The Club Scene
The MBA Marketing Club sponsors Marketing Mania, an annual all-day event near campus which matches up 35 marketing companies with more than 500 interested MBA students.
The Wharton India Club is currently preparing for its second Wharton India Economic Forum which last year brought together 100 companies and close to 200 students for a day-long conference titled “India, Opportunity of the 21st Century.”
The Wharton Cigar Club, started in 1995 to “further the knowledge and enjoyment of cigars,” now has more than 100 dues-paying members for whom club officers have negotiated discounts at a local cigar shop and free subscriptions to Cigar Aficionado.
The energy and ingenuity of Wharton’s MBA students allows career-focused mainstays — including, for example, the Investment Management Club, Asia Capital Markets Club, Sports Management Club and Consulting Club — to flourish alongside such newer socially-driven entrants as the Ballroom Dancing Club, The Whartones and the Home Beer Brewing Club.
Culturally-oriented clubs, like the Wharton Latin American Students Association, Korean Club, Emerging Economies Club and African-American MBA Club, reflect the diversity of Wharton’s student body while those interested in community service can sign on with Say Yes to Education, Wharton Students Helping the Homeless or the Buddy Program.
Meanwhile, for the physically active, there are climbing, scuba diving, ice hockey, roadrunning, rowing, rugby and ultimate frisbee clubs.
And that’s only the beginning. At last count, the Wharton Graduate Association (WGA) — the student-run body that provides clubs with financial and managerial assistance — sponsors 30 professional clubs, 20 athletic clubs, 14 social clubs and 16 cultural affairs clubs, plus another 20 that don’t fit into those categories (the Ethics Club, a Mac Users Group and the Orientation Club, to name a few). Notes Dan Kelsey, WG’97, “Students here often remark that in an environment which encourages leadership, it is fitting that almost everyone can be president of something at Wharton.”
All you really need, besides WGA approval, is an agenda. Marketing club co-president Jeanne Ehrenkranz, WG’97, for example, wants to “increase the awareness of Wharton’s marketing strengths in the face of its dominant reputation as the premier finance school,” she says. The club encourages students to pursue marketing careers by providing employer information, assisting with on-campus corporate presentations and helping students with resumes and mock interviews.
Cigar club founder and co-president Jamie Wilmsen obviously has a different agenda — not only “furthering the knowledge and enjoyment of cigars” but also “strengthening the alumni network,” by, for example, sponsoring alumni events to “reinforce Wharton as an important aspect in peoples’ lives after they graduate.”
India Club president Irma Goyal, WG’97, is driven by a desire “to teach future business leaders about the potential which India can offer from a business standpoint, but also to offer non-Indians a chance to learn through fun, non-threatening cultural events.”
“Many students are involved in more than one club,” notes Kelsey, who is a member of the cigar club, consulting club, cycling club and marketing club. What these groups all have in common “is that they improve the on-campus experience for everyone involved.”
The WGA offers support, adds WGA president Mike Carrel, WG’96, “but student-run clubs are the true catalysts for positive change at Wharton.” (Next issue: Undergraduate Clubs) –Dan Kelsey
Executive Education, According to Liechtenstein
H.S.H. Prince Philipp, CEO and chairman of the Liechtenstein Global Trust (LGT), describes his company’s new executive education initiative as a “truly innovative and unconventional program” where participants experience 10 weeks of “rigorous mental and physical training…”
Part of that training will come from Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education, which has engaged in an unusual joint venture with LGT, a $42 billion asset management and private banking company headed by the second son of the ruling family of Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein is a small (62 square miles, 30,000 residents) principality located between Switzerland and Germany.
Prince Philipp’s idea is to create Renaissance leaders in his company through an academy which combines traditional professional education with the development of personal intelligence skills and teamwork. The program offers training to 60 senior managers during a 10-week period spread out over three years.
Wharton’s role in the academy program is to provide courses in marketing, international finance and leadership development. Three 20-member groups of LGT managers will be here on campus for two-week sessions in September, October and November. In accordance with LGT’s mandate, the visiting executives will be exposed not only to state-of-the-art business education but also to the arts and humanities. Their curriculum will include, for example, sculpture classes, a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and rowing on the Schuylkill River, according to Fran Johnston, associate director of custom program development at Aresty.
Wharton’s participation in the Academy is based in part on a recommendation from LGT executive Rolf Kaelin, who attended an Advanced Management Program at Wharton six years ago.
