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Alumni Stories

Alumni of Penn’s Bachelor of Arts program have begun exciting, new chapters in their life stories. Learn about their personal experiences as a student and find out what they are doing now. Each one is an inspiration.

  • Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Classical Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, 2015

    Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Donald Antenen left high school after two years to pursue his love of learning by reading the classics, exploring libraries and visiting book stores. He also traveled to places he thought were interesting. He went to New Orleans to help with the Hurricane Katrina relief effort for a couple of months and then moved to Kentucky. Donald worked in the Lexington Public Library and taught computer classes and helped in its literacy center. While still in his teens, Donald decided to earn his General Educational Development (GED). When he was 22, he moved to Philadelphia so his wife could complete her graduate studies in social work. That was when Donald thought he should go to college.

    “I thought I might miss out on the fundamentals if I continued to learn on my own. I was aware of the dangers of becoming a dabbler.

    I searched online for an undergraduate program. With Penn being closest to our apartment, I walked over to the College of Liberal and Professional Studies to talk about applying to the Bachelor of Arts program.

    The team suggested that I start by taking classes at Community College of Philadelphia (CCP), which I did. Then, I applied to Penn and was accepted in 2012.

    I wanted to pursue Classical Studies because I love the literature. And I knew I would get to know my professors and fellow students very well, because the department, while great, is relatively small. I became involved with the department’s Undergraduate Advisory Board and served as its Education Chair, which allowed me to organize evening events with professors and co-organize our annual senior colloquium.

    Penn has made it possible for me to learn a range of languages. I’ve studied Latin and Greek and now I’m learning Biblical Hebrew. It’s a real gem; a fascinating language.

    I also knew that I would have the opportunity to conduct research–in Humanities–as an undergraduate. In 2013, I applied for and was awarded support from the Robert J. Holz Fund to pursue independent research. And, during my senior year, I was named a University Scholar, and was able to spend my summer exploring Plato’s Symposium. It was a wonderful experience.

    Since then, I have been named a Dean’s Scholar for academic distinction and elected into the national honor society, Phi Beta Kappa.

    For anyone interested in pursuing his or her undergraduate degree, you should have a clear plan of what you want to explore because there is so much to discover on Penn’s campus.”

  • President, African-American Chamber of Commerce


    Bachelor of Arts, Urban Studies, 2014

    Michael Banks was elated when he learned he had been accepted into Penn. Being from North Philadelphia, he had always viewed Penn as being above the top of the charts! Listen to Michael’s advice, as a transfer student from a local community college, about connecting with others and embracing the opportunity to study at Penn.

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  • Education:

    Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts, summa cum laude, 2014

    Theresa Feo found the experience of being a Fine Arts student in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies to be exhilarating. In addition to her outstanding learning experiences, Theresa shares her appreciation for all that Penn and Philadelphia offers. Hear about the array of cultural opportunities Theresa found both on and off-campus.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, Biology, 2015

    After earning his associate’s degree in biology with top marks from Hudson Valley Community College, Darren Finn knew he was ready for the next step in his career and in his education: Pre-med. Darren chose the Bachelor of Arts program at Penn because of our abundant resources and almost endless opportunities to research and volunteer within the University and beyond. Learn more about how Darren combined his Ivy League education with hands-on, clinical experience within The University of Pennsylvania Health System for an academic journey beyond his dreams.

  • Graduate student, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice, 2016 expected


    Bachelor of Arts, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, 2014

    When Cate Revak decided to make a career change, after 15 years in the financial industry, she transferred into Penn to earn her bachelor’s degree. Hear about the camaraderie Cate found with fellow students and how campus resources continue to sustain her as she pursues graduate studies at Penn.

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  • Investment Associate, Wilmington Trust Corporation


    Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, cum laude, 2014

    After attending Philadelphia’s Central High School for two years, a public high school that consistently ranks as one of the finest in the state, Julian Scott moved to Virginia. After he graduated from high school there, he returned to Philadelphia and went right into the working world. When he was laid off from his job, he explored all of his options, including whether to go to college or find another job. Julian decided to enroll in Community College of Philadelphia. He excelled at his coursework. This prompted his advisor to tell him about the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. After Julian spoke with an enrollment advisor during a Walk-in Wednesday, he knew he wanted to go to Penn and was determined to make it happen. In August of 2012, Julian was accepted and enrolled at Penn.

    “I was so excited— but very nervous—when I was accepted. I started out by taking only two courses my first semester in order to get accustomed to the academic pace. It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the newness of the experience and the rigor of Penn’s academics.

    I stayed very organized and when I earned As in both classes, I felt confident enough to attend full-time. I also created milestones for myself—getting through first semester and then declaring my major—to get to my goal of graduating.

    It was amazing to be in classes with students of every age. All are smart, yet some are wise with life experiences. I felt right at home and enjoyed the camaraderie with them all. They are from every walk of life and come from all around the world.

    The library became the center of my universe. I met other non-traditional students there and we stayed together throughout our different programs. We became one another’s support network.

    There are so many different classes to explore at Penn. Just by reading a course description and purpose, I became inspired. I wanted to take advantage of all the programs and opportunities available that would enhance my analytical skills.

    I was even able to take graduate level classes and help conduct research as an undergraduate with a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education. The study focused on cultural competencies affecting a minority’s attainment of a higher education. It was fascinating.

    The environment at Penn makes you want to be better and the experience helped me realize that my next goal will be to go to law school.”

World-Class Resources

Program Resources

Penn offers BA students academic and cultural resources for ultimate success.

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Inside the Program

Where do our Bachelor of Arts LPS students come from?

BA Infographic

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Walk-In Wednesday

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Penn LPS

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

Telephone: (215) 898-7326
Fax: (215) 573-2053

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