10 May 2013

May 2013 Alumni Newsletter


  1. Letter from the President
  2. Thank you to Merrie Frankel
  3. Alumni Weekend Champagne Brunch
  4. Proposed  Sphinx Board of Governors, 2013-2014
  5. Sphinx Spring Banquet Recap
  6. 2013 Paul Miller Award Winner: Alec Miller,  ENG ’13, W’13
  7. Other Sphinx Class of 2013 Award Winners
  8. Sphinx Links  Mentoring Update
  9. Daily Pennsylvanian Graduation/Goodbye Issue Ad
  10. Join the Sphinx Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and Help Us Update Our Email List
  11. Contribute to the Sphinx Alumni Fund
  12. Send Us Your News and Suggestions

1) Letter from the President 
I am stepping down after four years as President of the Sphinx Board of Governors (BOG). Steve Klitzman will become the President. Being president of an organization is like conducting an orchestra—organize the players so they execute their tasks, while ensuring all are harmonizing towards common goals. Kudos to the Sphinx board members who have become friends and made the past four years so rewarding while we launched the new Board, a process initiated by Sarah Abroms (past Chief, future doctor). My sincere thanks to the various initiatives started – Steve Klitzman (mentoring program, soon to be Eileen McKeown); Samir Malik (secretary/newsletters); Greg Suss and Steve Klitzman (Paul Miller award); Kiera Reilly (Sphinx historian and lists maven); Dennie Zastrow (treasurer, soon to be John Fiorillo); Glen Schuster (website and database) with Franklin Shen; and others.

The goal in re-constituting the Board of Governors was to carry on many of the traditions of Penn’s oldest honor society and work with the undergrads in welcoming new traditions. We have enjoyed the energy and talent of the 2013 Undergrad officers: Adrienne Edwards (Chief), Dan Gutnayer (Pharisee), and Dana Tom (Scribe). Anita Saggurti (2012 Chief) was an invaluable resource, especially with the Annual Dinner held last Saturday, April 27 (see below). Thank you all for the opportunity to help orchestrate the future of Sphinx.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, May 11 during Alumni Weekend for our annual Champagne Brunch at 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. We’ll toast the graduating seniors, welcome the new Sphinx class of 2014, and meet and greet Sphinx alumni from all past classes. We’ll meet on campus at the LGBT Center, “Carriage House,” 3907 Spruce  St., Phila. Pa. 19104-6031.  I look forward to seeing you all on Alumni Weekend.

Please also donate so Sphinx can continue these traditions and events. Click here to do so: http://www.sphinxseniorsociety.com/sphinx_donate.html

All the best,

Merrie S. Frankel,
Soon-to-Be Past President (on July 1)

Merrie S. Frankel, Esq., C’76, President; Stephen H. Klitzman, Esq., C’66, Vice-President and President-Elect; John K. Fiorillo, Esq. W’86, Treasurer-Elect; Samir M. Malik, C’08, W’08, GEN’13, WG’13, Secretary; Alexis Ruby Howe, C’07; Eileen M. McKeown, C’10; Kiera Reilly, C’93; Carlos Rodriguez, C’12; Anita Saggurti, C’12; Glen S. Schuster, C’86; Franklin Shen, ENG’03; Michael Siegmund, Esq., EAS’82, W’82; Gregory S. Suss, Esq., C’75, Vice-President Elect; and Dennie Zastrow, C’10, Treasurer. Adrienne Edwards, Chief, C’13, Daniel Gutnayer, Pharisee , C’13, and Dana Tom, Scribe, C’13 also serve on the current Sphinx Board of Governors as the leadership of the Sphinx Class of 2013.

2) Thank you to Merrie Frankel
Merrie Frankel, C’76, has nobly served as President of the Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors with dedication and distinction since the inception of the current Board of Governors four years ago. Even prior to the election of the board, Merrie was instrumental in shaping what was previously a modest organization into a vital and productive council that could serve the needs of the undergraduate organization, while elevating the Sphinx experience for both students and alumni. By day a Vice-President-Senior Credit Officer in the REIT Group at Moody’s Investors Service, Merrie has led the BOG and enhanced its activities with fall and spring events as well as established a growing alumni fund to support ongoing Sphinx projects, including a digital Sphinx database. On her watch an alumni/student mentoring program (under the leadership of fellow Sphinx Steve Klitzman, ’66) has already enhanced the post-graduation experience of several classes of recent Sphinx undergraduates.

