Art dealer Larry Gagosian spoke to guests following his October 4 discussion on the business of art.

On October 4, Wharton and Penn’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) launched The Business of Art, a series of ongoing collaborations. This series marks the synthesis of two prestigious institutions and opened with Dealers and Collectors, a discussion between ICA overseer and art collector Glenn Fuhrman, W’87, WG’88, and dealer Larry Gagosian, who Art Review magazine called “the world’s greatest art businessman.”

Established as part of the Penn commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to education, The Business of Art will enable students, faculty and the general public to take part in the conversion about business and art coming together by providing access to leaders in both fields. Other topics being considered in the coming year are The New Philanthropy and The Art World and the Media.

Levys Give $5 Million to Support Financial Aid and Social Impact Initiatives

The 125th anniversary of the first day of Wharton classes was celebrated September 18 with the announcement of a $5 million gift from Robert M. Levy, WG’74, and Diane v.S. Levy.

The largest part of the gift, $2.75 million, will go to the existing Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Endowed Fellowship Fund to include support for students who are interested in careers in the nonprofit sector. A $2 million portion of the gift will establish the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Social Impact Fund to encourage initiatives in areas such as social impact management and business ethics. The donation also provides $250,000 for the Penn’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Robert Levy is partner, chairman, and chief investment officer of the Chicago-based Harris Associates, L.P.

Wharton Course Auction Honored With Adobe MAX Award

The Wharton Course Auction recently won the Adobe MAX award in the Industry Innovator category. One of 16 finalists from among hundreds of entries, the application bested entries by the Fidelity Labs and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, among others. The awards honor “the most innovative, groundbreaking customer projects built with Adobe solutions in the past year.”

Developed by Wharton Computing, the Wharton Course Auction is a dynamic course registration system that enables MBA students to act as buyers and sellers who trade seats to win spots in the school’s wide range of electives. Each student pursues an individual strategy, bidding outright on their desired courses, or buying and reselling classroom spots towards a goal of winning the most sought-after electives.

Lauder Thesis Prize Awarded for Paper on Brazil’s Consumer Credit Innovation

The Lauder Institute’s Reginald H. Jones Thesis Prize for 2006 was awarded to Matthew E. Addison, WG’06, G’06, who graduated in May. The award is one of Lauder’s highest honors, going to the paper that demonstrates mastery of the Lauder learning experience: the pursuit of business knowledge with an analytical focus and attention to the nuances of cross-cultural differences. The winning thesis by Addison examines Brazil’s “Consorcios,” a group financing arrangement that allows clients to pool their funds to purchase durable goods, such as cars, and to minimize financing costs and inflation risk.

Entrepreneur in Residence Program Celebrates Fifth Year

The Wharton Entrepreneur in Residence program is now in its fifth year of offering all Penn students a rare chance to meet one-on-one with the founders of highly successful businesses.

This year’s program includes Vernon Hill, W’67, founder of Commerce Bank; David Marshall, W’61, founder of Amerimar Realty; and Jay Snider, W’79, founder of SpectaGuard. Entrepreneurs in residence meet with students in 30-minute sessions, during which a student can discuss ideas, opinions, and strategies for potential or actual business ventures.

Two Undergraduates Win National Community Service Awards

Two of the nine national winners of the 2006 Do Something BRICK Awards are Wharton undergraduates. The national youth leadership organization honors young people who improve their communities. Ashley Gunn, W’10, was recognized for starting SAIF (Students Aiding Indigent Families)—which now has over 200 student volunteers—that buys foreclosed houses, repairs and remodels them, and works with urban families to purchase the homes below market value. Michael Page, W’09, was honored for Talking Pages, Inc., an online system to lend audio books to the visually impaired