Handing out the Joseph Wharton Awards
- by Matthew Brodsky
The Joseph Wharton Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Peter S. Lynch, WG’68,perhaps the pre-eminent fund manager of recent times. Jay Fishman, W’74, WG’74, chairman and CEO of The Travelers Cos., was honored with the award for leadership. The WCNY gave the Joseph Wharton Award for Social Impact to Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., WG’86, M’86, more commonly known by his television nickname, Dr. Oz. And for young leadership, Nathaniel Turner, W’08, co-founder of Invite Media, was recognized.
When asked how he felt earning an honor among the three distinguished gentlemen, Turner said, “It’s a tremendous honor.”
Lynch devoted part of his acceptance speech, as well as a short discussion with Wharton Magazine, to praising his alma mater, expressing his gratitude for the evening’s recognition and for a lifetime of success.
“One of the best breaks in my life was going to Wharton,” he told theMagazine, explaining that his degree helped him land his job at Fidelity, where he went on to become portfolio manager of the now-famous Magellan Fund. He also noted how he met his wife at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, WG’86, M’86
Dr. Oz also credited the School with being a foundation for his success.
“What I really learned was how to think differently about the world,” he said.
Dr. Oz’s first-rate business school education allowed him to understand the need for other avenues to deliver healthy messages to patients and to change the lives of others before they need medical attention. During his speech that evening, Dr. Oz recounted a 20-something bypass patient whose family, on the day after her surgery, celebrated her survival by bringing her a fast-food meal. His drive to help the everyday Americans while being a successful business man can explain his award-winning success as a radio, book and TV personality, not to mention vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center and director at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Insurance executive Fishman saved many of his kind words to praise Kenneth Beck, WG’87, president of the WCNY, for resurrecting the Joseph Wharton Awards.
“What great leaders do, they have a vision and go,” Fishman said. The vision and the mission of Beck and the Wharton Club of New York are “right,” he added.
The dinner itself, Beck said to the audience during his own speech, “was revived as a celebration.”
But it also serves to illustrate the three guiding principles of the club, which are, according to Beck, enlightened self-interest, tangible results and smaller interactions serving better than oversized events.