The Liechtenstein program, says Robert E. Mittelstaedt, Vice Dean, Executive Education, “goes beyond pure business instruction to recognize that the future of management education lies in developing the whole person.”
At three different events on campus last fall, five individuals were honored by Wharton for their dedication to the School and/or for achievement in the field of management.
– The Dean’s Medal of Honor, the School’s highest tribute, was awarded Nov. 15 by Dean Thomas P. Gerrity to Liem Sioe Liong, founder of the Indonesian-based Salim Group.
The citation accompanying the award recognized him “for a lifetime of management leadership, achievement and commitment to family, country and the pursuit of excellence.”
The Salim Group is one of Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerates, with more than 200,000 employees in divisions ranging from agribusiness and financial services to chemicals and trading and distribution.
“Mr. Liem has helped to lead the resurgence of the Indonesian economy through his leadership in private sector growth,” noted Gerrity, citing also the “exceptional role” Liem Sioe Liong has played in Indonesia’s history and “the model of business and management leadership” he has offered.
The Dean’s Medal is given to prominent individuals around the world who have made extraordinary contributions to their field.
– On Nov. 1, Slivy Edmonds Cotton, WG’79, was presented with the first Distinguished Alumna Award by Wharton Women in Business at the 17th annual Wharton Women in Business Conference. Cotton, who is the senior managing director of The Edmonds Group, a newly-formed private investment and merchant banking firm, addressed a record crowd at this year’s conference, whose theme was “Innovation and Impact — Turning Ideas into Action.”
The Distinguished Alumna Award will be given each year to an individual who has achieved professional success, shows the potential for continued career development, has demonstrated a commitment to balancing career and community involvement, and serves as a strong role model for Wharton women.
– During a ceremony on October 24, three alumni were given Distinguished Service Awards (DSA), an honor established by the Wharton Alumni Association in 1988 to recognize exemplary volunteer contributions to the School. One of those recipients was Seng Tee Lee, W’50, who received the award in 1995 but was unable to accept it in person until last fall.
Lee, who lives in Singapore, is chairman of the Lee Pineapple Company, a business that he and his brother, Seng Gee Lee, W’43, WG’44, grew into one of the giants of the Southeast Asian economy.
Lee’s donations have built Lee Terrace and Lee Garden near Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and also the Lee Library in the Steinberg Conference Center. He has contributed to renovations of the undergraduate vice dean’s suite, the Furness Building and Lippincott library, and in 1994, created a loan fund for West Philadelphia entrepreneurs to start and run their own companies.
The other 1995 DSA recipient, Craig Harding, WG’75, chairman and CEO of The Harding Group in Greenwich, Ct., received his award on campus in May 1995.
– Recipients of the 1996 Distinguished Service Awards are Jim Anchin, W’65, WG’66, and Michael Fisher, WG’74.
Anchin is the managing partner at Anchin, Block & Anchin, LLP in New York. His involvement with Wharton includes serving as a member of the Undergraduate Advisory Board and a spokesperson for the Undergraduate Admissions working group.
He is also a member of the board of directors of the Wharton Club of New York and was a volunteer on his 30th reunion gift committee. He has been a long-standing member of the Benjamin Franklin Society and last year became a member of the Joseph Wharton Club.
Fisher is one of the co-founders, and currently the managing partner, of Multi-Manager Investments AG in Zurich, Switzerland.
In 1988 Fisher became one of the charter members of the newly-formed European Advisory Board. Last year he coordinated the First Annual Wharton European Forum — titled “European Competitiveness: Dynamo or Dinosaur?” — in London. The Forum drew 200 alumni and business leaders from 19 countries in the region.
An Entrepreneurial Approach to Fisheries and Forests
– Would a state-of-the-art aquaculture facility at the Philadelphia Naval Yard generate enough jobs and revenues to justify its existence?
– How can our country’s national parks be better managed and more cost-efficient?
Students and researchers affiliated with Wharton’s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center are part of two separate teams helping to answer these questions.
The aquaculture — or commercial fish farming — project is spearheaded by Penn’s Veterinary School and funded with a $450,000 grant from the Delaware River Port Authority. Wharton’s mandate is to conduct feasibility studies for what is currently envisioned as a 5-acre facility where fish will be raised, processed and shipped out to locations in the three-state region.
The aquaculture center could serve several purposes, says Clark Callahan, director of the Wharton Small Business Development Center and a member of the project team. “One is to create a new use for the huge Philadelphia Naval Yard that would generate jobs, revenues and general economic development in the Philadelphia area.”
