Forget last week’s Spring Fling concert.
Students are expected to turn out by the thousands for Friday evening’s John Legend and Train performance at Penn Park — part of a larger celebration of the University’s Making History fundraising campaign.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 14,500 members of the Penn community had registered for the event online.
Although the highlight of the night will be the appearances by Legend, a 1999 College graduate and nine-time Grammy winner, and Train, the event — called Time to Shine — will also feature several hours of student performances.
“We wanted to make this an all-inclusive, campus-wide celebration,” Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations John Zeller said. “Having John Legend in particular as a College graduate is a big draw.”
Although there is no exact schedule for the event, Legend and Train are set to perform for about an hour each during the later part of the night. Time to Shine will begin at 5 p.m. and run until about 9 p.m.
In 2007, Penn launched Making History with a black-tie reception under a tent on land the University had just bought from the U.S. Postal Service next to the Schuylkill River.
Five years later, the campaign — which ended at the end of last year, raising $4.3 billion — will bring together students and alumni at that same site, which was transformed into Penn Park in 2011.
“It’s a great story to tell,” Zeller said of the campaign. “The campus community should be exceedingly proud of what we’ve accomplished together.”
Although Zeller declined to comment on how much Time to Shine will cost the University, he said Penn has been putting campaign funds aside for the event for the past several years.
In addition to the performers, the celebration will feature a fireworks display at the end, along with free food and drinks throughout. Although Time to Shine is free for all Penn community members — students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni and other donors — it does require pre-registration online by noon on Friday.
Promotion for the event has taken place throughout the week, with colorful signs sprouting up along Locust Walk displaying details about each school’s and center’s campaign fundraising.
“It’s been pretty hard to miss,” said Wharton junior Oscar Cullen, president of Onda Latina, one of the student groups that will be performing Friday. “I’m really excited. I couldn’t believe it when they announced the artists they’d gotten.”
Students in general have seemed equally excited for Time to Shine.
“It’s hard not to be looking forward to it with everything huge they’ve been doing around campus,” said College junior David Kaiser-Jones, president of the Penn Band, which will also be performing. “For me, this is a lot more exciting than the Fling concert. I skipped the Fling concert, but I’ll definitely be watching on Friday.”
With finals just around the corner, College senior Morgan Bushnell, the former director of African Rhythms, added that the event will provide a good opportunity to wind down from studying.
In addition to current students, Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Hoopes Wampler said he has seen an “incredible” response from the alumni community — including some who are abroad.
“One of the best things about this campaign is that it hasn’t been completely about the money — engaging our alumni has been an important goal as well. We wanted to have a celebration that recognizes how important our alums are to us,” Wampler said. “It should be a great night for everybody.”Comments powered by Disqus
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