Wharton has many signature traditions. From Walnut Walk to Red & Blue Ball and more, alumni have regaled many of us with tales of their favorite memories and the lifelong friendships forged through these moments. For our class, these staples of the Wharton experience felt more mythical than real due to the pandemic. Yet after an 18-month hiatus, one of the most anticipated traditions — MBA Pub — was slated to return for the fall semester.

From the onset, Pub’s revival was anything but smooth sailing. Our event board was full of rookies, and sponsoring clubs lacked the institutional knowledge associated with holidays, fundraisers, and celebrations. Add to that the unprecedented hurricane flooding that damaged the Armory on 23rd Street days before Pub’s triumphant return, and the prospect of holding it at all looked dire.

But with support from the MBA Student Life Office and our fantastic partners (thanks especially to Dan Bonner, owner of Bonner’s Irish Pub, for his patience and resourceful suggestions), Pub finally made its long-awaited debut in September and continued every Thursday night. While some offerings were new (like a full bar and draft seltzer), most beloved aspects were the same as always. The Wharton Graduate Association invited all students to attend, the men’s and women’s rugby teams sponsored Pub to hype up Hogfest, and first- and second-years alike were ready to catch up and throw a few back after our first weeks in Huntsman.

One of the most anticipated Pubs of the fall was held in October, with Dance Studio’s preview of its Spring Showcase dances. Billed as a “fun event to catch your friends and classmates showing off their talents and get your booty shaking,” it was that and more. With 11 routines featuring 23 Wharton choreographers and Wharton Follies emcees, the stage was set for a three-hour dance fest ranging from sultry jazz numbers to Bollywood fusion to funk. Dance Studio co-president Shivina Mittal WG22 summed it up best: “After a virtual year, Pub helped us bring in-person Dance Studio back with a bang. We doubled our member count and got people hyped about our showcase.” That night also kicked off Halloween weekend — special shout-out to the Lauder group who came dressed as superheroes. It was the perfect atmosphere in which to demonstrate how important Pub is to Wharton.

Ultimately, our goal is to build a space where peers can come together, celebrate our classmates, unwind from the week, and create new memories and friendships. Pub has been a highlight of the MBA experience for years, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to continue this vital tradition and connect our present to the past and future Wharton communities.


Published as “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of  Wharton Magazine.