After two years at the helm, Penni McRoberts ’71 is ending her tenure as president of Chapman University support group
Town & Gown
. Friends and members of the group celebrated Penni at a lunch in her honor on Thursday, May 21.


Town & Gown’s new logo

During Penni’s time as president, Town & Gown enjoyed many successes and accomplishments, including expanding marketing efforts to spread awareness of Town & Gown’s mission and clarify the group’s role in the Chapman Family. A fresh new logo for the group was also designed and introduced under Penni’s leadership.

Andi Doddridge, event and program manager at Chapman and staff liaison to Town & Gown, praised Penni’s work in overseeing the targeted effort to build the
Town & Gown Endowed Scholarship Fund
by increasing awareness among the membership.

“While I have been the face of Town & Gown at the podium for the last two years, I must tell you that I’ve loved the opportunity to interact with all of you, our wonderful members, and work with an exceptional board who strive to keep this organization sharp and current, to bring good programs to the Lunch at the Forum and fulfill our purpose by raising money for student scholarships,” Penni said during a heartfelt speech about the many ways Chapman University has shaped her life, as a student, an alumna and a member and now past president of Town & Gown.


Penni McRoberts ’71 reflecting on her time as Town & Gown president

As she reflected on her Chapman experience, Penni marveled at the ways Chapman changed her life and shaped her world view. Prior to her arrival as a Disciples of Christ student from Sacramento, Penni had only traveled outside of California a few times on trips to Nevada. Within two years, she was traversing the globe with World Campus Afloat, visiting 11 foreign ports.

After almost five decades, Penni’s connection to the University has continued to grow and deepen.

“To this day I find it remarkable that one can step on the Chapman campus as a fresh-faced 17 year-old student and go out as a centenarian, and every day, every week, every month and every year in between can show up on campus and still be nourished in some way: mind, body and spirit,” Penni said, citing participating in events and activities at the Fish Interfaith Center and the Leatherby Libraries as examples of ways to stay involved.

“I feel a debt of gratitude to Chapman and to all of you who have helped to make this institution what it is today. I’ve considered my opportunity to serve as Town & Gown president a true honor,” Penni said.

Explore and Connect Further:

What is Town & Gown?

One of Chapman’s most active and dedicated support groups, Town & Gown was founded in 1968 to serve as a bridge between the local community and the University. The group’s membership includes community residents, alumni, parents and grandparents of Chapman students, Chapman faculty and staff, as well as other friends of the University.

Town & Gown hosts regular events on campus, including their popular Lunch at the Forum series, which features Chapman faculty speakers, and day trips to interesting locations in Southern California. In addition to bringing the community and University together through events and programs, Town & Gown provides generous support to Chapman through scholarships and other gifts to support Chapman’s campus and community.

The generous spirit and legacy of Town & Gown can also be seen throughout campus in locations such as the Town & Gown Reading Alcove in the Leatherby Libraries, the Gentle Spring fountain in Escalette Plaza and the Town & Gown Gardens at the Elliott Alumni House (named for members and alumni Tom ’60 and Pat ’60 (M.A. ’74) Elliott).

Interested in joining Town & Gown? Learn more »