Goergen Gift Establishes Entrepreneurial Management Program

Robert B. Goergen, WG’62, chairman and CEO of Blyth Industries, a leading manufacturer of candles, candle accessories and home fragrance products, has donated $10 million to create the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program. The gift, among the largest to support an entrepreneurial program at a U.S. business school, will endow the Goergen Program, building on the School’s longstanding commitment to the teaching and study of entrepreneurship.

The gift establishes a Robert B. Goergen Professorship and will sponsor Goergen Fellowships for faculty to teach new courses needed to meet growing demand. A worldwide search will be conducted for a program director.

Goergen is a highly successful entrepreneur in his own right, transforming Blyth Industries from a regional $3 million manufacturer of grocery store and religious candles into a company that designs, manufactures and markets candles internationally. Blyth Industries, with revenues of $500 million in 1996, employs 2,200 at the parent company and two subsidiaries, Candle Corporation of America and Party Lite Gifts.

Before building Blyth Industries, Goergen held management positions at a number of leading organizations including McCann-Erickson, McKinsey & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

“Wharton provided me with many of the tools and skills responsible for my business track record,” says Goergen. “Moreover, I’m a strong supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit in America, which creates business growth and increases employment and prosperity. Given Wharton’s unrivaled reputation in fostering this spirit, the gift is intended to help the School prepare the next generation of business leaders by adding depth and breadth to its entrepreneurial management faculty.”

Among the five-year goals of the program:

–          Increase faculty leadership by increasing the number of junior faculty and supporting tenure-track development; growing standing faculty to strengthen the identity of the entrepreneurial group with the School; and attracting more visiting scholars from abroad.

–          Enhance curricular leadership by significantly increasing course offerings to include such topics as acquiring businesses, commercializing new technologies, venture capital and managing rapid growth; and serving as a bridge for student business acquisition information.

–          Expand international programming through increased visiting scholar programs, student exchanges and the establishment of entrepreneurial programs in developing countries.

–          Expand doctoral initiatives and teacher development.

Goergen’s gift supports Wharton’s strategic plan to sustain its leadership position in key areas, including entrepreneurship, and is part of Penn’s “Agenda for Excellence.”

Record Increases for Admissions

The number of applicants to Wharton’s MBA program increased 1.8 percent this year, from 7,329 in 1996 to a record 7,461 in 1997.

The new record reflects several factors, notes MBA admissions director Robert J. Alig, WG’87, including strong momentum in the international pool and a strong interest among corporate recruiters in students with MBA degrees.

“Our office visited close to 20 countries around the globe last year,” notes Alig. “We are seeing more students from mainland China, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and other areas where historically we had either no applicants or very few.” At the same time, “we continue to do well in countries like Japan and India.”

Meanwhile, MBA degrees are, according to several business publications, “back in vogue,” Alig says. After a few lackluster recruiting years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, “investment banks, consulting firms, high-tech and entrepreneurial firms are all very interested in MBA students, not just here but at other schools as well.” Of those who applied to the MBA program this year, 43 percent were international (compared to 37.4 percent last year), and 22.7 percent were women (compared to 22.6 percent last year).

The average GMAT score of the application pool increased over last year, indicating that “we are not only attracting more students, but stronger students,” Alig notes. “The quality of the pool we have seen is outstanding.”

This year’s yield – the number of students who accept Wharton – is 73.0 percent, compared to 70.9 percent last year. That translates into 792 first-year students here on campus, of whom 30.6 percent are international, 27.4 percent are women, 4.8 percent are African American, 8.5 percent are Asian American, 3.8 percent are Hispanic American and 0.1 percent are Native American.

On the undergraduate level, despite a national trend showing decreasing interest in a business major, applicants to the class of 2001 totaled 3,464, 1.2 percent higher than last year. The joint-degree Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business (IS&B) showed a particularly strong increase, with 573 applicants for 40 places, a 38 percent increase over last year’s 410 applicants. Applicants for the 45 places in the joint-degree Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology totaled 499 this year, a 2.2 percent decline from last year’s 510 applicants. For the new nursing and health care management program there were 28 applicants for six places.

In the single degree program, the yield was up significantly, 74.5 percent compared to just under 70 percent in 1996.

The overall increase, notes Richard Herring, vice dean and director’s of Wharton’s undergraduate division, “reflects the exciting opportunities students find at Wharton. We have dual-degree programs, joint-degree programs and the ability to minor in subjects in the College [of Arts and Sciences]. We also have a new program with the Penn Law School in which Wharton undergraduates can get their BS and their law degree in six years. And we have revived and expanded the MBA submatriculation program as well.

“We are working against the stereotype that business education is narrow and limited … What our program offers is the ability to structure and analyze problems that have to do with organizations and society.”

The average SAT scores for all undergraduate matriculants was 1404 compared to 1400 last year. Matriculants in the IS&B and M&T program had scores of 1517 and 1483 respectively, compared to last year’s scores of 1472 and 1492.

Matriculants for the single degree program include 131 women out of the 417 total. Minority students total 188, including 126 Asians, 27 African-Americans, 6 Chicanos, 20 Latinos, 6 Puerto Ricans and 3 Native Americans.

