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In a poem, College senior Justin Ching dubbed the Pan-Asian American Community House “the patch of our quilt,” commemorating the center’s 10th anniversary.

On Saturday, PAACH held a homecoming reception marking the anniversary. The event was catered to students and alumni involved with PAACH, who gathered in the ARCH building lobby to discuss their experiences.

Before the PAACH commemorative ribbon-cutting, Penn President Amy Gutmann presented remarks highlighting the importance of the resource center to the University community. It “has successfully advocated and promoted awareness of issues relevant to our Asian American-Pacific Islander community,” she said. “What is PAACH? The overwhelming response [from students] is ‘home,’” Gutmann said.

The social was preceded by a formal alumni banquet on Friday evening. According to student organizers Rohan Grover, a Wharton senior, and Isha Mehta, a College senior, a PAACH committee led by Office Coordinator Kusum Soin began planning the weekend’s events in April.

According to Soin, 75 alumni and an equal number of students attended the Saturday anniversary reception, which she saw as a good turnout. “The whole event went very successfully. I was very happy.”

In her eyes, the goal was for current students to hear graduates’ stories. “Alumni have experience and students can learn from them,” she said.

An upbeat atmosphere permeated the event, with impromptu reunions occurring and group photographs being taken throughout the afternoon. For 2010 College alumnus James Liu, the reception was an opportunity to observe the development of PAACH. “As a first-year alum, I’m really excited to see what’s happening in the next few years,” he said.

Franklin Chen, a 2003 Engineering alumnus, recalled the creation of PAACH during his sophomore year and the center’s subsequent development. “It’s something a lot of people fought for — it’s a huge achievement at Penn. We needed a resource center where people could have a voice.”

Still, Chen said that a number of issues will continue to require discussion at PAACH, including not only logistics, such as physical space for the center, but also student concerns, such as Asian-American mental health, identity and LGBT issues.

According to Associate Director and 2004 College alumna Shiella Cervantes, the event was a symbol of PAACH’s growth. “It’s great to have a lot of dedicated alumni and students — that’s really a good sign as PAACH goes into the future.”

Similarly, PAACH director June Chu saw Gutmann’s speech as a particularly significant recognition of the center. “It’s a symbol of the importance of PAACH University-wide.”

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