By Robert Gunther
The most successful campaign in business school history did more than raise over $445 million dollars from more than 23,000 donors. It transformed the campus, academic and research programs, individual lives, and the Wharton community.
On August 24, 2003, an unseasonably warm and sunny day in San Francisco, Jon M. Huntsman, W’59, H’96, looked out across the audience gathered in the Herbst Theatre for the historic graduation of the first West Coast class of the Wharton MBA for Executives (WEMBA) program. “This is a bit of an emotional experience for me today, as I know it is for you,” Huntsman told the graduates, their families, Wharton faculty and administrators as he stood on the stage. “It was almost 50 years ago today, right next door that I, as a senior in high school, was called by Mr. Zellerbach to come and be interviewed for a scholarship to the Wharton School. I was grateful to be sent to the Wharton School, grateful for those wonderful men and women who made that privilege and opportunity possible. Today I am very proud that we have Wharton West.”
Scott Brubaker, WG’03, a graduating WEMBA student and San Francisco resident, sat in the front row of the 928-seat recital hall. He had joined the Wharton community just two years earlier as part of this first Wharton West class. “I knew I wanted to get my MBA degree,” he said. “When I found out about the Wharton program in San Francisco, it was a simple decision from my standpoint. In the two years I’ve been there, I’ve really watched Wharton West establish itself with a very strong link to the Philadelphia campus. I didn’t feel like we were a satellite program. We were really a part of the Wharton program.”
A few minutes after Huntsman’s speech, Brubaker stood on the stage as a representative of the WEMBA West Class Gift Committee to present an oversized check to Dean Patrick Harker for more than $100,000 from a record 88 percent of his class. “On behalf of the future generations of students that will benefit for years to come from your generosity, I thank you,” Harker said.
While this moment in San Francisco was a personal one for Brubaker, Huntsman, Harker and those present, in a broader sense, it also was a celebration of the confluence of forces that came together in the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the Wharton School — or of any other business school. The Wharton West program, which didn’t exist when the campaign started seven years ago, is just one of many ways that the School has been transformed through Wharton’s Campaign for Sustained Leadership. The $445 million raised in the campaign was the result of alumni giving back, students reaching forward, and entrepreneurial ideas, such as Wharton West, becoming a reality. In this report, we look at some of the transformations that have taken place — where we have come, what these new resources have allowed us to do, and the opportunities we can now see from the broad windows of the eighth floor of Jon M. Huntsman Hall.
A Watershed Moment
When the campaign started seven years ago, there was no Wharton West, no Huntsman Hall, no global alliance with INSEAD, and there were more limited teaching and research programs in key areas such as bio-sciences, entrepreneurship and retailing. While buildings, programs, professorships and scholarships are the most tangible legacy of the capital campaign, its impact was deeper than can be represented in statistics of donors or dollars.
“A good campaign raises a lot of money; a great campaign transforms an institution,” said Steven Oliveira, Associate Dean for External Affairs. “The Campaign for Sustained Leadership has transformed Wharton. This campaign succeeded because of the broad participation of the whole community, with gifts large and small. It was this level of grassroots enthusiasm and energy that allowed Wharton to ‘defy gravity’ by raising the most funds in its history during one of the most challenging economic periods in recent memory. This momentum across the entire community was so great that we raised $15 million during the last 10 days of the campaign alone – with only two gifts above $1 million – illustrating that every gift, no matter the size, counts. This was a watershed moment for the School.”
The participation of more than 23,000 alumni in the campaign also represents the strengthening of one of the largest and broadest alumni networks in the world. Some 86 percent of faculty contributed to the campaign and a record 98 percent of the second-year MBA class gave nearly half a million dollars for an unrestricted class gift to The Wharton Fund. “What I’m really proud about is that this was a community effort,” Harker said. “The alumni stepping forward, the students with their class gifts, and the faculty feeling so committed to the School that they gave back. That is the most heartwarming part of this campaign – how the entire community came together and made this a success.”
The Wharton World Tour
The story of the success of the capital campaign is not centered in Philadelphia or San Francisco. The story is everywhere there are Wharton graduates and programs, which is to say, everywhere in the world. The ubiquity and strength of the Wharton community was demonstrated in a whirlwind road tour by Dean Harker in a series of 50 Wharton Connect events on four continents. It was an intense pace that might have exhausted the most veteran musician, but it left Harker and many alumni feeling energized and increased contributions from these regions.
