By Swati Pandey ’23

Learning to skateboard, amusement park trips, the ballpark, a perfect day in Philly, a lantern festival in Boston, growing vegetables in the backyard—there were a lot of good times to be had this summer for students, faculty, and staff.

Professor Trent Gaugler holds a blue unicorn stuffed animal as if it's kissing him on the cheek.My family and I love amusement parks, so this summer we spent a lot of time at Hershey Park. While we usually spend our time on roller coasters, we do occasionally try our luck at a game or two, especially if there is an unusually spectacular prize. When I laid eyes on this marvelous unicorn, I knew it had to try. And now Waffles and I are living happily ever after. —Trent Gaugler, associate professor of mathematics

Ali Sulta Sikander sits on a wooden bench while holding a black and white skateboard.Growing up and playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 on my PlayStation 2, I always wanted to get into skateboarding. However, while it was difficult to buy a skateboard in Pakistan, it was more difficult to find a friend who also shared the same urge as me. Staying on campus this summer with my friends has allowed me to use the empty parking lots to finally learn how to skate, although I do admit that I still struggle to find my balance and have fallen on concrete quite a number of times. —Ali Sultan Sikander ’23

Tingting Kang with her young son in front of a big representation of Snoopy and two Camp Snoopy signsSome of the best memories are made in flip-flops. One sweet memory this summer was our trip to Dorney Park organized by Lafayette College. My family had a great time there. Planet Snoopy is the two boys’ most favorite place. — Tingting Kang, multi-language learner support specialist

Tafita Rakotozandry stands between two big lanterns that look like animals, possibly bears.This summer, I did an internship in Boston. It was my first time living there. I visited different places when I was there, but my favorite was Boston Lights. It is an event that happens every summer at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The park is embellished with different lanterns and lights. These decorations typically have different types of images representing different species of animals. The experience gives you the chance to explore the park in different ways. I learned about species of endangered animals that we need to protect. I believe it was a good way to educate visitors about different faunas but at the same time fun enough so that everyone can enjoy a good time. —Tafita Rakotozandry ’22

Dean of Students Brian Samble smiles outside Van Wickle Hall.June and July marked many “firsts” since the pandemic began more than a year ago. First time back at a live sporting event watching my Boston Red Sox play (and defeat!) the Yankees at Fenway Park; first time back at a live concert watching Luke Bryan perform in Hershey Park; first time watching fireworks with a crowd as they exploded over the Philadelphia Art Museum; and first time back visiting my parents and sister in person after we all had taken the vaccine. I am looking forward to many more firsts and sharing those with the students when they return this fall. — Brian Samble, dean of students

An overhead view of Philadelphia including the statue of Ben Franklin, buildings, and a blue sky and white cloudsThis summer, my best friend and I went to Philadelphia for the 4th of July. We went to the incredible Philadelphia Museum of Art in the morning, followed by a visit to the Magic Garden, then a tour of UPenn and Drexel, and grabbed some incredible ice cream sandwiches from Insomnia Cookies before settling down in Drexel Park to watch the fireworks show. It was very action-packed, very fun, and very fulfilling—easily one of the best days of my life. —Yazdan Basir ’23

A big yellow sunflower amid green leaves outdoorsLast summer I got back into having a backyard garden after many years of just planting a few pepper and tomato plants. My husband built me three 8′ X 4′ garden beds that are maybe a little over-engineered ;). And…I may have planted a few too many veggies, but it has been really cool to grow and eat new things like potatoes, beets, carrots, eggplant, and cauliflower. A bit harder to convince your kids to eat cauliflower for the fourth night in a row. Also hard to be on your phone when your hands are dirty and wet. Fantastic way to unplug. My picture is of my daughter’s sunflower plants—how can you not smile? —Stephanie Hayes ’94, senior executive director of strategic initiatives and development operations

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