Most important, she has re-engaged a growing and active group of Sphinx alums with energy, grace and charm, and empowered each and every one of them to contribute in distinctive and lasting ways, much to the benefit of the undergraduate members. While she will remain on the Board as President Emeritus, she will step down as President, leaving a great legacy of leadership and accomplishment. Thank you Merrie for all that you have done, and all that you will continue to do, on behalf of the Sphinx Senior Society.

You can read the citation Merrie received as well as the song, parody to the tune of “Master of the House” from the musical “Les Miserables”, Greg Suss sang to honor Merrie and to recognize her leadership

3) Alumni Weekend Champagne Brunch (5/11 at 10:30am – 11:30am)Join the new Sphinx class, graduating class, and fellow Sphinx alumni as we kick off Alumni Weekend on May 11, 2013. Attend our annual Champagne Brunch 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce St.

4)  Proposed  Sphinx Board of Governors, 2013-2014
Here is the proposed slate of officers and members on the Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors for 2013-2014:

PRESIDENT:  Steve Klitzman, ’66 (2 years)
VICE-PRESIDENT: Greg Suss, ’75 (2 years)
TREASURER:  John Fiorillo, ’86 (1 year)
SECRETARY:  Samir Malik, ’08 (1 year)

PRESIDENT-EMERITUS: Merrie Frankel, ’76 (3 years)*
CHIEF EMERITUS: Adrienne Edwards, ’13 (1 year)

Eileen McKeown  ’10 (3 years)*
Kiera Reilly, ’93 (2 years)
Carlos Rodriguez,  ‘12 (2 years)
Lex Ruby Howe, ’07 (1 year)
Anita Saggurti, ’12 (3 years)*
Glen Schuster, ’86 (1 year)
Franklin Shen, ‘03 (1 year)
Dennie Zastrow, ’10 (1 year)

2013-2014 Chief, Max Presser (1 year)
2013-2014 Pharisee, Jeremy Pincus (1 year)
2013-20414 Scribe, Urja Mittal (1 year)

*Up for re-election:
Merrie Frankel- 3 year term
Eileen McKeown- 3 year term
Anita Saggurti- 3 year term

5) Sphinx Spring Banquet Recap
The annual Spring Banquet held again at the Orpheus Club in Philadelphia on April 27, 2013 was a resounding success. We welcomed the new class, celebrated the graduating class, and inducted as our 2013 Honorary Sphinx Inductee Dr. Ezekiel “Zeke” J. Emanuel, MD, PhD.

He is the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, and Chair, Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy. Dr. Emanuel is also the author of the recent book,  Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family. (His brothers are Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, IL, and former Congressman and White House Chief of Staff, and Ari Emanuel, Hollywood superagent and the model for the chief agent character in the former  HBO hit, “Entourage.”)

After accepting his honorary Sphinx hat and certificate, Dr. Emanuel offered these insightful thoughts on “leadership” to the annual dinner attendees:

  1. 1. Work harder than those under you.
  2. 2. “Combative Collegiality”- question those around you.
  3. 3. Don’t follow fads- anticipate where trends are going; it’s hard to make a difference or become famous if you do what everyone else is doing.
  4. 4. Stand up for your principles – these are the pivotal moments in your career/life.

6) 2013 Paul Miller Award Winner: Alec Miller, ENG’13, W13
The Sphinx Board of Governors is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2013 Paul Miller Award, Alec Miller, ENG ’13, W’13. Alec received the award at the Annual Spring Banquet on April 27, 2013.

The award, created in 2012, was named for Paul Miller, C’83, a former Sphinx Scribe and member of the Mask and Wig Club. Suffering from a severe form of dwarfism, Paul became an active voice for those with disabilities following his graduation from Harvard Law School. He worked in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, helped draft the Americans with Disabilities Act, and served for 10 years with distinction as a Commissioner on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The award seeks to recognize outstanding campus collaborative leadership in the areas of public service and civil rights.

Alec Miller served as Chairman of the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC). He  led the NEC  to change the bylaws governing  the selection of seats on the University Council (UC), next to the Board of Trustees the highest deliberative and most broadly representative campus forum. Through his efforts, more seats on the UC will be allocated in the future to under-represented constituencies on the UC, giving them greater voice and literally a seat at the table. Alec’s activities also included leadership of the Engineering Student Activities Council, Engineering Deans’ Advisory Board, Management & Technology Club, and the Penn pre-orientation  program, PENNacle. A member of Phi Kappa Sigma (Skulls) and the Hexagon Senior Society (in addition to Sphinx), Alec Miller also served as a Management 100  teaching assistant. Upon graduation, Alec will be working as a management consultant. We wish him hearty congratulations for winning the 2013 Paul Miller Leadership Award and for his many other achievements!