In Chicago, Harker was struck by alumnus John Thompson, WG’67, who spent the entire day traveling by train to attend one of the first Connect events. “That was replayed in city after city, people coming and wanting to reconnect to a school that changed their lives,” Harker said. “We need their commitment. They are the ambassadors of the School. The way they live their lives, the way they talk about the School – that is the story of the School.”
“It was a big event for alumni,” said Marc Wolpow, W’80, founder and co-CEO of Audax Group, who sponsored and spoke at the Connect event in Boston. “It was the first time we came together in any significant way in downtown Boston.”
Clearly, the Connect events increased the visibility and pride in the School among alumni. “In city after city, we’d see people look at each other at these events and say, ‘I didn’t know you went to Wharton,'” Harker said. “There were next-door neighbors who went to the events and didn’t know they had both gone to Wharton. It may be a bit obnoxious to drop the Wharton name in the first five minutes of a conversation, but you should mention it in the first five years.”
Wolpow, also a graduate of Harvard, said the successful capital campaign has raised the School’s visibility and strength. “The School has positioned itself and acknowledged that it can compete on an international and national level with Harvard and Stanford and doesn’t have to take a second seat. This is driven by the fact that Wharton alumni have been successful financially and willing to give back to the School.”
“Obviously, Wharton is a great institution with great leadership. For any institution, the only way to stay great is through the involvement of its alumni,” said Randall J. Weisenburger, WG’87, executive vice president and CFO of Omnicom Group, Inc., and a member of the Overseers Board. “All of our reputations are tied to the School, and the School’s reputation is tied to ours. Let’s make Wharton as strong as it can be.”
A Chance Meeting At the Hardware Store
The roots of the success of the Campaign for Sustained Leadership run deep and stretch across decades. In the mid-1970s, Morris Nunes, C’70, W’70, walked into a Hechinger’s hardware store in Fairfax, Virginia, drawn by a newspaper circular to purchase a bookcase. “My wife and I had just bought a house and were looking for some furnishings,” Nunes recalled. “We had trouble finding this bookshelf and looked for some help. There was a young kid there named Phil Darivoff. I was impressed with him. This was someone who had something on the ball.”
Nunes struck up a conversation with Darivoff, who was working there part-time as a senior in high school. Nunes, who was on the alumni admissions committee for Northern Virginia, asked the teenager where he was going to college and then urged him to apply to Wharton.
“I owe a great deal to Penn and also to Wharton,” said Nunes who practices business law in Falls Church, Virginia, and teaches in the MBA program at Georgetown and at the Catholic University Law School. “I have very strong feelings about the School. I’ve recommended Wharton to a number of students over the years.”
But never again in a hardware store, and perhaps never with such an unexpectedly dramatic effect on his listener.
Prior to meeting Nunes, Darivoff had never heard of Wharton. He had never read The Wall Street Journal. But after that chance encounter, he applied to Wharton, and, again by chance, showed up for an interview with, of all people, Nunes. Darivoff was admitted, completed his undergraduate degree at Wharton in 1979 and went on to earn his MBA in 1985. He joined Goldman Sachs & Company after graduation and rose to become a partner and a managing director.
“Meeting Maury Nunes changed the direction of my life,” said Darivoff, W’79, WG’85. “Maury was thrilled I was applying to Wharton, and he was excited to begin my business education right away. The meeting changed the rest of my life. At Wharton I met my wife, and I also met friends, now life long friends, who helped guide my career at Goldman Sachs. The family I love and the career success I have enjoyed were made possible by my experience at Wharton. I feel I have an enormous obligation to the School.”
While he hasn’t discovered any potential students in a local hardware store, Darivoff does continue to encourage rising young employees at Goldman to consider a Wharton MBA. He has been active in recruiting for Goldman at Wharton and Penn, and serves on the Wharton Graduate Executive Board. He was one of the organizers of a corporate campaign among Goldman alumni that raised funds for a classroom in the new Huntsman Hall, and he and his wife, Betsy Marks Darivoff, C’79, also contributed funds from a family foundation to create a study room in honor of his grandfather, along with an endowed professorship, and they contribute annually to The Wharton Fund. “There are many ways to contribute to Wharton,” he said. “If you cannot contribute financially, you can contribute intellectually or with your time. Maury Nunes gave his time and energy to Wharton in a way that changed the course of my own life.”
