Did you sing with Essence of Joy at Penn State? Do you live near Columbia, S.C. or how about Pittsburgh? Three new alumni groups are seeking members: The Essence of Joy Alumni Singers Alumni Interest Group; the Columbia (South Carolina) Chapter; and the African American Alumni Organization of Pittsburgh. All were officially chartered at Alumni Council’s April meeting.
It’s no surprise that Essence of Joy singers want to keep singing even after they’ve graduated from Penn State and moved on. Forming the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers Alumni Interest Group (AIG) seemed the obvious next step and they’ve already attracted 50 active members. The group regularly meets for meetings, social events and to perform for various groups. Though most members are based in the mid-Atlantic region, the group has traveled to St. Thomas and is planning future tours to South Africa, East Asia and France. They also award an annual scholarship to a current Essence of Joy student at the group’s spring concert. In addition to social media sites Facebook and Twitter, the AIG also maintains e-mail lists, a members’ website, and publishes a members’ newsletter, The Essence, and a community newsletter, The Joy. Penn Staters in State College for the Arts Festival this summer can hear the Essence of Joy Alumni Singers when they perform on July 9. Visit the group’s website for more information.
The Columbia (South Carolina) Chapter provides safe harbor for Nittany Lions in or near the state’s capital where most residents are caught up in the intense rivalry between the University of South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers. Since first meeting in 2008, this group has quickly grown to 75 members and maintains an ambitious schedule of events. In addition to football–related events—weekly football viewing parties and pairing with the Aiken/Augusta (Georgia) Chapter for pre–game fun before the 2010 Capital One Bowl—the Columbia Chapter also has hosted a student sendoff picnic, worked a college fair in cooperation with Penn State’s admissions office, and are in the process of adopting a stretch of South Carolina highway that members will keep clean. Their latest effort is lobbying South Carolina to approve a “Penn State Alumni” license plate. The chapter is in the process of putting together a webiste. For more information on this group, e-mail chapter President Tim Zlogar ’00 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The African American Alumni Organization (AAAO) of Pittsburgh joins a network of similar AAAO Alumni Interest Groups (AIGs) already formed in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. With more than 50 members, the group is off to a quick start. They held a freshmen sendoff picnic last August (and are planning another for this summer), raised funds for an AAAO–Pittsburgh book scholarship for an area Penn State student, and participated in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community. They joined with the Penn State Alumni Association in hosting a City Lights event at the new August Wilson Center. Future plans include fundraising for earthquake relief for Haiti and Chile and participating in a career and networking reception at the upcoming Black Alumni Reunion at University Park, Sept. 10–12. For more info about AAAO-Pittsburgh, e-mail President Dawna Jones ’05 at email@example.com.
The Penn State Alumni Association has more than 270 affiliate groups around the world, serving their communities and the University while encouraging alumni to connect with each other in specific geographic areas and through common interests. Search for other alumni groups now.