$10 Million Donated to Real Estate Center

Samuel Zell, Chicago financier and chairman of Equity Group Investments Inc., has donated $10 million to endow the Wharton Real Estate Center, the country’s foremost center for real estate education and research.

The Center will be known as the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton. Robert Lurie, who died in 1990, was Zell’s business partner for 30 years.

Zell is widely recognized as one of the real estate industry’s most successful investors. He founded the largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Equity Office Properties Trust, to consolidate his office property business, and is also chairman of the largest apartment REIT, Equity Residential Properties.

Equity Office Properties Trust owns more than 110 office properties and 16 stand-alone parking garages in cities across the country. Zell also has extensive non-real estate holdings, including Jacor, one of the largest radio station groups in the country, a major supermarket chain and a steamship line.

Zell’s gift will enable Wharton to “further advance its leading role in the policy debate on real estate issues and to impact significantly the future of the industry,” says Wharton Dean Thomas P. Gerrity. “Zell’s contribution allows Wharton to continue to set the standard for leading-edge research and high-impact publishing.”

Established in 1983, the Wharton Real Estate Center was created to foster excellence in real estate education and research, and to advance the professionalization of the real estate industry.

“The Center will stand as a tribute to Sam Zell’s vision, dedication and commitment to the real estate industry,” notes Peter Linneman, Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and director of the Real Estate Center.

The Center also assists in developing the curriculum for Wharton’s Real Estate Program, which has been ranked best in the country for the past seven years.

“There is an enormous need to continue to study and professionalize the real estate industry as we move into the next millennium,” says Zell. “Wharton’s Real Estate Center is the leader in studying critical issues affecting our real estate. I am delighted to have the opportunity to help the Center continue its commitment to the industry, and make the best even better.”

Thouron Scholars to Study in England

The two very distinct paths chosen by seniors John Bishop and Michael Gober during their years at Wharton converged this spring with their selection as Thouron Scholars.

The prestigious Thouron exchange program, established in 1960 by Sir John Thouron and the late Lady Thouron, provides fellowships for students from both countries. U.S. recipients of the award attend graduate school in England and earn the equivalent of a master’s degree at a U.S. university.

Bishop grew up on a farm in Berryville, Ark., “population 3,000 and the biggest town around.” He attended the University of Notre Dame in his freshman and sophomore year where he made Dean’s list and played varsity football before transferring to Wharton as a junior.

“I came here for both academic and athletic reasons,” says Bishop, and in both areas he has clearly excelled. He was elected captain of the Penn football team for the 1997 season and was a member of the Dean’s List and the Sphinx Senior Honor Society. He spent the most recent two summers interning for a brokerage house and a software retailer.

Bishop, who graduated in December, plans to study philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, with the short-term goal of working on Wall Street and a possible long term goal of pursuing a PhD in finance or economics.

Michael Gober was born in Toronto and grew up in Long Island where he attended Hebrew Academy High School in Cedarhurst. He is a dual-degree student, earning both a BA in English from the college and a BS with concentrations in finance and operations and information management (OPIM) from Wharton. He has spent this past semester writing his senior thesis on Sir Walter Scott and doing independent research at Wharton on the European Central Bank’s monetary policy.

Gober participates in the Program for Awareness and Cultural Education (PACE), a student-run organization that leads workshops on multicultural issues such as gender and race. He landed a role earlier this year in the Hillel theater group’s “Conversations With My Father” and founded an intercollegiate academic journal on the Internet.

“I am interested in international business, but my long term goal is to get involved in international policy and decision-making,” says Gober, who plans to attend the London School of Economics.

What he has liked best about Wharton, Gober adds, “is the students’ commitment to success and achievement. I think it’s unusual, and I understand that this unusualness is perceived both on campus and by the corporate world at large.”

In addition to covering tuition, room and board for two years, the Thouron award grants students sufficient funds to travel and experience British culture firsthand.

Coincidentally, the newly named principal of the London Business School is a former Thouron scholar who came to Wharton from England. John Quelch, WG’74, a native of London, has spent the last 20 years as a marketing professor at Harvard Business School where he is considered a world authority on global brands. He takes over the leadership of LBS in July.

Undergraduate Business School Set for Singapore

Wharton and the Singapore Institute of Management signed an agreement this winter to create a professional school of management, business and finance in Singapore.

Wharton will guide the development of a four-year undergraduate business program leading to a bachelor’s degree in management beginning in the year 2000. The Institute will form the nucleus of a new private university, Singapore Management University (SMU), which will award graduate as well as undergraduate degrees. The first class is expected to graduate in 2005.

Singapore officials enlisted Wharton’s guidance after touring top-ranked business schools in both the United States and Europe.