An Education Cannot Be Confiscated
When the Sandinista National Liberation Front took control in Nicaragua in 1979, the very successful coffee business started by Jose Antonio Baltodano’s father all but disappeared in sweeping nationalization. But there was one thing they couldn’t take away. “My father always told us that a first-class education could not be confiscated,” said Baltodano, W’73. Baltodano went to New York where he applied his experience and Wharton education to establish the Mercon Coffee Corp., which became one of the world’s leading suppliers of green coffee to the international coffee roasting industry, with offices in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe. “A Wharton education gives you international connections, the ability to learn from your mistakes, and flexibility in analyzing different aspects not only of business but of a changing world. That is part of the reason we wanted to give something back to Wharton.”
Baltodano’s grandfather earned his medical degree at Penn in 1893, his father earned his Wharton undergraduate degree in 1939, and his brothers also are alumni – Duilio J., W’70, and Alejandro, W’77. A member of the Latin America Board, Baltodano and family members helped spearhead a campaign to create a scholarship fund for Latin American students, which has swelled to over a quarter of a million dollars in pledges with a goal of reaching $1 million. The fund has already helped support two students from Honduras.
Baltodano also co-chaired the 4th Annual Regional Alumni Meeting in Miami in June 2003. It was one of the largest alumni gatherings in the region, with almost 200 participants, evidence of rising interest and enthusiasm for the School over the span of the campaign. “The change has been remarkable,” he said. “I notice a lot more alumni being involved in the School. We were able to bring in alumni from almost every single country in Latin America.”
The connections for Baltodano and his family continue to be personal. In September 2003, Baltodano was back on campus with his daughter, who is considering applying to the Wharton undergraduate program. He was impressed by the improvements on campus. “I feel very proud to be associated with an institution like Wharton that is providing such a first-class education,” he said.
Howard Marks, W’67, Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, LLC, in Los Angeles, evokes a distinctively Philadelphian image to describe the challenges that the Wharton School has tackled in sustaining its success through the capital campaign. Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky Balboa, dancing with raised fists on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, is a celebration of the rise of a dedicated underdog to national champion. It is an inspiring story, but as anyone who has seen the sequels can attest, sustaining that greatness is a much harder challenge.
“When you are an underdog, you can make a ‘Rocky’ kind of move and come from behind,” said Marks. “But when you are successful, staying successful for ten years is a great accomplishment, although it may not grab as much attention. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment for Wharton of the past ten years is the steadiness of the excellence.”
While the challenges of sustaining leadership continue, the School is now well positioned for the future. “Wharton’s biggest problem five or ten years ago was its physical plant,” Marks said. “Conducting the campaign and getting the building built to such incredible standards was a real milestone over the past ten years. Wharton has surged to the front ranks of business and has achieved great recognition and has stayed there through the ups and the downs.”
A View from the Top
In early September 2003, a distinguished group of more than 100 CEOs and other participants gathered on the top floor of Huntsman Hall for a CEO Leadership Forum on “Profiting from Uncertainty.” During the day-long event co-sponsored by BusinessWeek and Siebel Systems, participants considered economic, technological, political and other forces that are transforming the business environment. University President Judith Rodin, who opened the event, stood at a high-tech podium that is an example of Wharton’s relentless commitment to innovation in all areas.
“This is an incredible building,” Rodin said at the start of her remarks. “It is the first building on Penn’s campus that was built entirely with private philanthropy. We in the University are extremely grateful to our donors, and it continues to demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit of the Wharton School.”
Looking out east through the floor-to-ceiling windows on the eighth floor of Huntsman Hall presents an unexpected view of the campus. The silvery atrium roof of Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall rises next to the tops of the trees of Locust Walk, where students walk unseen along the paterned brickways below. In contrast to the insular feel of the tree-lined walkways or inward-looking Wharton quad, this view looks out to the world, past the skyscrapers of the Philadelphia skyline.
Looking west, from the other side of the building, a light rain falls as cars scuttle along Walnut Street. Past the looming Grad Tower, the city fades into mist. The view from the top of Huntsman Hall is expansive. Wharton is in a position to see further and to do more than it has ever done before.
