Previewing Our Summer Issue …

It’s a brutally hot and humid afternoon here in University City. Or, at least that’s what I’ve been told.

See, I’ve been locked up inside all day, editing like mad and rushing to put the finishing touches on the summer issue of Wharton Magazine, which, barring some kind of calamity, should be arriving in your mailbox by mid-July.

I know I say this pretty much every time, but I’ll say it again (because I believe it): I think you’ll really enjoy this issue.

Doug Woodring, WG95, is working to clean up the North Pacifics plastic vortex.

Doug Woodring, WG’95, is working to clean up the North Pacific’s “plastic vortex.”

Here are some highlights:

• Wharton’s newest graduates—about 950 MBAs and 606 undergraduates—received their degrees in May. In our story about the School’s 126th Commencement, you’ll read up on what kind of advice Dean Thomas S. Robertson, Wharton faculty and top alumni offered to these new grads as they prepared to head out into a real world still recovering from a global economic malaise.

• Ever wondered what it takes to compete—and perhaps more important, win—at the Wharton Business Plan Competition? Well, we did, too. Which is why we asked contributing writer Saki Knafo to follow one of this year’s competing teams and find out just how much work, and just how much stress, goes into this much-celebrated annual event. In his feature story, Knafo reveals how a near tragedy provided the impetus for one team to enter this year’s competition. Would they eventually take home the top prize? You’ll have to read the story to find out.

• Can the iPad save the publishing industry? Will the public ever truly embrace e-books? Is print dead? As contributor Steven Kurutz reports, those were just some of the questions debated during the Wharton Future of Publishing Conference, hosted in April by the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative, Wharton School Publishing and Knowledge@Wharton. If nothing else, Kurutz’s story illustrates that while everyone agrees the publishing world is facing unprecedented challenges, almost nobody can agree on what comes next.

• Believe it or not, there’s a trash heap the size of Texas floating out in the North Pacific. Doug Woodring, WG’95, is spearheading the effort to clean it up. Through his recently launched Project Kaisei, Woodring is not only raising awareness about the “plastic vortex” of trash, but also working to change the way the world thinks about waste. “We are trying to tackle a huge issue,” Woodring told contributing writer Mike Unger. “The ocean covers two-thirds of the earth, but it is the momentum, and the awareness, that is really going to make some changes. We don’t need billions of dollars, but getting our expeditions out to sea to learn how to deploy new technologies goes a long way in motivating the world to think about changes.”

Other highlights of the issue include a great round of letters from our readers (let’s just say that we made a small error in last issue’s “From The Vault”), another superb Wharton Folly cartoon, some important news from the School and, of course, another Final Exam challenge, this one from Associate Professor of Real Estate and Business and Public Policy Todd Sinai.

All that and more, in just a few weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write, as always, at letters@whartonmagazine.com.

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