It’s been a time of celebration on campus since last spring, when the University of Pennsylvania launched its $4.1 billion fund-raising campaign and Wharton announced we would raise $850 million in our More Than Ever campaign. Since then, the extraordinary generosity and enthusiasm of our alumni have emboldened us to raise our aspirations even higher, to a new $1 billion goal that will transform the School.
One thing I love about our campaign is that it gives each of you, our nearly 100,000 alumni, the opportunity to express your own passions, to weigh in on what matters to you—from redefining the cutting edge in research and teaching to the quality of our campus and the support we give our students—and to make a gift that will shape the future of Wharton.
For Marc Rowan W84 WG85, his priority was investing in the excellence of Wharton’s faculty. Marc, who chairs Wharton’s Board of Overseers and co-chairs our campaign, has committed the largest single gift ever to Wharton; it will empower us to attract and retain outstanding faculty as well as to continue our leadership role in analysis of the U.S. budget. Over the next few years, we will recruit three Rowan Distinguished Professors who are not only global leaders in their fields, but who also build bridges between academia and business. In addition, we will appoint a select number of Rowan Fellows to recognize and support the most distinguished members of the Wharton faculty.
Others have made leadership commitments to ensure that our campus befits a global best-in-class business school for the 21st century. I’d like to highlight four of these core capital projects.
Following a wonderful leadership naming gift through the AKO Foundation at the recommendation of Wharton Overseer Nicolai Tangen W92, the new Tangen Hall, at the corner of 40th and Sansom streets, will house Venture Lab, the “start here” button for budding Penn student entrepreneurs. Tangen Hall will feature a state-of-the-art maker lab with 3-D printers and laser cutters, a test kitchen, a retail “pop-up” store, and space for student startups and networking events. Nicolai also graciously extended his history of giving to undergraduate student scholarship with a new gift dedicated to international Penn students.
The Lauder family has doubled down on its longstanding commitment to nurturing future global business leaders through a gift from the Honorable Ronald S. Lauder W65 to renovate and rename the Lauder Institute building, which houses our innovative joint degree program integrating our MBA with an International Studies MA.
An extraordinary naming gift will support the construction of the Wharton Academic Research Building on the south side of Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall. It will provide two floors of cutting-edge learning and teaching spaces as well as house the Wharton Statistics Department and support new activities in business analytics. Construction is under way, with plans to open the building in the fall of 2020.
We also look ahead to a major renovation of neighboring Vance Hall that will return the building to the academic core of the School, housing two academic departments as well as student-facing activities.
These projects are giant steps forward on one of the highest priorities for our campaign. I anticipate sharing more exciting announcements with you in future issues of Wharton Magazine. You’ll hear about how we are incubating innovative ideas, powering game-changing insights, and investing in the people and places changing Wharton—and changing the world. Together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.
Geoffrey Garrett is Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Published as “A Bold Leap Forward” in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Wharton Magazine.