25th Anniversary Tribute

More than 700 business school students, professionals and community activists from across the country attended the 25th annual Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Conference, whose theme this year was “Building on the Vision: Linking Our Community to the Global Economy.”

Those in attendance were the first to learn of a $1 million gift pledged by the African-American MBA Association (AAMBAA), in the form of money to be raised from alumni and current students over a five-year period. The donations will be used primarily to support Wharton’s new academic building scheduled for ground-breaking this spring. A small portion of the gift will be directed to the Houston A. Baker, Sr. fellowship. Baker, WG’37, was one of the school’s first African-American alumni.

The conference, held Jan. 15-16, was also the occasion for conference organizers to announce a $5,000 gift to the school in honor of Dean Thomas P. Gerrity. “We wanted to show our appreciation for what he has done not only for Wharton but to help the African-American MBA community as well,” says Brian Ellerson, WG’99, vice president of AAMBAA and a member of the executive board of the Whitney Young conference.

At the conference, Gerrity “noted that we are the only student organization to pledge money to the new building, a reflection of our commitment to the school,” adds Ellerson.

In its 25-year history, the conference has created the Whitney M. Young, Jr. endowed chair for an African-American professor at Wharton, and has helped minority businesses through donations to the West Philadelphia Enterprise Center, among other initiatives.

M&T Program Marks Its 20th

On Friday, May 14th, 1999, alumni from all over the globe are invited to campus to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology.

Twenty years ago, the undergraduate management and technology program was created to meet the need for top quality professionals with both the technical and managerial skills necessary to operate in a complex business environment. It was the first business and engineering dual-degree program in the nation, and today remains the best program of its kind.

The reunion, to which all M&T alumni and their spouses are invited, will start in the engineering school with an address by William Hamilton, WG’64, and Joseph Bordogna, the first directors of M&T, who will talk about the origin and evolution of the program.

The event will include two panel discussions — a morning session on the impact of the Internet on business and an afternoon session on the evolution of entrepreneurial businesses. Alumni panelists will share their experiences with the different stages of entrepreneurial ventures, from securing start-up capital and commercializing products to managing growth and planning an exit. Lunch will be at the Faculty Club.

The program will conclude with a cocktail reception in the Stock Exchange area of Steinberg-Dietrich Hall.

“With all the great successes that have been achieved by M&T alumni, the event should be exciting on both professional and social levels,” notes M&T anniversary plan-ning committee member David Meyer, W’91, founder of software developer Lysias, publisher of Know The Neighborhood. Other M&T alumni involved in planning the celebration include Doug Alexander, W’83, who runs the venture capital fund Internet Capital Group; Philip Sugar, W’90, founder of several software companies, the latest of which produces software to track customer relations and develop affinity programs; Alan Cook, W’95, who recently started eWitness, a company that develops digital video appliances and Internet services for the security industry; Ed Glickman, W’78, CFO of the Pennsylvania REIT; David Simms, W’79, president of Palladian Travel, the in-house vacation planning service at MBNA America; Rob Weber, W’82, president of Weber Associates, an investment and strategic marketing firm, and lecturer at the Wharton School; Bob Pringle, W’83, founder of InteliHealth media company, a joint venture between Aetna and Johns Hopkins University Hospital; Mary O’Hagin, W’95, a consultant with Arthur Andersen, and Jackie Giacobbe, associate director of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology.

Undergrads Abroad: New Venues for Business Education

Undergrads Abroad: New Venues for Business Education Opportunities for Wharton undergraduates to study business abroad were significantly expanded in February with the approval of four new student exchange programs.

Agreements have been reached with Oxford University in England, Chinese University in Hong Kong, San Andrés University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

Exchange programs for undergraduates are already offered in Milan, Tokyo and Hong Kong; two living/language immersion programs are offered in Lyon, France and Madrid, Spain.

These study-abroad options allow Wharton students to combine foreign language and culture courses with business courses that satisfy Wharton’s degree requirements. Students who take part in one of these programs are therefore able to graduate from Wharton on time.

Between 15 and 20 percent of each junior class studies abroad. Opportunities for additional exchange programs are being studied.

There’s Something About…The Follies

Dramatis personae: Andi DX-850, an android terminatress from the future; Tank Hill, a Texan football jock; Lisa Con-chita Alonza, Puerto Rican firecracker and software programming wizard; Steve Brown, a calm, caring, nurturing first-year male (obviously a work of fiction); Timmy, a spunky submatric; Dr. Evil, bald dean of Stanvard (a merged Harvard and Stanford), prone to evil plots and misvaluations; and Thomas P. Gerrity, Dean, the Wharton School.

Plot: Dr. Evil sends android Andi back to the past, disguised as an MBA student, to destroy Wharton so that Stanvard can be number one. All that stands between Dr. Evil and success are: Andi’s unexpected attraction to a fellow classmate; Vance Hall, whose legendary hot and cold spells make it immune to a scheme aimed at sabotaging its thermostats; a computer program that refuses to malfunction (talk about fiction); and Dean Gerrity, whose clever negotiating with the enemy wins the day AND gives the Follies its title: “There’s Some-thing About Gerrity.”

