More than 300 graduates returned to campus for the 130th Old Penn Charter Weekend on May 5 and 6, reconnecting with former classmates and educators during events such as the Annual Awards Ceremony, Memorial Meetings for Worship, the OPCs of Color Brunch, athletic contests, and the All-School Art Show.
Eleven reunions also attracted a large number of alumni at venues across PC and Philadelphia. OPCs traveled from 25 different states, and Israel, to be part of the festivities.
"The strength of our alumni is unmatched," said Chris Rahill OPC '99, PC's associate director of development. "OPC Weekend is a reminder that Penn Charter is about the people."
Several of these people were honored during the Annual Awards Ceremony on May 5.
Jerome Allen, a member of PC's facilities and transportation teams, and Jennifer Ketler, a math teacher and Middle School coach, received Honorary 1689 diplomas, given to members of the PC community who show extraordinary commitment to the school by demonstrating pride and excellence in the performance of their duties and by consistently providing encouragement and support to the student body.
"The countless relationships that I have developed with students, and the fact that I get to see them continue to succeed in high school is such a valuable gift," Ketler said after receiving her Hon. 1689 diploma. "When people ask me why Penn Charter, I always credit the amazing students that we have."
Math teacher, coach and former Upper School administrator Brian McCloskey OPC '82 received the John F. Gummere Distinguished Teacher Award, given to those who have demonstrated outstanding scholarship, teaching and character, and whose work in their field, rapport with students and colleagues, and contributions to the intellectual life of the school merit recognition.
"The emphasis on community and the fostering of strong teacher-student relationships is what makes Penn Charter special," McCloskey said after accepting the award. "This school has given me the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of countless students, and for that, I will always be grateful."
Steven A. Balbus OPC '71 received the David P. Montgomery OPC '64 Alumni Award of Merit, given to a graduate whose character and outstanding achievement have reflected lasting credit upon Penn Charter.
A theoretical astrophysicist, Balbus is a Salvian Professor of Astronomy and a Professorial Fellow of New College at the University of Oxford, England. He has made widely-recognized contributions to the understanding of accretion discs, dilute gases and the interior of the sun.
On May 6, the lives of long-time faculty member Buff Wiegand Hon. 1689 and long-time Board of Trustees member Caesar D. Williams, Jr. OPC '80 were remembered at separate Memorial Meetings for Worship. The annual OPCs of Color Brunch was in honor of Caesar.