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First alumni society friend-raiser social a success

9/5/2011 —



More than 35 Penn State alumni and friends gathered Aug. 30, for the Alle-Kiski Society's first "Friend-Raiser," a social event that introduced "new" Penn State alumni to "old" society members..

Co-hosted by the "For the Future" campaign committee at Penn State New Kensington, the event was held at Arsenal Cider House and Wine Cellar. The Civil War-themed winery, located across from historic Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville, Pa., specializes in small batch, hand crafted beverages. The venue afforded guests the opportunity to engage campus and society staff, and to enjoy the casual atmosphere that included cider, wine sorbet and a tour of the facilities. 

"It was a perfect opportunity to meet and greet new and old friends," said Patrick Kopnicky, who along with his wife, Mardelle, co-chairs the committee.

Guests savored samples of cider and wine, and for a grand finale, cleansed their palates with a wine sorbet.  Everything was made on the premises. In addition to emails and phone numbers of future Penn State connections, participants left with a personalized one-liter growler of wine or cider.

"I want to thank everyone who made our first friend-raising event such a success," said Donna Speer, director of development at the campus. "It was a great opportunity for alumni to network and socialize with fellow Penn Staters."

"We hope this will be the beginning of future monthly social gatherings, dubbed 'First Thursdays,'" Kopnicky said.

Based at the campus, the Alle-Kiski Society is the local chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association. The board of directors, comprising alumni, parents and friends of Penn State, represents more than 7,000 alumni living in the Alle-Kiski Valley. New and recent graduates of Penn State New Kensington can connect with fellow Penn Staters at the monthly meetings of the Alle-Kiski Society, held 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at Dingbats Restaurant/Royal Gatherings in the Pittsburgh Mills mall.

Another way to keep connected to Penn State is through the society's Facebook page, Alle-Kiski Society, Penn State Alumni Association. Alumni who earned their Penn State degrees at the campus or those who attended New Kensington and earned their degrees at another Penn State campus are welcome to join. In addition, former campus students who attended New Kensington and then left to pursue their career paths are encouraged to reconnect with the campus. These individuals include many former athletes who continued their academic and athletic careers at other institutions. Facebook is a way to catch up with the "lost" alumni of the campus.

Photos of the event are available on Facebook,

For other events sponsored by the Alle-Kiski Society, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Alumni/alumorg.htm

For more on the "For the Future" campaign, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Giving/givetoday.htm


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Gifts from corporate supporters count toward the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide fundraising effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State’s alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University’s tradition of quality. The campaign’s top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State’s history, with the goal of securing $2 billion in private support by 2014. Penn State New Kensington's goal is $3 million.


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