“The campaign has enabled us to continue to fulfill our mission: to create the future business leaders of the world, with outstanding facilities, faculty, student support – not only to reach out to the world but to enable the world to come to Wharton and study,” said Dean Harker. “One of the great things we accomplished in the campaign, beyond the financial support, is reconnecting to our alumni around the world and getting them involved in the life of the School. That has been the most rewarding part of the campaign, seeing city by city the alumni getting reenergized and reconnected.”
While the capital campaign started with a $350 million goal to “sustain” Wharton’s leadership, it became something more. To stay ahead Wharton needs to keep moving forward, and Wharton has a commitment to transformation. “It started as a campaign for sustained leadership, but it is truly a campaign for transformational leadership,” Harker said, noting that even after the campaign Wharton’s resources are still smaller than its peers. “We continue to be innovative with the use of our resources. We did not get to the position we are in today by outspending people. We did it by being entrepreneurial – but you do need some capital to support the great ideas.”
These days, the eighth floor of Huntsman Hall is filled with constant activity, as alumni celebrate reunions or corporate leaders and top thinkers meet to better understand emerging business challenges. Like the successful capital campaign itself, this new building is not a resting place but a launching pad. “When you are a leader, the only way you stay a leader is to continue to innovate and differentiate yourself,” Dean Harker said. “What this campaign has allowed us to do is to continue to distinguish ourselves. That is where the resources of the campaign are so important.”
Transforming Lives: Appreciating the Past, Investing in the Future
The campaign created 29 new endowed MBA scholarships and fellowships, and 145 endowed undergraduate scholarships, in addition to term scholarships,creating opportunities to transform the lives of hundreds of students every year for generations to come.
Robert M. Levy, WG’74, came right to Wharton after completing his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt. “At the time I was interested in broadening my education and skills. I had a passion for investment management, the business where I work today,” said Levy, chairman and CIO of Chicago investment management firm Harris Associates. As a student, he taught evening school classes for community members and volunteered in a community education program to help small, minority-owned businesses develop business plans. His business success provided him an opportunity to support other students like himself and make a lasting contribution to the School when he and his wife, Diane, established the Diane vS. and Robert M. Levy Fellowship. The fellowship is designated for students with less than three years’ work experience or women or under-represented minorities.
“My loyalties and involvement in Wharton accelerated over the years,” said Levy who serves on Wharton’s Board of Overseers. “I developed a deeper appreciation for the School. I recognized that my road to success began with Wharton, and I owed it to the School to help current students.”
The fellowship has supported the aspirations of five members of the Class of 2004. “I felt so lucky to get into Wharton and even more lucky to receive this fellowship,” said Mitzi Reaugh, WG’04. Reaugh decided to go back to business school after just three years of working in marketing for several Internet startups,an experience that may not have given her stock options to retire on but did make her recognize the value of a business education. “Having worked at a few startups, I could see that even with money, there are a lot of strategic and business decisions to be made,” she said.”I knew my success in the future would probably be helped with a more formal business education.” While she is planning to work initially in strategy consulting,she still has an eventual goal to start her own company. “This fellowship has made such a difference in my experience, and I am very grateful,” she said.
Levy is impressed by the current students and the progress of the School. “One of the things that strikes me is that there is much more of an interest today in the Wharton community,” he said. “When I went there,it was a more individualized program, but the cohort system and increased attention to alumni have built up a lot more strength about what the Wharton community means.”
Transforming Research and Teaching: Promoting Intellectual Entrepreneurship
The campaign established five new research centers and programs, and these initiatives are generating new knowledge in key business disciplines and developing innovative approaches to education.
The most interesting challenges in business often arrive when companies have the fewest resources to address them. At a time when breakthroughs such as the Internet, biosciences and other emerging technologies were presenting opportunities to transform business, the companies that might be most interested in these areas were struggling with environments of turbulent change. While retailing is crucial to the economy and offers key insights for marketing research, it is often underexplored. During the campaign, several key gifts positioned Wharton for leadership in understanding key business issues and applying new technology and approaches to learning.
Biosciences Crossroads Initiative: Mack Center
While it is clear that biosciences will have a major impact on business and the world, the exact course of that impact is much less clear.”The biosciences are going to have a transformative impact on diverse industries,” said George Day, Director of the William and Phyllis Mack Center for Technological Innovation and Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor. “Everyone is seeing it as a tremendous source of new opportunities, and it is also changing the business model for the pharmaceutical industry. If you listen to business leaders, they see that the future is in biosciences. This is where the next wave of dramatic breakthroughs – new therapies, diagnostics and businesses – are expected to come from. It is also an industry that is globalizing at a very rapid rate – not one of those sciences controlled by the U.S. and North America.”
