I have just returned from Philadelphia after attending our plenary board session. In this session all boards at Wharton meet together as well as separately over a series of sessions to collaborate and to provide focused advice on key areas, including, but not limited to, branding, financial health, the undergraduate program, the graduate program, alumni and international development. I always look forward to the fall meeting, which I have attended for seven years. There is no better time to visit Locust Walk than during the fall. I left reenergized, as always, by the arrival of new students and the constant energy created by curiosity and collaboration, but I was especially energized this time as we celebrate success and begin a transition and new chapter at Wharton.
The key topic at our meeting was the search for Wharton’s next dean. All boards interacted with the search committee and provided valuable input on the traits and experience needed to lead Wharton and help Penn meet the challenges in the coming decade. As alumni, you should know that at no time has Wharton confronted so many challenges, nor has it been better positioned to help business be the single most important force for good in our global society. Because business is the ultimate social enterprise, we celebrate the successes of Dean Tom Robertson and his leadership team’s thoughtful global positioning of the Wharton brand as we contemplate the needs of the future.
I am confident that the University’s process will soon lead to an outstanding candidate who understands the criticality of innovation, and possesses strong business experience and academic experience, while complementing our global and public policy initiatives. In short, I believe we will soon have a leader who strongly represents Wharton’s values and promotes “Business as Good”; further, when he or she says so, it will be so compelling, sincere and respected to such a degree that leaders outside of business will truly understand and believe.
I encourage you as alumni to get engaged with Wharton now more than ever. We are in a golden age. In this decade, we will surpass the 100,000 alumni mark while having unprecedented resources for Lifelong Learning through online content and events such as the Wharton Global Forums. We have more engagement through our Class Ambassadors and Wharton Clubs, and we have the ability to be a connected and meaningful force in our national and local communities for promoting the world’s best social enterprise: business!
L. David Mounts, WG’04
Chairman, Wharton Alumni Executive Board