Another goal, says project member Patty Khuly, WG’97 and a 1995 graduate of Penn’s vet school, is to “address the depletion of the world’s fish resources caused by decades of commercial fishing and an increase in the popularity of seafood … What’s especially thrilling about this project,” Khuly adds, “is that we are working in a cutting-edge industry involving new technology,” including, for example, closed recirculation systems that allow water to be filtered, reused and adjusted for such variables as salinity, nutrition and temperature.
The project is cross-disciplinary in that it brings together business, engineering, architectural and veterinary students along with faculty, researchers and administrators.
The project team will present its feasibility studies to the Delaware Port Authority this month.
The national parks project began last fall when the Entrepreneurial Center was asked by the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, Eastern Region, to prepare strategic plans for three different parks — Valley Forge, Shenandoah National Park and the Maggie Walker House in Richmond, Va.
According to Bill Alexander, the Center’s managing director, both MBA and undergraduate students spent the fall semester researching operational issues. For example, the project team looked at ways to increase revenues from vendors, including hotels, restaurants and other auxiliary services. “I know there is a big fear that you will walk into a national park facility and find that all the trails have corporate plaques on them,” says Alexander. “We certainly don’t want that, but we do want better contract procedures in place that will maximize royalty arrangements for the parks.”
The Entrepreneurial Center team is also developing proposals for local “friends” groups to play a more significant role in fundraising by organizing community programs, nature walks, concerts and other events.
Two months ago, the federal government announced that entrance fees at many national parks will be increased, in many cases doubling, as part of a plan to raise $30-$50 million for park improvements. The fee changes will be phased in by April.
The Wharton project has enlisted the full-time help of Kate Rhoades, W’95, who spent the last two summers working in Yellowstone National Park. “I am looking at ways to supplement government funding either through private sponsorships or licensing arrangements,” she says. Rhoades has also been interviewing officials at historic Williamsburg, Va., and working with a company that surveys the attitudes and travel habits of American tourists.
Her work will be supplemented by MBA students who, as part of a required field application project during the second semester of their first year, are looking specifically at how to increase royalty streams to the National Park Service Foundation through the marketing of products — ranging from camping equipment to tee-shirts to Christmas cards — licensed by the Park Service.
Broadcasting the Network
These 10 students are members of the Wharton Undergraduate Alumni Relations Council (WUARC), founded four years ago to promote interaction between Wharton undergraduate students and alumni.
In November, WUARC members helped host Career Week during which panels of recent alumni came back to campus to talk with students about their career choices. Earlier this year, WUARC created an alumni resource guide for seniors, designed and distributed class mugs, organized lunches between students and alumni and invited alumni club representatives to meet with interested undergraduates.
“Wharton’s network was one of the things that attracted me to the School, but I didn’t know how to access it,” notes Margaret Rhee (shown in white shirt), W’97, chairperson of WUARC. “This council seemed like a great way to get involved early.”
– Samuel T. Lundquist, director of admissions and financial aid for the Graduate Division from 1992 until last summer, has been named chief of staff for Dean Thomas P. Gerrity and director of the Dean’s Office.
In this newly-created position, Lundquist becomes a member of the School’s senior management team, advising the Dean and providing assistance on special projects, including the School’s strategic plan.
Robert Alig, WG’87, senior associate director of Wharton Graduate Admissions since 1995, succeeds Lundquist in the position of director.
– Last October, 105 Students from Wharton’s Executive MBA program (WEMBA) spent five days meeting with government and business leaders in South Africa.
The International Seminar, organized every year during the final year of the two-year WEMBA program, offers students the opportunity to study and observe a particular area’s economic and business environment.
Members of this year’s graduating class chose South Africa as their destination because they felt that this country “will play a key role in the business world and in regional development,” notes Catherine Molony, associate director of WEMBA.
The students met with the deputy minister of finance for the government of the Republic of South Africa, the chief executive of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa, the CEO of South Africa Breweries along with a number of corporate representatives.
– Ernest Dale, a professor emeritus of management who was known worldwide for his writing and consulting on organizations and leadership, died in August at age 79. Dale, who earned two degrees in economics from Cambridge and a PhD in economics from Yale, came to Wharton in 1964.
He was a former president of the American Academy of Management, a leading proponent of the “Does It Work?” school of management and author of a dozen books, including the best-selling textbook Management: Theory and Practice.