Alumni Exec Board Update: Blur Lines Between Alum & Student

It has been an honor to serve as chair of your Wharton Alumni Executive Board for these past two years. This is my final letter to you as I confidently pass the role to Bruce D. Schulman WG99, who has been a strong board president and my friend. We will be in good hands under his leadership.

Not long ago, Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett spent time sharing Wharton’s business strategy with students in the Management 101 classes. As I read about his return to the classroom to interact with these students, still early in the Wharton Undergraduate Program, I was inspired by his example. I was reminded that none of us should ever stray too far from the classroom, regardless of the years since graduation or the level of success we have achieved. We are most effective when we commit to lifelong curiosity and education and when we actively share our experiences, talents and insights. In doing so, the lines that separate “student” and “alumnus” blur. Dean Garrett has a bold vision for Wharton that will help position current students for the global business environment. It also positions alumni, more than 94,000 strong throughout the world, to lead as globalization and technology open up important opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship and create meaningful value for economies and people throughout the world.

Wharton programs are helping change the rules. They are requiring that we challenge conventional thought and methods of operation. That is particularly exciting for Wharton alumni because we have access to unique and vast resources to help us shape businesses, governments and institutions in ways that are truly effective and meaningful, whatever our profession. We will have the greatest impact if each of us participates and engages fully. In reading the Daily Pennsylvanian, I came across a Wharton undergrad quoted as saying, “It is because of [our] alums that Wharton is the best business school.” Alumni are, of course, not the only reason, but we are very important contributors to the School’s continued leadership during a time in which technology is advancing and change is occurring at unparalleled rates.

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Let us stay connected and support Wharton’s strategic plan and the Penn Compact 2020’s focus on “Inclusion, Innovation and Impact.” They position our alma mater—and each of us—for continued success. I encourage you to “blur” the lines and be an alumnus who faithfully acts as a lifelong student—engaging, learning and sharing with Wharton.

L. David Mounts WG04

Chairman, Wharton Alumni Executive Board

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