President's Message

Dear fellow Penn Alumni

I feel deeply honored to serve as Panama’s Penn Wharton Alumni Club president. I had the pleasure to join our club 20 years ago as a founding board member, when I was only 24 years old and completely daunted by stepping up to the plate to serve our amazing community. Since then, Panama Alumni have come together to build a strong membership of over 160 graduates who actively bring The Power of Penn to our country and region.

I like to call our mission The Power of Penn Alumni. With my fellow board members, I remember how impactful it was to get that nudge and inspiration from Penn grads to apply to our alma mater. In my case, I’ll be always grateful to my two main “sponsors” who impacted my decision—one literally handed me the application (yes, it was physical back then) and the other phoned my parents and convinced them to let me attend Penn. Thanks to them I lived a truly transformational experience at Penn.

You see, when I was 18 and about to hop on to my Quaker adventure, my grandfather and father figure died in a terrorist attack in Panama. My life was completely shattered, and I must say that just one month after this tragic day, Penn picked up the pieces of me. And with these, adding all the magical nourishments of my peers from around the globe, the loving guidance of professors and staff, plus the insatiable intellectual curiosity that I experienced as a liberal arts student, I became a resilient and fearless young woman, ready to serve the world.

I know that my personal story may seem quite unique, and I also know from sharing with fellow Penn Alumni, that in different ways we have all experienced seismic shifts in our own lives thanks to the Penn experience.

We welcome all stories, and look forward to learning yours! What are you most grateful for from your Penn moments.

With care,

Ana Karina Smith Cain (C'98)