Photos by Christopher Winterfeldt
In 2001 The Wharton School committed its resources to an expansion of its programming through a West Coast campus located in San Francisco. That commitment has been matched by the loyal cohort of Wharton West and regional graduates who showed up in November to reconnect and celebrate the School at a reunion and Benjamin Franklin Society Event.
A Reunion to Remember
On November 4-5. 2006, Wharton West alumni from the MBA classes of 2003 through 2007 gathered at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Dean Patrick Harker, Howie Kaufold, Director of the Wharton MBA Program for Executives, and Mori Taheripour, WG’03, welcomed the alumni, students, and guests to the celebration. Joining in the festivities were professors Ziv Katalan, John Percival, Eric Bradlow, Kenneth L. Shropshire, Chris Geczy, and school administrators.
The exceptional turnout was a major factor in the excitement and energy that prevailed throughout the evening, with 299 guests at the gala. WG’03, the first Wharton West graduating class, was represented by 51% of its graduates, while the 2005 and 2007 came in close behind, with 47% and 46% respectively.
Alumni and students came from as far as Shanghai (Alex Chan, WG’03) and New York and all points in between. Laura Calaway, WG’03, said, “All I kept thinking the next day was why after only four hours, the lights came on so early and it was time to go home—there were still so many people for me to say hello to and catch up with. I’m really glad I had the chance to see so many of my classmates.”
The reunion celebration continued the next morning with the family brunch at Le Meridien Hotel. Alumni and students recapped the previous evening and made plans to connect while the children were entertained with a clown, face painting, and balloon making.
Honoring Friends of the School
Two days earlier on November 3, Le Meridien was the site of another Wharton event. For the first time ever, Benjamin Franklin Society donors were honored on the West Coast. The event recognized some of the School’s most loyal supporters by bringing Wharton to them.
In addition to the opportunity for guests to “talk Wharton,” Dean Patrick T. Harker shared his unique vision of Wharton’s direction in this 125th anniversary year. Keynote speaker Professor Ken Shropshire, the David W. Hauck Professor; Professor of Legal Studies and Business, discussed his work as the director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, a research and executive education focused “think tank” that works with athletes and team owners alike.
The Benjamin Franklin Society level supporters are some of the School’s more loyal and generous supporters. A similar event for the East Coast will be held in 2007. For more information about becoming a member of the Benjamin Franklin Society please visit www.wharton.upenn.edu/development/wf_leadership.html#bfs.