanthropy makes a difference in the lives of our students.
Please plan to join us for Alumni Weekend, October 11-13. In addition to events associated with our Pioneer and Lion Ambassadors reunions, we will be sponsoring a variety of activities of general interest. Visit www.altoona.psu.edu/alumniweekend for more information.
On November 6, our Penn State Altoona Fall Speaker Series will feature Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. As soon as word spread that Ina had accepted our invitation to offer a presentation, our phones began ringing! If your schedule permits, I hope you will attend this memorable event. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.altoona.psu.edu/tickets or by phoning 800-874-8055 or 814-949-5091. If you are a super advance planner, interior design expert Nate Berkus will be our spring 2014 speaker. He will appear on April 10, 2014.
And even though it is a January event, I want to mention our popular Winter Plunge, scheduled for Sunday, January 26, 2014. Who says nothing fun happens in January?
From my perspective as the director of all development and alumni initiatives at Penn State Altoona, I foresee one of our college’s best years ever! Please be a part of it, so you too can experience all the joy, optimism, and excitement in person. Have a great Labor Day holiday!
N. Susan Woodring
Director of Development and Alumni Relations