7)  Other Sphinx Class of 2013 Award Winners
Members of the Sphinx Class of 2013 have also won other prestigious undergraduate awards. They include:

  • Gaylord P. Harnwell Award- Isabel Friedman, C’13
  • David R. Goddard Award- Pallavi Podapati, C’13
  • Spoon Award- Jonathan Youshaei, W’13, C’13
  • Cane Award- Alec Miller, ENG’13, W’13
  • Stephen Wise Award- Alexandra Fuchs, C’13.

The Sphinx Board of Governors congratulates all of these well deserved award winners.

8 ) “Sphinx Links” Mentoring Update
Sphinx Links Mentoring Program Makes 10 More Alumni-Undergraduate Matches for Classes of 2012 and 2013
The Sphinx Society Board of Governors created “Sphinx Links” in 2010 as a new mentoring project to offer the career and life advice of experienced Sphinx alumni to current Sphinx seniors.

Since 2010 we’ve made mentoring matches for over 30 Sphinx undergraduates with alumni mentors in dozens of professional fields from the arts, business, entertainment and finance, to law, medicine, public health, and the technology sector.

The program has just made 10 more mentoring matches for 9 members of the Class of 2013 and one for a member of the Class of 2012. Click here for a list of these 10 mentoring matches.

Sphinx Links Mentoring Program Seeks Sphinx Alumni Mentors for the Sphinx Class of 2014
For the Sphinx Class of 2014, we are now seeking Sphinx Links alumni mentors. To become such a mentor, please fill out the questionnaire on the Sphinx web site at www.sphinxseniorsociety.com/sphinx_links.html.

Please also contact  Steve Klitzman as soon as possible at sklitzma@aol.com, or call Steve at 202-418- 1763. (Steve, C’66, is Vice President and President-Elect of the Sphinx Board of Governors and Coordinator, Sphinx Links).

As noted on the Sphinx Senior Society web site, your role as a Sphinx Links mentor and your level of involvement will be entirely up to you. You may exchange an occasional email or telephone call, help a student prepare for an interview, counsel a recent graduate entering the job market, advise a fellow Sphinx alumnus or alumna considering a job or career change, provide advice and expertise on an industry, market or profession, or even offer an internship or job.

Your time commitment should be minimal but your advice and assistance could be very beneficial to these new Sphinx members. We hope you’ll “link up” to Sphinx Links and give a boost to this newest generation of Sphinx members in our lifelong brotherhood and sisterhood of the Sphinx Senior Society now in its 113th year

9) Daily Pennsylvanian Goodbye Issue Ad

Click here for a link to the full page color ad the Sphinx Senior Society will run on the back page of the special Graduation/Goodbyes issue the Daily Pennsylvanian will publish on Friday, May 10, 2013, at the start of graduation weekend.

10)  Join the Sphinx Facebook and LinkedIn Groups and Help Us Update Our Email List
We encourage you to join our Facebook and LinkedIn Groups – both named Sphinx Senior Society. These are closed groups and only open to members of Sphinx.

As the Penn database is not 100% accurate, we also ask you to share this newsletter with your Sphinx classmates. If they did not receive this newsletter, they should email Kiera Reilly, Sphinx ’93, member Sphinx Board of Governors. Kiera can code alumni in the Penn database and add Sphinx members to our email list for all future newsletters and other Sphinx information.

11) Contribute to the Sphinx Alumni Fund 
The Sphinx Alumni Fund has successfully supported and strengthened the activities of the Sphinx Senior Society and the Sphinx alumni community over the past year. Contributions are critical to support the current Sphinx class and alumni community. As you’ll note on the home page of our web site,www.sphinxseniorsociety.com, we have raised nearly $4,000 of our $10,000 goal thanks to the generosity of alums. Donations at any level are greatly appreciated, but suggested levels include:

  • Chief – $250 (For this donation, you’ll receive a hoodie with the Sphinx insignia on it. Please indicate your size when you submit your contribution.)
  • Pharisee – $100
  • Scribe – $50

Please click the link below to donate today: http://www.sphinxseniorsociety.com/sphinx_donate.html

12) Send Us Your News and Suggestions
We welcome your input. If you have any alumni news items or suggestions for future Sphinx Newsletters, please email me at samirmm@alumni.upenn.edu

Editor: Samir Malik, C’08, W’08, WG’13, Secretary, Sphinx Senior Society Board of Governors
May 2013