When Benjamin Franklin presented his vision for the institution that would become the University of Pennsylvania, he proposed that “true merit” in human endeavor should be viewed as “an Inclination join’d with an Ability to serve Mankind.” This quality, he argued, was instilled and expanded by education, “and should indeed be the great Aim and End of all Learning.”

At Wharton today, we hold fast to Franklin’s values. The aim and end of all our learning here—whether in the classroom, in our research centers, or in our collaborations with government and industry—is to create knowledge with consequence for the world.

Wharton’s comprehensive brand and identity initiative certainly revealed as much (see story on page 26). Rigorous research and self-analysis has unearthed a powerful, flexible theme of which we can all be proud. “Knowledge For Action” draws upon the great qualities that have always been in evidence at Wharton—rigorous research, dynamic thinking and thoughtful leadership—and catalyzes them for a powerful amplification of  our brand.

Innovation, global presence and social impact still form the foundation of all that we do at Wharton, but now with this brand communications platform, we have some exciting new ways to tell our distinguished and ongoing story.


Thomas S. Robertson
Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise