Jay H. Baker W56, the retired president and director of Kohl’s Corp., studied management and marketing as a student, an education that launched him into a lifetime in the retail business. He’s given back to that industry and his alma mater since—most notably when he and wife Patty established the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative in 2002, then endowed it permanently as a center in 2010. Baker continues to this day as center chairman. He’s also volunteered to serve on Wharton’s Board of Overseers and Undergraduate Executive Board.

“Not only is he a titan of the retail industry and the No. 1 champion of retail’s role in business education, he is also an inspired philanthropist committed to making positive change in the world, providing leadership and generous support to universities, hospitals, museums, performing arts groups and more, all across the country,” says Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett. “I am proud to recognize Jay’s lifetime of achievement and impact on the global business community by awarding him the Dean’s Medal.”

The School’s top honor, the Dean’s Medal was created in 1983 to recognize outstanding leaders of private enterprise, public service and academia. Wharton’s deans have selected only a very small number of individuals who, through excellence in management, have made a difference in the creation of wealth and value, and in the promotion of a peaceful and prosperous world.