Since 1971 more than 750 Penn State students have spent a semester studying mass communications at The University of Manchester in England. The Manchester Program Alumni Interest Group provides those alumni who have participated in the program an opportunity to maintain contact with Penn State, the College of Communications, The University of Manchester, and other Manchester program attendees.
This year, from May 28 to 31, the Alumni Interest Group (AIG) hosted 114 people for a long weekend in Manchester to reconnect with fellow students and alumni who shared the enriching experience of studying at Manchester.
The itinerary offered several side trips including one to Liverpool, where guests could take the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour to Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields and also visit the Cavern Club where the band got its start. Guests were given the opportunity to tour the city of Chester and its historic cathedrals and art galleries. The Lake District tour was a chance for visitors to see local artisans demonstrate their crafts or to simply enjoy the countryside. There was a Manchester City walking tour and a rare and exciting opportunity to enjoy High Tea with the Lord Mayor of Manchester, an honor usually only awarded to dignitaries.
The AIG held a breakfast meeting on the Manchester campus to introduce guests to the interest group—highlighting the group’s accomplishments since its inception and informing alumni of how they can become more involved.
The group presented various awards during a reception and dinner at the Whitworth Art Gallery. The Outstanding Alumni Award was given to Sallie Fraenkel Zuch ’79, an entertainment executive who has spent many years at Showtime Networks. She also chaired the reunion committee. The Distinguished Faculty Award went to Philip Radcliffe of The University of Manchester. Radcliffe—who has been with the Manchester Program since it began—is considered to be the “father” of the program and is retiring this year. He also is an Honorary Alumnus of Penn State.
Members of the AIG also serve as a networking source for students currently enrolled in the Manchester program. The group coordinates scholarships for program students as well as an awards program for faculty and alumni service. It also plans networking events in major metropolitan areas for students and alumni of the program.
You can visit the Manchester Program AIG Web site at http://psualum.com/affiliate/ManchesterProgram/default.asp. Information about any of the more than 300 affiliate groups of the Alumni Association can be found at http://www.alumni.psu.edu/groups.