Wharton is extremely well positioned to study biosciences. Since 1994,a team of faculty in the Emerging Technologies Management Research Program have been studying strategies for managing emerging technologies. Faculty members have produced many research studies and collaborated on a book, Wharton on Managing Emerging Technologies. “We are the only business school that has a schoolwide thrust focused on the management issues of emerging technologies,” Day said. The program has built a large and diverse team of faculty members with insights on emerging technology. In addition to Wharton’s own strengths in this area,the initiative draws on the Penn Medical School, one of the top research universities in the country in genomics.
While Wharton was in a strong position to explore the business issues related to biosciences and other emerging technologies, finding funding to pursue the research was a challenge. “We are dealing with technology management when the whole sector is in trouble,” Day said.
Alumnus William L. Mack, W ’61, generously contributed $10 million to create the William and Phyllis Mack Center for Technological Innovation. “It allowed us to do some investment spending in new initiatives during an unprecedented downturn in technology,” said Day. “Instead of just hanging on,we were able to push ahead and build something new.” In addition to the new Biosciences Crossroads initiative, Wharton also launched the foremost academic conference on technology management,attracting 80 scholars from around the world.
This type of investment is critical to building and sustaining intellectual leadership.”The real leaders in industry and in universities are those that continue investment spending during a down- turn while the rest of industry is retrenching,” Day said. “This has given us the depth of resources to keep growing.”
As a successful leader in the retailing industry, Jay H. Baker, W’56, wanted to give something back to both the industry and the School. Baker, current director and former president of Kohl’s Department Stores, and his wife, Patty, gave $10 million to establish the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative to promote research and education in retailing and encourage students to enter retail careers.The gift was in addition to a major gift to create the Patty and Jay H.Baker Forum, the structural heart of the new Huntsman Hall, and to provide financial aid to undergraduates.
“It is a vibrant industry that represents a big chunk of the economy,” said Stephen Hoch, John J. Pomerantz Professor of Marketing and director of the new retailing intiative. “It is also very dynamic. From the point of view of marketing,operations management and other areas, retailing is a place that is important in developing knowledge. It is its own complex little microcosm that can be a focal point and laboratory for research.It is easy to experiment. There is a lot of data and it is easy to observe what is going on.”
The initiative, which is designed to cultivate future leaders of the retailing industry, also provides great opportunities for education. “Everyone is shopping,” Hoch said. “It is highly observable, so there are a lot of good pedagogical aspects to it.” By understanding retail, there may be important insights for other areas as well. “If you look at successful retailers today, they have been able to achieve huge productivity gains.” Hoch said.
After years of distributing Harvard case studies in Wharton classrooms, the Wharton logo is now appearing on computer screens in classrooms around the world, as Wharton’s new computer-based tools for research and education are being disseminated world wide. The advance of Wharton knowledge began with the Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) business research platform, which puts more than 1.5 terabytes of business data at the fingertips of business researchers. This Wharton innovation is now used by more than 20,000 faculty members at leading business schools around the world through licensing agreements.
The Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab, founded in 2001 through a $10-million campaign gift from Alfred P. West, Jr., WG’66,is now driving the development of innovative applications of technology to education. A software licensing agreement with Pearson Addison Wesley,announced in early 2003, will allow access to diverse experiential-based learning methodologies created at the lab, carrying the Wharton name and reputation for innovation farther out into the world. Among the products of the learning lab are 15 software simulations,including a real-time securities trading environment, an airline price simulation,and an online equities trading simulation using real-time market data.
The investment in the learning lab continues West’s commitment to promoting educational innovation at Wharton.The entrepreneurial founder of SEI Investments,Inc., established the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at Wharton more than a decade ago. The Center, the first think tank on the future of management education, has been a catalyst for curricular innovation at Wharton,including the fundamental redesign of the MBA and undergraduate curricula in the 1990s.
The simulators developed in the West Learning Lab are an important addition to lectures, case method and other educational approaches. “At first, computing was seen as a way for teachers or students to be somewhere they are not through video conferencing,” said Gerard McCartney, chief information officer and associate dean of computer and information technology (WCIT) at the Wharton School. “Now,we see that simulators, properly designed, can be a whole new way of experiencing education.” He recalled a Wall Street manager watching students play a trading game who commented about how much the simulation reveals about the attitudes of traders. “He said the difference between a good trader and bad trader is ego. Bad traders have big egos and hold onto stocks as the price falls. That is what the simulator reveals. It is not about intelligence or where you went to school. It shows you something about yourself. This is going to add another method to the portfolio of education.”