Alumni Conferences: Reconnecting in Shanghai and Paris

New opportunities – for investments, for alignments, and for alumni networking – highlighted regional alumni conferences in Shanghai last May and in Paris last June.

The truly global nature of these forums was evident at both events:

• More than 250 alumni and guests representing 22 different countries attended the Paris conference, entitled Wharton European Forum ’97.

• The kickoff speaker in Paris was Kim Woo-Choong, founder and chairman of Korean-based Daewoo Group, who spoke about the company’s expansion into Eastern and Central Europe.

• The Dean’s Medal, the School’s highest honor, was presented in Shanghai to Wang Dao-Han, former mayor of Shanghai, chief adviser to the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and one of China’s most prominent business and government leaders.

The Asian Regional Alumni Meeting, held in Shanghai May 29-31 at the Shanghai Hilton, offered seminars on the development of stock markets in China, Shanghai’s leadership role in the Chinese economy, its partnership with Hong Kong, and the opportunities in Shanghai for strategic alliances. Guest speakers included Acting Mayor of Shanghai Chen Liangyu, a graduate of the first Wharton senior executive program taught in Shanghai in 1990, and Dean’s Medal recipient Wang Dao-Han.

In awarding the Dean’s Medal, Wharton Dean Thomas P. Gerrity cited Wang’s “service and contributions to economic advancement and world peace.” For example, as mayor of Shanghai from 1980 to 1985, “Mr. Wang created the long-range plan for the city, made Shanghai one of 14 Special Economic Development Zones in China, and gained approval for Shanghai to be the first city to utilize foreign capital.” Today, as a member of the Leading Group of Taiwan Affairs and as president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straights, “Mr. Wang will continue to be influential in guiding China’s future in the world economy,” the Dean noted.

Wang Xi, WG’67, president of the Wharton Club of Shanghai, helped to host the event’s 200 guests.

At the Wharton European Forum, held at the Automobile Club de France in Paris June 19-20, guests attended sessions on “Multimedia and Telecommunications in Europe,” “The Euro: On Target for 1999,” and “Emerging Markets of Eastern and Central Europe.” The keynote speaker was Herbert M. Allison, president of Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Alumni who were panelists during the Forum included Angel L. Corcostegui, WG’80, PhD’82, vice chairman and CEO of Banco Central Hispano; Michel Fleuriet, PhD’73, president du directoire, Merrill Lynch France; Jean-Yves Charlier, WG’91, president, International Telecommunications Services, SITA Group; David Coco, WG/SAIS’91, financial director, Hayes Wheels Autokola NH, Czech Republic; Rosalind Copisarow, WG’88, head of Fundusz Mikro in Warsaw, Poland, and Mark G. Speeckaert, AMP’92, CFO, Belgacom. Two Wharton faculty members, Richard Marston, professor of finance and director of the Weiss Center for International Financial Research, and Eric J. Johnson, professor of marketing and an organizer of the Wharton Forum on Electronic Commerce, also took part in the panel discussions.

“These alumni gatherings in Europe and Asia are extraordinary, high-impact events that are an important part of the School’s global outreach activities,” says Gerrity. “For our alumni around the world, they provide a unique opportunity to focus on the critical business issues of their regions and also to reconnect with each other and the School.”

The Class of W’01: An Enterprising Group

This year’s class of incoming freshmen – members of W’01 – includes the following:

• The founder of a nonprofit company, Adopt-A-Bike Foundation, which rehabs donated bicycles and gives them as holiday gifts to area children

• The founder/president of an investment club who invests on the NYSE and worked as a marketing intern at Merrill Lynch

• One of Malaysia’s top chess players and a participant in international chess olympiads

• The founder of a golf program for inner-city kids.

Also on campus this fall is Michael Billings, one of 20 African-American high school students selected nationwide as a Ron Brown Scholar. The award, which honors the U.S. Secretary of Commerce who died last year in a plane crash in Croatia, provides recipients with a four-year $40,000 grant.

Billing’s credentials are impressive. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the Mayor’s Youth Community Service Council, the varsity baseball and basketball teams at Rowland Hall-St. Marks high school in Salt Lake City and associate editor of the school newspaper.

“I wrote one column on how the Utah Jazz wouldn’t get very far in the playoffs. (They went pretty far.) I wrote another on Jackie Robinson and the 50th anniversary of major league baseball’s integration. And I wrote a third on the school’s decision to eliminate the honors diploma,” notes Billings. “My point was that the honors diploma wasn’t really too full of honor because you could get it just by taking one more credit. Most of the class was graduating with the diploma, so it had no real meaning.”

Billings was born in Salt Lake City and raised by his great grandmother. When she passed away during his eighth grade year, he asked a friend if he could move in with his family. Another friend’s father helped get him a scholarship at Rowland Hall-St. Marks.

He found mentors at Rowland Hall, including the school pastor. “He gave me a perspective that had to do with living life to its fullest and not worrying about materialistic goals.”