“This partnership will shape the next generation of business leaders for one of the world’s fastest growing economies,” notes Richard Herring, vice-dean and director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division.

Wharton will provide expertise in school administration, curriculum and course design, teaching methods and research infrastructure for the new institution over five years. In addition, the agreement will allow for the exchange of faculty and postdoctoral fellows and for the development of joint research programs in Philadelphia and Singapore. The Singapore government will support the university by providing land and grants.

The partnership expands Wharton’s presence in Asia where the School already sponsors ongoing executive education programs for executives in Japan, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. Last November, Wharton signed an agreement with the People’s Republic of China to provide management training for Chinese government officials.

In Memoriam: Donald Carroll

Donald C. Carroll, dean of Wharton from 1972 to 1983, died on Feb. 24, 1998. He was 67.

During his tenure here, the School made significant progress in the areas of interdisciplinary programs and inter-school degrees, international outreach and executive education. In addition, a new wing was added to Dietrich Hall to create Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, and the planning of the Steinberg Conference Center was initiated.

A Sloan Fellow, Ford Fellow and member of Phi Beta Kappa and other honorary societies, Carroll earned master’s and PhD degrees in management from MIT.

“Dean Carroll leaves a legacy of outstanding leadership and commitment to this community, and he will be remembered as a great scholar, wonderful colleague and a dear friend,” notes Wharton Dean Thomas P. Gerrity.

Christmas in April Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary

With the rehabilitation of 40 houses this month in west and north Philadelphia, Christmas in April of Philadelphia (CIAP) celebrates its tenth anniversary. The program’s impact to date has been enormous:

Since 1988, 8,400 volunteers have donated 59,760 hours to renovate 240 houses belonging to low-income, elderly and disabled families. The services provided by these volunteers are worth an estimated $7.2 million.

CIAP, founded by Wharton students and University of Pennsylvania physical plant workers, is one of 181 independent affiliates of Christmas in April*USA. All work is performed without charge to the homeowners, and roughly 95 percent of the labor is volunteer. One of CIAP’s priorities for the future, however, is to hire an executive director to support the volunteer labor force and run the program year-round.

The 40 homes selected for renovation this month were referred to CIAP by churches, synagogues, community organizations, service groups and by self-referral. Hundreds of houses in Philadelphia, which has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, are screened each year by CIAP members.

John Long, WG’98, who is responsible for managing the renovations of 26 homes in west Philadelphia, notes that April 18 is the culmination of work that has been going on for months. In September the organization’s fundraising committee started the process of soliciting approximately $130,000 from corporations and individuals. In January, Long initiated organized management teams — 26 groups of anywhere from 5 to 10 students, each in charge of a house — responsible for writing work plans and submitting detailed lists of the materials needed for each renovation.

And in mid-March, close to 1,500 volunteers began spending weekends working on the individual homes, with the last of the work being completed on April 18. “At the end of the day you can look back and see that you have done something tangible,” notes Long, who built his own home in 1995 while working as an engineer for International Paper in Mobile, Ala., and plans to join McKinsey & Co.’s Dallas office after graduation. His wife, Kris Long, is co-executive director of the program.

“Most of the volunteers have no construction experience,” Long adds. “They learn as they go. But the difference in the house between when the volunteers arrive and when they leave is significant.”

Contributions to Christmas in April, which are tax-deductible, can be sent to the organization at P.O. Box 42752, Philadelphia, PA 19101-2752.

Summer Internships: Extending the Wharton Network

“We have the brightest and most talented students in the world,” says Sue Kauffman DePuyt, director of student services and administration in the Wharton Undergraduate Division. “We want to make sure our alumni think of them for summer internships.”

To ensure that they do, Wharton’s undergraduate division and the University’s Career Planning and Placement Service (CPPS) recently stepped up their efforts to place undergraduates in summer jobs sponsored by Wharton alumni. Both this year and last, for example, Richard J. Herring, vice dean of the Undergraduate Division, and Beverly Hamilton-Chandler, CPPS associate director, sent more than 500 letters to alumni five and ten years out of Wharton to encourage their participation in the internship effort. Members of the Wharton Undergraduate Executive Board as well as board members of the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business were also asked to consider Wharton students for summer jobs in their companies.

“We are trying to extend the Wharton network that is already in place,” notes DePuyt. For students, she says, it’s an opportunity to experience the business world firsthand, get a “pre-career” look at specific functions and industries, and build personal skills in independent and teamwork situations. “Sometimes students even change their career plans based on what they experience during the summer.”

Companies that hire the interns find that these students bring fresh perspectives to group projects; provide staff support in accounting, finance, marketing, operations or management information systems; establish relationships for potential full-time hiring, and increase the company’s visibility at Wharton. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” says DePuyt.

