PSU Alumni Association hosts its annual ice cream social
The Penn State Alumni Association hosted its annual ice cream social at the Hintz Family Alumni Center on Friday to celebrate homecoming weekend, according to Penn State.
The Hintz Family Alumni Center was full of laughter and celebration on Friday, Nov. 10, as current PSU students and alumni arrived to get free ice cream. The event lasted from 1 p.m to 4 p.m and had acts ranging from the Alumni Blue Band, the Nittany Lion mascot, and Penn State cheerleaders.
Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association, said that the ice cream social was the unofficial kickoff to the alumni portion of homecoming weekend.
“The Hintz Family Alumni Center serves as the living room for alumni,” he said. “That’s why we serve Creamery ice cream. It’s just an appropriate way to welcome people back to Penn State.”
Clifford said guests have been coming in and out of the building for ice cream all afternoon. He also said that he expected a turnout of about 500 people.
Volunteers were at the main entrance of the Alumni Center handing out colorful sunglasses to attendees as they entered the building. Guests went to one of the adjoining rooms, where the Berkey Creamery served four different ice cream flavors. The flavors were vanilla, chocolate, bittersweet mint, and Alumni Swirl. Alumni Swirl is a Penn State classic, and consists of vanilla ice cream mixed with blueberries and chocolate chunks, according to Clifford.
Besides ice cream, the Alumni Association sold homecoming shirts that read “For the Glory” and “Embrace the Journey and Roar with Pride.” One table had Penn State memorabilia dating back to the early 20th century.
Penn State alumni wore class year buttons, which were found in bins outside the main entrance, and waved white pom poms. Quotes from alumni talking about their PSU experience appeared on screen as live-music from the Alumni Blue Band played in the background.
Phillip Satrlock, class of 1976, has been attending the social for five years and plans on coming back next year.
“I got vanilla and chocolate with a couple toppings,” he said. “Being able to mix your ice cream, and get toppings on em’, very special.” The Berkey Creamery normally doesn’t allow customers to mix their ice cream flavors.
Eric Gearhart, class of 1975, said that it was his first time at the ice cream social. He said he obviously came for the ice cream and joked about how long ago he graduated.
“Forever ago,” he said. “Not 1875, although I look that way.”
Clifford said that the ice cream social is significant because it allows the alumni to be a part of PSU once again for homecoming weekend.
“It’s always important to welcome family home,” he said. “That’s why we do it.”