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February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21

Ms. Gant, Social Policy & Practice


Ms. Nicole Gant, receptionist and building manager at the School of Social Policy & Practice, passed away after an extended illness on January 30; she was 42.

Ms. Gant battled many illnesses throughout her life, yet she overcame these and refused special allowances to compensate for her disabilities. The majority of those who came in contact with her would be surprised to know that she was legally blind. She attended Kutztown University briefly and came to Penn in 1989 as an intern while completing a certificate program with Abili Tech, after which she was offered an opportunity for full-time employment at Penn.

A colleague noted that, “Ms. Gant’s duties were that of a receptionist and building manager, but those who knew her agree that a more fitting title should have been ‘Director of First and Lasting Impressions.’ Beginning with the first contact and throughout one’s time at the School of Social Policy & Practice, Ms. Gant was clearly the go-to person for all questions and problems no matter how big, small or personal. The solution to anything invariably started with, ‘Go see Ms. Nicole Gant…,’ except those times when her name was preceded by ‘My friend.’ Ms. Gant was equal parts information source; comedian; greeter; advisor and comforter wrapped in a professional demeanor.” 

Ms. Gant is survived by her mother, S. Jean; three sisters, Renee Gant, Mary Smith and Marcia Hicks; and several nieces and nephews.



Mr. Reinauer, Franklin Celebration

Benjamin Franklin Reinauer, II, founder of Celebration! Benjamin Franklin, Founder, passed away January 24 at age 92.

Mr. Reinauer founded the annual celebration along with other Penn alumni. Held since 1998, the event features a luncheon and speaker highlighting various aspects of Franklin’s life and achievements, followed by a ceremonial procession to his gravesite.

An active volunteer at Penn, Mr. Reinauer, W’38, served on the Alumni Board of Directors, the Alumni Class Leadership Council, and was president of the Class of 1938 at the time of his death. Most recently he came back to campus for his 70th Reunion, where he was honored with the title of Parade Marshall, overseeing the Alumni Parade of Classes. Mr. Reinauer was also a loyal donor to Penn over the years, supporting The Penn Fund and his class reunion gifts. He received an Alumni Award of Merit in 1995.

Mr. Reinauer is survived by his son, B. Franklin Reinauer, III; two daughters, Cynthia Reinauer and Karen Raffetto; grandchildren, Bryan and Jennifer Raffetto; a great-grandson, Benjamin Raffetto; and two brothers, Charles and Gordon Reinauer.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.

Almanac - February 10, 2009, Volume 55, No. 21