During the summer of 1996 Billings went to the University of Arizona at Tucson to attend the LEAD program – an intensive month-long business course offered to talented minority students at 10 U.S. business schools, including Wharton. “That helped me see what undergraduate business school would be like,” says Billings, who was accepted at Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Duke in addition to Wharton. “I came here because the curriculum is broad enough that you can use what you learn in any field that you decide to enter.”

New Faculty Join Wharton This Fall

Teck H. Ho, who earned his PhD in operations and information management at Wharton, has returned here this fall as an associate professor of marketing.

He has taught most recently at UCLA and before that was a lecturer at the National University of Singapore where he received degrees in electrical engineering and computer and information sciences.

Ho’s research looks at group decision making and competition, specifically in such areas as new product development, market entry and exit, and cross cultural negotiations.

Ho joins 15 other new faculty members at Wharton. They include:

ACCOUNTING: Assistant professors Marguerite Bishop, (assistant professor, NYU Stern School of Business), Wayne Guay (PhD, University of Rochester) and Philip Stocken (PhD, Penn State University)
FINANCE: Assistant professors Michael Brandt (PhD, University of Chicago), William Dupor (PhD, University of Chicago), Christopher Geczy, (PhD, University of Chicago), Joao Gomes (PhD, University of Rochester), Patrik Sandas (PhD, Carnegie Mellon University) and Amir Yaron (assistant professor of economics and finance, Carnegie Mellon)
HEALTH CARE MANAGEMENT: Assistant professor Sean Nicholson (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
LEGAL STUDIES: Assistant professor Edward Swaine (associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton; research fellow, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium)
MARKETING: Assistant professor Christophe Van den Bulte (PhD, Penn State)
PUBLIC POLICY AND MANAGEMENT: Associate professor Joel Waldfogel (associate professor, economics, Yale University)
REAL ESTATE: Assistant professor Todd Sinai (PhD, MIT)
STATISTICS: Assistant professor Jianhua Huang (PhD, UC Berkeley)

Campus News

–       Wharton and the Pew Charitable Trusts have launched a new program designed to improve the management of cultural institutions in the Philadelphia region.
The program, funded by a three-year $1.4 million grant from Pew, offers local arts groups an array of courses, workshops and lectures focusing on fundraising, finance, marketing and professional development. The technical assistance is provided at no cost to participating groups.
Wharton and Pew will also jointly administer a $350,000 Innovation Fund offering grantees one-time support for entrepreneurial efforts, collaborative ventures or reorientation of services.

–       A new major – in technological innovation – designed to educate technological entrepreneurs and future leaders of technology-based companies is now available to MBA students, either as a stand-alone major in the MBA program or as part of a dual degree program with the School of Engineering and Applied Science (MBA/MSE).
Requirements for the stand-alone major include “Managing the Innovation Process,” “Innovation, Change and Entrepreneurial Management” and “Technology Policy.”

–       The Aresty Institute of Executive Education is offering a program aimed at administrators and faculty of colleges and universities. Led by management professor Peter Cappelli, the four-day course focuses on organizational change, decision making and leadership.
Participating teams, from such institutions as Cornell, Middlebury, the University of Connecticut and Arizona State, among others, have already tackled projects ranging from introducing a new computer system and revising curricula to changing a school-wide budget system.

–       Wharton’s Emerging Technologies Management Program co-sponsored two workshops during the past year:
The first, entitled “Managing Uncertainty Through Scenario Thinking,” included participants from McKinsey & Co., AT&T Universal Card Services and Merck & Co. in addition to Wharton researchers. The workshop was part of the School’s initiative to identify and develop best practices and competitive strategies for firms competing in emerging technologies.
The second workshop, “Alliances in Transition: Progress, Problems, Prospects,” examined current practice in developing and managing individual alliances and networks of alliances.
Participants included Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, SAP Inc., Corning Inc., and Chrysler Corp. Both workshops were co-sponsored by the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management.

–       A $500,000 gift establishing a program to examine diversity in the workplace has been given to Wharton by Pitney Bowes. The donation – the first and largest of its kind awarded to a business school – creates the George Harvey Program in Redefining Diversity in honor of George Harvey, W’54, former chairman, president and CEO of Pitney Bowes.
The program will support research to examine a variety of perspectives on diversity and its importance to today’s employees, managers, customers, stakeholders and society as a whole.
Harvey, who retired from Pitney Bowes in 1996, is a member of Wharton’s Board of Overseers.

In Memoriam: William J. Brennan, W’28

A JUSTICE FOR ALL: Retired Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, W’28, a judicial activist and staunch civil libertarian, died at age 91 on July 24, 1997.

In a tenure that spanned nearly 34 years, Justice Brennan wrote landmark opinions enforcing desegregation of schools, upholding affirmative action plans for minority groups, protecting freedom of the press and striking down state aid to religious schools. He opposed the death penalty and supported a woman’s right to an abortion as outlined in Roe v. Wade. In all, he participated in more than 1,200 opinions.

During an interview with the Wharton Alumni Magazine shortly before his retirement from the court in 1990, Brennan noted at one point: “There should be an appreciation that ours is a self-governing society. How terribly important it is that able people help run it.”