“Seed Funding” for Wharton’s Entrepreneurial Programs
Robert Goergen, WG’62, had already accepted an offer from Harvard’s MBA program, and even picked out his room, when he received a letter from Wharton. The offer came in “over the transom” for an IBM fellowship for full tuition to Wharton. From a family of modest means and the first to complete college, Goergen accepted Wharton’s offer, gave up his room in Boston and moved to Philadelphia. He’s never looked back. Wharton’s seed funding in the “start-up” of Goergen’s career produced tremendous returns. He went on to found Blyth, Inc., a home-expressions company that began as a small candle maker and has grown into a firm with $1.5 billion in sales in candles and home fragrances. In 1997, Goergen came back to Wharton to give a $10-million gift for Wharton’s entrepreneurial programs, renamed the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program,and created an endowed professorship in entrepreneurship.At a dinner to celebrate the gift, he calculated that the fellowship he had received from Wharton two decades earlier had produced a return of something like 36 percent per year for twenty years. “It was a fairly high rate of return,” he said.
It is not just gratitude for his education and his outstanding teachers that brought Goergen back to Wharton. It is also a commitment to both education and entrepreneurship,which he sees have the power to transform individual lives and society. “I think only in America can someone with no role models, through very good education and inde- pendence and aggressiveness and naiveté make a tremendous amount of money,” he said. “I got there by putting one foot in front of another. Entrepreneurs are responsible for employment growth, new ideas, and new products and concepts. That is what keeps a country like America strong.”
The campaign called upon the entrepreneurial spirit that is a central part of Wharton’s tradition and character. Goergen remembers a pre-campaign meeting with former Dean Thomas Gerrity and a small group of executives in New York City. Gerrity reviewed the many areas needing funding such as endowment and facilities where Wharton lagged behind Harvard and other peers. “I said we shouldn’t emphasize our deficits,” Goergen recalled. “We need to raise money to stay at the forefront. At the start of the campaign, Wharton had something of an inferiority complex, but now the School has risen to the top of its field.”
Goergen admires Wharton’s continued willingness to experiment to stay ahead. With Wharton West, The Alliance with INSEAD and many other projects, Wharton “has a lot of things going on right now, but that is healthy,” Goergen said. “We are living in a very dynamic world. Since we have very capable leadership and faculty, we want them to experiment and think through the possibilities.”
Transforming Geography: Expanding Wharton’s Global Vision
The campaign supported initiatives including Wharton West and the Alliance with INSEAD, which have expanded the geographic reach of Wharton’s education and research.
On August 2, 2002, David Pottruck, C’70, WG’72, president and CEO of Charles Schwab made the first simultaneous address to the WEMBA leadership class of Mike Useem, The William and Jacalyn Egan Professor and professor of management, in both San Francisco and Philadelphia. The first Internet-based videoconference between the two campuses took Pottruck back to Philadelphia without going more than a few blocks from his company’s headquarters near the Bay Bridge.
“It is a little unusual,with the camera in front of you and the students at your back, so it is very much a theater in the round,” he recalled. “To see their faces you have to turn your back to them. But I enjoyed the opportunity to reach a broader group of students. I had fun with it, and I always enjoy lecturing to Wharton students. They ask such penetrating questions.”
The creation of Wharton West has had a tremendous impact on the School and the region. “Wharton West is fantastic,” Pottruck said. “It has absolutely shaken up the entire business school community on the West Coast.”
The capital campaign positions Wharton well for the future.”We have momentum and visibility,” Pottruck said.”While we should never underestimate the strength of resources of some of our competitors, we now have greater flexibility and opportunity. We are blessed to be in a good position to move forward.”
Although Wharton had international students in its first class, it averages 33 percent international students in its current MBA classes. During the capital campaign the School expanded its geographic reach and strengthened its position around the world. In addition to Wharton West, the School established an alliance for research and education with INSEAD, with campuses in France and Singapore, and encouraged alumni activities around the globe.