This rollicking production, put on by a team of more than 200 MBA students, includes a video of Jeremy Siegel predict-ing stock market fluctuations based on hemlines and high boots, a scene from the Titanic, rap music, opera, a spoof on “Saving Private Ryan,” and the usual attacks on recruiting, computing, reprographics and reprehensible male MBAs. As always, music says it all. A few excerpts:

Give Us Jobs Please (to the tune of “We Beseech Thee” from Godspell)

Consulting! For thee we travel most
Marketing! We’ll work for Kraft or Post
Banking! Wall Street or we are toast
Industry please, hire us!
Healthcare! HMOs are the key
Real Estate! The next Trump we may be
Anything! We need to be loan free
We’ll do anything, hire us!

All we need is jobs
After we graduate
All we need is jobs
Loan payments can’t be late
All we need is jobs
Bonuses would be great
We beseech thee, hire us!

1999 (to the tune of “1999” by Prince)

It all started with the Ruble
And then the Yen began to fall
Hedge funds took a beating
Then the IMF received a call
The traders started screaming
The markets tumbled everywhere
Told my boss about the long run
But no one really seemed to care…

When we first arrived at Wharton
It seemed the boom would never end
Volatility can be your foe as well as
your friend
Emerging market meltdown, which
currency will be the next?
I’ve got my money in a
mattress, baseball cards
and travelers

“There’s Something About Gerrity” (to the tune of “There’s Something About Mary”)

We try to keep from grieving
Now that his time is done,
All the people tell us,
Other deans will come
It’s all just a part of the cosmic process
But there’s something about Gerrity
that they don’t know
Gerrity, there’s just something about

Live, From Wharton: The Latin American Conference

Ricardo Hausmann, chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank, keynoted the 8th annual Latin American Conference Feb. 19 in Philadelphia. The conference, whose theme was “Weathering the Global Storm,” was broadcast live to Latin America via Galaxy Latin America’s DirecTV.

Three panels at the conference discussed issues relating to future development of the region: Latin American Financial Markets; Building the Foundations for Growth; and Media, the Internet and Entrepreneurship.

Among the guest participants were: Rosario Buendia, director, structured finance, Standard & Poor’s; Jonathan Kelly, director of emerging markets research, Fidelity Investments, and Liliana Rojas-Suarez, chief economist Latin America, Deutsche Bank.

Also participating were Jim Bannantine, president, Enron Latin America; Roberto Monti, CEO, YPF Sociedad Anonima; Antonio Purón, director, chief energy practice, McKinsey Mexico; Fernando Espuelas, CEO, Starmedia; Alejandro Soberón Kuri, president and CEO, Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento; Francisco Gros, chairman, Morgan Stanley Latin America, and Christina Carvalho Pinto, president, Full Jazz Advertising.

The conference, which was organized entirely by Wharton graduate students, drew more than 400 people.

New Director at CD&P

Robert F. Bonner, associate director of Career Development & Placement since 1994, has been named to CD&P’s top position.

As director, Bonner oversees a staff of 20 employees whose mission is to provide comprehensive career management services to MBA students and alumni. CD&P also assists corporations with recruiting.

Under Bonner’s direction, the CD&P staff has already achieved the highest placement rate and highest student data collection totals in the school’s history. Bonner expanded student workshops from 4 to more than 35 offerings annually, and has presented career workshops to alumni worldwide.

He has also managed the transition from paper to electronic resume submission for the Student Resume Book, initiated online collection and dissemination of student job experiences, and is part of a team managing the redevelopment of a web page serving students, alumni and employers.

Prior to joining Wharton, Bonner worked for Berkeley Associates, a training and outplacement firm, and in career services at Westchester University.

He replaces Andrew M. Adams, who left for a position in private industry.

Allies in Finance

More than 30 instructors from 11 historically black colleges spent a day in New York last January learning how deals are done, how stock is traded, how the Federal Reserve Board works, and what opportunities exist for minorities in the banking industry.

It was part of a three-day seminar on campus, called the Management Education Alliance, aimed at helping instructors from black colleges improve their teaching credentials and finance curricula, and by extension, better prepare minority graduates for a career in business.

“We shared information on course selection, text books, technology, research agendas, teaching skills and so forth,” says Anthony M. Santomero, Richard K. Mellon professor of finance and director of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center, who helped organize and direct the program at Wharton.

The day in New York included several presentations at Merrill Lynch and a speaker from Goldman Sachs in addition to a visit to the New York Stock Exchange. At Wharton, finance professors and business professionals offered sessions on investing, financial markets, international finance, financial research issues, core finance skills and recruitment, among other topics.

Participants in the conference came from such universities as Howard, Tuskegee, Hampton, North Carolina A & T State, Florida International, Jackson State and Clark Atlanta.