The Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences and Management

Wharton’s latest interdisciplinary program, is poised to prepare undergraduates as leaders, managers, and researchers in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other life sciences. Beginning in fall 2006, the joint program of Wharton and Penn’s College of Arts & Sciences will allow students to pursue either a B.S. in Economics or a B.A. with a science major. 25 exceptional undergraduates each year will participate in a common core course, internships in both science and business, and an upper-level science research project.

The new program was funded by a $3 million gift from emeritus trustee Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, C’50, H’99, former CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck and Co., and his wife Diana. The program will be directed by Wharton’s Mark Pauly, Bendheim Professor and Professor of Health Care Systems, Business and Public Policy, Insurance and Risk Management, and Economics, and Philip Rea, Professor of Biology in Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences.

New Undergraduate Concentration in Retailing

In November 2005, Wharton announced a new undergraduate secondary concentration in retailing. The new concentration will meet the demands of students and employers for deeper foundation for successful careers in retail. Undergraduate enrollment in the “Principles of Retailing” course has nearly doubled since the 1990s, necessitating the creation of a second section in 2004, bringing an annual enrollment in the course to over 90 students per year. And in the past two years, two clubs have been formed with a focus on the retail and fashion industries, each with over 70 members.

The new curriculum will be offered to Wharton undergraduate students and will be administered by the School’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative, which was established in 2003 through a $10-million gift from Patty and Jay H. Baker.

Wharton Undergraduates Win Rhodes, Marshall Fellowships

Thanksgiving celebrations started early for two Wharton undergrads who won prestigious fellowships shortly before the holiday break. Brett Shaheen, W’06, C’06, was announced as one of 32 American Rhodes scholars, who receive scholarships to Oxford University, while the Huntsman Program’s Aziza Zakhidova, W’06, C’06, received a Marshall scholarship for study at a British university. Both are interested in pursuing the study of economies of developing nations and impoverished communities.

Undergraduate Division Sponsors First Sophomore Reorientation

The Wharton Undergraduate Division held the first-ever “Sophomore Reorientation,” an innovative, spirited initiative aimed at helping Wharton sophomores prepare for the year ahead. The program was conceived and designed by the Wharton Council, the Dean’s Advisory Board, and the Undergraduate office as an effort to provide incoming sophomores with some of the “tools” they need to succeed, with a particular focus on the academic aspects of the year ahead.

“We wanted to do something to support the sophomores because like most sophomores across the country, our students experience a significant amount of stress and anxiety during their sophomore year,” says Beth Hagovsky, director of student life for the Wharton Undergraduate Division. “An indirect benefit of the program was creating a sense of community among the sophomores as they came together to listen to the panelists and talk to the faculty. They realized that they were all in this together.”

MBA Exec students Visit President and Business Leaders in India and China

Students in the MBA Program for Executives (MBA Exec) at Wharton West traveled to India September 12-16 to meet with key business and government leaders as part of an ongoing effort to learn more about the country’s growing influence in the international marketplace.

The international trip, part of the Wharton MBA Exec curriculum, provides an opportunity for students and international industry and government leaders to learn from each other about business trends in the region. Each year, the second year MBA Exec East and West Coast classes choose a location of travel as part of their MBA experience. This year’s East Coast class chose China as its destination. The West Coast class chose India for the second year in a row.

The visit kicked off in Mumbai, where students visited organizations including Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Godrej Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, McKinsey India, the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd., Qualcomm India, and Reliance Infocomm. In Bangalore, the students met with companies including Cisco, Hewlett-Packard GlobalSoft, and Infosys Technologies. In New Delhi, students met with the Confederation of Indian Industry, NASSCOM, the World Bank, and the president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam.

New Members of Wharton’s Board of Overseers

In September 2005, Wharton welcomed six new members to the Board of Overseers. Richard B. Cohen, W’74, a University of Pennsylvania parent, currently serves as chairman and CEO of C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.

Craig K. Harding, WG’75, is the chairman and CEO of The Harding Group, a private equity firm that he founded in 1984.

Beth J. Kaplan, W’80, WG’81, is the managing director of Axcel Partners, LLC. Kaplan joined the Undergraduate Board in 1995 and assumed the role of chair in 1998. Ira A. Lipman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Guardsmark, LLC, previously served on the Board of Overseers from 1991 to 2004.

Alan B. Miller, WG’60, is the chairman, president, and CEO of Universal Health Services, Inc. His previous Wharton senior leadership experience includes serving on the Graduate Executive Board from 1996 until 2004.

Kenneth D. Moelis, W’81, WG’81, president of UBS Investment Bank, has been a member of the Undergraduate Executive Board since 1997.

New chairs for the Undergraduate and Graduate Executive Boards.

Brian D. Finn, W’82, will serve as the new chairman for the Undergraduate Board. He replaces Beth Kaplan, who formerly held the position. Finn is the president of Credit Suisse First Boston. He has been a member of the Undergraduate Executive Board since 1999.

Dolf R. DiBiasio, WG’69, will serve as chairman for the Graduate Board. Replacing Craig Harding, DiBiasio has been a member of the Board since 1995. DiBiasio served as executive vice president for AOL/Time Warner, Inc., overseeing the global strategy and investment of the company with the specific objective of adding to the growth and strength of the enterprise. Prior to his time with AOL/Time Warner, Inc., he was a senior partner at McKinsey and Co.