“Our role is the same as it has been since 1881 – to serve global business needs and really understand where global business is going,” said Dean Harker. “That has been our mission since the beginning. We foster global outreach and bring that perspective back to campus to train the next generation of people who have to go out there and lead.”
Transforming Giving: A Community United
Every part of the Wharton community contributed to the success of the campaign – including current students, faculty and alumni. They spurred one another to greater commitments through challenge grants and record levels of participation, increasing the momentum of the campaign and the School.
Beth Wade Nelson, WG’82, personally presented her challenge grant for the WEMBA class gift to students in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Nelson, a former music major who started as a secretary in a New York securities firm and worked her way up to become partner at Neuberger & Berman LLC, had commuted to WEMBA classes with about 30 classmates in Vance Hall two decades before. This experience gave her a heart-felt appreciation for the “incredible” facilities at Wharton West and the new Huntsman Hall in Philadelphia.
She discussed her career and told students about the importance of giving back, a message she herself heard from former General Electric CEO Reginald Jones, W’39, many years before. Jones, who had served as a University Trustee and Wharton Overseer, stressed the importance of board members making a significant contribution to the School, and Nelson never forgot it. “I have always felt a great deal of gratitude to the Wharton School,” Nelson said. “Wharton filled in the holes in my background, and I took a much riskier job directly as a result of going to Wharton. I would not have taken that risk if I had not gone to Wharton.”
Beyond the gratitude, there are also the “selfish” motivations for the campaign gift from Nelson and her husband Gary Glynn, WG’70, which included a major gift for a classroom in Huntsman Hall. “Those of us who already have degrees from Wharton need to protect the franchise,” she said. “We need facilities that are world class and the School needs financial support. Wharton has historically done more with less,while Harvard and Stanford are much better endowed. Wharton just can’t rest now. We have to take the next step.”
The MBA Class of 2003 achieved unprecedented levels for both participation and giving in their second-year class gift campaign. In a challenging economic time, when many students were still seeking jobs at the time of the campaign, a phenomenal 98 percent of the Class of 2003 contributed a record $470,539 to The Wharton Fund. “We gave because we know the impact that Wharton is going to have on the rest of our lives, in good economic times and bad,” wrote co-chairs Corinne Chao, WG’03 and Katie Mensch, WG’03, in a letter thanking the class.
Wharton faculty also made an unprecedented commitment to the campaign, with 86 percent of faculty contributing more than $725,000 to the campaign. “Wharton faculty members feel very proud of their institution and want to support it,” said William Hamilton, WG’64, Ralph Landau Professor of Management and Technology and director of the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program, who chaired a committee of faculty from different departments who organized the faculty gift campaign. “The most common comment I received when I’d ask someone was that it was an honor to be asked to serve and to contribute personally. The contributions were more than we expected. The faculty feel very strongly about the School.”
Dean Harker explains why the faculty and class giving campaigns were so transformational. “These gifts did not come in million-or even hundred-thousand-dollar increments, yet their impact was unprecedented. The graduating classes and the faculty have raised the bar for the Wharton community and set a standard for participation.”
Transforming Knowledge: Endowed Professorships Recognize Academic Excellence
The Campaign for Sustained Leadership created 26 new endowed professorships, helping Wharton attract and retain leading professors in key business disciplines.
Susan Wachter, a pioneering researcher in real estate economics and housing affordability, helped establish and build Wharton’s world-class real estate department with colleagues Peter Linneman and Joseph Gyourko.The department is consistently recognized by its peers as the best in its field, and faculty members have achieved international recognition. Given their stellar reputation, it is no surprise that Wharton’s faculty members are attractive targets for other institutions seeking to build their own departments. Wachter herself has been sought after through an endowed professorship by another institution seeking to strengthen its own real estate department.
She is still happily at Wharton, where she was recognized earlier this year with the new Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management. “It is a great honor,” she said. “It is a validation of a life-time of work by one’s peers and also the world at large. It shows that the world of industry has faith in our work and wishes to contribute to the ongoing mission of the institution. This level of recognition is important not only to the current holder but also to those coming afterward.”
Wachter is particularly pleased to hold a professorship honoring a leader in the world of finance because Wharton’s real estate department established its reputation, in large part, through its distinctive focus in going beyond bricks and mortar to integrate financial insights into theory and practice. “That is how the department became a leader,” Wachter said. “So it is particularly meaningful to hold a chair named for an extraordinarily well respected leader in the finance industry.”