Passion and Grace From the Get-Go

It is no secret on campus that most all Wharton students are extremely ambitious by nature. So it goes without saying that Wharton alumni made sure they had a big hand in the overall Making History Campaign—and not just through The Campaign for Wharton.

georgeweiss

George Weiss, W’65, recalls that Wharton alumni in particular were very gracious during the Campaign and “opened their hearts and their wallets to dear old Pennsylvania.”

“The fact that [Wharton] raised $606.8 million was great, but in fairness to Wharton, the Wharton alumni contributed a lot more than [that] to the University,” he says.

Perhaps it’s because Wharton students and alumni typically develop passion about Wharton and business at any early age, as Weiss did. He started working as a member of the AFL-CIO at age 11. One weekend while working the counter at a Kenmore coffee shop, he became friendly with a Boston University professor who frequented it. When Weiss told the professor one day he wanted to go into business, the professor told him he should go to Wharton. Weiss held onto that advice, and as a freshman at the competitive Brookline High School, he listed his first four choices for college as “Wharton, Wharton, Wharton, Wharton.”

“So what happens is … kids that want to go to Wharton, they determine that at a very early age because they’re so passionate about business, and that ties into that whole love thing,” Weiss says.

Weiss was precocious with giving back too. He got involved in interviewing prospective students in 1966, and at that time, even though he still owed $6,500 in student loans, he donated his first check to the University. 

—By Matthew Brodsky

Editor’s note: Read our some of Weiss’ fondest memories from the Campaign, along with a complete recap of the monumental fundraising event, in our featured article, “A Campaign for the Memories.” 

 

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