In these letters, you’ve seen my vision for Wharton evolve over the past several years. My thoughts on the School have been profoundly shaped by my time spent talking with and listening to alumni across the world as well as with our faculty, students, and staff. Together, we’ve sharpened our understanding of what Wharton stands for—historically and in the future—and championed the positive role of business schools in incubating ideas, turning them into results that matter, and expanding opportunities for everyone to succeed.
Now is the perfect time to bring our shared vision for the School into clear, actionable focus. I’m delighted to announce the public launch of a campaign that will enable us to do just that—More Than Ever: Wharton.
I believe strongly in Wharton’s core value proposition: We turn great ideas into results that matter. In alignment with the University’s Power of Penn campaign, we all want a future in which Wharton will become as synonymous with innovation, analytical decision making, entrepreneurship, and global leadership as we are with Wall Street.
Our focus is on the challenges of increasing economic growth, spreading its benefits more broadly, and integrating the worlds of business and technology to chart the path to prosperity for people all around the world in the 21st century.
Increasing rates of return is not only a challenge for the finance industry; it is also a social imperative, needed to sustain pensions and health care around the globe. The power of insights drawn from analyzing big data is not only quickly becoming an integral part of the undergraduate and MBA curriculums; it is also driving better decision making and creating better leaders in the world beyond Wharton. We cultivate an entrepreneurial ecosystem at Penn and beyond that will help us all do more with less—the definition of innovation and arguably the world’s greatest challenge. And Wharton ignites the diverse leadership talent that will nurture better performance across all of these fields. Financial aid and graduate fellowships make a Wharton education, with hands-on experiential learning complementing our world-leading research, accessible to the best and brightest.
Two flagship capital projects will provide new homes for this intensified activity. A state-of-the-art academic building will stand alongside Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and the Mack Pavilion, with a striking shape defined by Woodland Walk, to bring together Wharton’s cutting-edge research in business analytics and innovative learning and teaching spaces. We will also open a Venture Lab to serve as a magnetic and dynamic “start here” button for all Penn students interested in founding and scaling their own startups.
I am proud to be rolling up my sleeves to turn our shared aspirations into reality alongside campaign co-chairs Marc Rowan W84 WG85 and Jamie Dinan W81 and the whole campaign cabinet. But the heights we are able to reach will also rely on you—your partnership, your support, and your engagement with Wharton.
I encourage you to join us as we do what Wharton has always done best—turn vision into action for a better world.
Geoffrey Garrett is Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Published as “More than Ever” in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Wharton Magazine.