“We are especially hoping to get internships for freshmen and sophomores,” notes Hamilton-Chandler, in part as a way for students to “determine which careers and environments they want to pursue. The more opportunities they can have to put their skills to work, and confirm their goals and interests, the better.”

Jill Botwick, W’98, spent last summer as a marketing intern at Rite Aid Corp. in Harrisburg, Pa., where she had the opportunity to work with Beth Kaplan, W’80, WG’81, executive vice president, marketing. “It was a chance to put what I have learned at Wharton to the test,” says Botwick, who plans to work in brand management for a packaged goods firm. “I did competitive analysis of the company’s advertising, helped plan promotional activities nationwide and tracked some of the couponing activities. A lot of times, just sitting in a meeting and listening to Beth was a tremendous educational experience.”

Failing FAP Fuels Follies ’98

Plot (a term used loosely): A group of second-year MBA students who have failed FAP (Field Application Project) has been given one last chance by Dean Gerrity to graduate. Their assignment? To create a promotional film extolling the virtues of Wharton.

On their way there, these five feckless students dissect the best and worst of Wharton in the 22nd annual Wharton Follies titled Hey! Get Your Hands Outta My Vance!

Taking it on the chin are the dating scene (surprise surprise), the admissions department answering machine, the course auction system, the workload, the Wharton Wildmen hockey team, poets, the ethics committee, clubs, Vance Hall, students who think they aced job interviews, Philadelphia (average departure time after finishing final classes: 7.622 seconds) and so much more. Along the way faculty members Bruce Allen, Franklin Allen and Anjani Jain show up in the oddest places.

Then there’s an American Gladiators skit on grade non-disclosure and “Put Your Pencils Down,” a song modeled after “We Are the World,” that flogs exam-taking students who keep writing after time is called.

Below are excerpts from a few particularly eloquent songs:

“I Just Can’t Do Everything”
(to the tune of “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” from The Lion King)

When you got to Wharton boy,
You thought you’d be a star
You’d DS all your classes
You were gonna raise the bar
You’re joining up for every club
An officer you’ll be
You’ll run the WGA
And work for BCG
But b-schools got a bit more of a sting!
Oh, we just can’t do everything!

First we’ve got classes
Then we’ve got recruiting
I’m barely getting passes
And this is like my 10th ding!

I ran to be a cohort rep
I run a business too
I’m on three quality circles
And the follies cast and crew
We’ve left the hardest classes for the spring!
Well, we just can’t do everything!

“Finance 601” (to the tune of “The confrontation” from Les Miserables)

Should I spend my signing check right away
And purchase anything that comes my way
A new Nintendo, Harley bike
Everything I see I like
What value is it having all this dough
If all today’s consumption I forgo …
I won’t make my decision rash
I want to maximize this cash
And have my assets earn and grow
And build a vast portfolio
To invest? Or to save?
“A miser or a spender be
Just maximize your NPV”
That’s what I learned
In Finance 601!

“Put Your Pencils Down” (a Follies original)

When time is called
Put your pencils down
It affects us all
It brings us down
And future generations
will be watchin’ what we do today
When time is called put your pencils down
I know that you’ve heard
That Wharton’s a community
And your classmates are your closest friends
That makes it worse you see
It’s your closest family
That’s betraying you with just their pens
If they don’t stop on time
Remember it’s a crime
Just turn ‘em in, on this we all depend.

A Dramatic Approach to Wharton

During her sophomore year, Daina Richie, W’98, was asked by a friend to read a poem during a play staged by Penn’s African-American Arts Alliance. “After reading the poem, I was asked to do some backstage work, and then I was asked to produce ‘A Soldier’s Play,’” says Richie. “Apparently I showed some leadership qualities because I was elected president of the group.”

For someone who had no background, or interest, in theater until she came to Wharton, Richie has clearly found what she feels will be a lifelong passion. “I consider theater a lost art,” she says. “With all the other media around — television, movies, music videos — it doesn’t get as much exposure as it should. I would like to keep theater alive as an art form, especially in the black community.”

Richie has served as president of the group in both her junior and senior years. She has also helped to produce “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf” and interned last summer with a small nonprofit theater company in Philadelphia. Her area of expertise is stage lighting.

Working in theater “has been one of the most practical experiences I’ve had,” notes Richie, who grew up in Philadelphia and attended Masterman High School. “It has allowed me to understand how funding works, how to interact with a huge administration and how to deal with people, including peers and friends.”

The African-American Arts Alliance was founded in 1991 and produced its first play, “Fences,” in 1993. Before then, Richie says, there was no particular demand for African theater on campus.

When she graduates in May, Richie’s goal is to join a small company, either in management consulting or marketing, without completely giving up her interest in the performing arts. “Working full-time in the theater,” she says, “isn’t going to pay off my student loans.”