Get To Know The Metro D.C. Chapter of the Alumni Association

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Schlegel/Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter

Andrew Schlegel ’12 had landed a dream job.

Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, he had grown up around agriculture, attending local farm shows every January and experiencing the Governor’s School for Agricultural Sciences program one summer at Penn State. 

He graduated from Penn State in 2012 with a degree in food science and a minor in international agriculture, which helped him join the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service in Washington, D.C. 

The only problem with the move to the nation’s capital? He didn’t really know anyone at first.

“I knew that there were Penn Staters in the area,” Schlegel said. “So I kind of took it upon myself to go out and see what was out there. I found the Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Alumni Association, went to one or two of their events, and they were really welcoming.” 

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Schlegel/Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter

He couldn’t think of a better way to adjust to his new surroundings than using his Penn State connection in the area. He started attending the chapter’s football game watch parties, then joined their softball team to get to know some members a bit more. 

After a few years, he took on the role as membership chair for the chapter, and then became social chair for a year-and-a-half.

Schlegel moved up to vice president. He’s now been chapter president for just over a year, and he’s wasting no time in trying to help expand the chapter’s footprint in the Washington, D.C. area. 

“One of the big things I’ve tried to focus on is just having more events in general. We’ve always had a very social aspect to the chapter, but getting involved in the community service, professional development and scholarship fundraising, has been important,” Schlegel said. “I want us to use different ways to reach alumni.” 

The chapter’s usual student scholarship donation totals of $15,000 per year, as impressive as that number was, increased this past year to $20,000.

The Metro D.C. Chapter has also recently teamed up with other Big Ten alumni groups in the area for different events throughout the year, namely a “Big Ten Day of Service,” which saw the various chapters come together to clean up a local park. 

Not surprisingly, one of the more popular events the chapter hosts remains its football viewing parties. 

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Schlegel/Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter

“We currently have five football viewing sites,” Schlegel said. “One in Northern Virginia, in Arlington. One in Bethesda, Maryland, and three more spread out in the D.C. area along the metro lines. Each of them offer their own unique perspective.” 

In addition to providing that unrivaled Penn State gameday atmosphere, Schlegel said the chapter uses the watch parties for much more than just the football games. 

Each site offers something different, whether that’s a white out party at the Arlington location whenever the football team hosts a Penn State White Out game, or various raffles and food and drink specials during each watch party. 

“We like to utilize the viewing sites as a way for people to give back to the chapter, like donating to our scholarship fund,” Schlegel. “People love Penn State football and they want to watch with other Penn State fans and alumni. It’s a great way to get those people together and showcase for them that the chapter is there. Let them know what we have to offer. Talk to them and let them know there’s this wider network of Penn Staters in the area.”

Schlegel and the rest of the Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter will have a heavy presence when the football team, fans and alumni travel to College Park this Friday for the Nittany Lions’ matchup with the Maryland Terrapins.

The chapter teamed up with the Washington Nationals to provide tickets for its members and other Penn Staters for the Nationals’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon, before hosting the Thursday Night Mixer at the Mission Navy Yard.

Before the game itself on Friday, the chapter is teaming up with the Penn State Alumni Association for the Penn State Tailgate, to be held at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center just across the Terrapins’ stadium. 

Each Penn State Tailgate features the Nittany Lion, Pep Band, and Penn State Cheerleaders, along with an opportunity to hear from special guests and share in Penn State camaraderie.

The Chapter was able to secure some tickets to the game for members, tickets that became a hot commodity with the Terrapins’ strong start to the 2019 season, and a rejuvenated interest from their fanbase for the game against Penn State. 

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Schlegel/Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter

It promises to be a few days of fun for Schlegel and the chapter, who said he’s said he and other members are always excited when a Penn State Athletics team comes to the Washington, D.C. area. 

“Now that Maryland is in the Big Ten, there are a few more opportunities. Anytime a team comes to play here we always try our best to make sure we’re posting about it, that we get some alumni out to the games to support the athletes,” Schlegel said.

“Football is obviously the big one. The stadium is probably going to be sold out for this year’s game. Parking is pretty much sold out. It’s a big deal for our alumni in the D.C. area, and Baltimore, Annapolis, and even Virginia. We’re really excited.”

To learn more about the Metro Washington, D.C. Chapter, visit www.psuwashdc.org or email Andrew at president@psuwashdc.org

The Metro D.C. Chapter is one of 300-plus Penn State Alumni Association affiliate groups worldwide. Visit alumni.psu.edu/groups to connect with Penn Staters in your area.

FBL Podcast: Iowa Week

 

We get ready for Big Ten play and catch up with one of the famed Penn State Collins brothers as the Nittany Lions hit the road for a big game in Iowa City.

Hailing from Cinnaminson, N.J., Jason Collins ’97 was a standout on the undefeated 1994 squad, Continue reading

Max Hamilton Gets in the Zone

dsc_1928-1

We first met Max Hamilton last month in West Lafayette, where she was tailgating with family after the Nittany Lions’ win at Purdue. Max doesn’t miss a Penn State game, home or away, a level of dedication that has everything to do with maternal pride: Her son is standout wide receiver DaeSean.

Max is a former Marine whose dedication Continue reading

The Rose Brothers Lead the Line

IMG_5687

It’s Alumni Reunion Weekend here in Happy Valley, an annual chance for those of us at the Alumni Association to meet and hear stories from some of our most dedicated alums. Among this year’s returnees is Don Rose ’70, who’s in town from Lancaster with his wife, Sandra ’66.

We talked a bit of football with Don, who then pulled out this photo recently sent to him by his little brother, Steve ’74, ’82g, who would eventually follow Don to State College. That’s the sibling duo back in the fall of 1967, in their stances in front of the south end zone of Beaver Stadium. Don couldn’t remember who took the picture, or how exactly they got on the field, but the scoreboard gives a hint at the date: Sometime in mid-November, not long after the Nittany Lions upset third-ranked North Carolina State.

The stadium looks a bit different now, but for the record, Don’s still got a full head of hair.

For more on the The Football Letter, including online archives (requires Alumni Association member log-in), click here.

Not yet an Alumni Association member? Click here.

 

 

Sandy Barbour Meets the Fans

SandyB Caravan

We’re back on the bus for the Penn State Coaches Caravan, the fourth year of this very cool road trip, and the second with James Franklin leading the way. And it is about the coaches, of course—this week, Franklin is joined by women’s golf coach Denise St. Pierre and men’s hockey coach Guy Gadowsky, while Russ Rose, Cael Sanderson, and Patrick Chambers are set to join in Week 2. But this year, the Caravan is a chance for one former coach to share the spotlight.

Sandy Barbour was a field hockey and lacrosse assistant Continue reading