West, Jr. $10-Million Gift: Learning Lab
Wharton School has announced the creation of the Alfred West Jr.
Learning Lab with a $10-million gift from Alfred P. West, Jr., chairman
and CEO of SEI Investments. The Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab will
create a series of innovative learning tools that challenge students
to think strategically across business functions and organizations.
West's commitment will enable Wharton to take a lead role in rethinking
the learning paradigm," said Dean Patrick T. Harker. "There is tremendous
potential for us to reach a deeper understanding of how people learn
and to push that process to a higher level using advancements in
technology and learning science. Al has been a pioneer in creating
the innovative corporate culture and new management models that
have formed the foundation for the success of SEI Investments. Now,
he'll lead in creating a new academic culture as we create new learning
Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab will draw on the creative expertise
of faculty leaders and professionals to innovate, study and experiment
with learning throughout all of the School's degree and non-degree
programs. "On a broader scale, the Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab's
technology-enhanced materials and world-class research on learning
will contribute to academia and industry worldwide," said Dean Harker.
"Beyond the impact to Wharton and Penn, the outcomes of the Alfred
West Jr. Learning Lab will be applicable to corporate and government
training programs, as well as collegiate and secondary education."
Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab will be co directed by Wharton's Andrew
B. Abel, Robert Morris Professor of Banking, and Robert W. Holthausen,
Nomura Securities Co. Professor. They will work closely with an
external advisory board of thought leaders to develop new learning
modules and assessment tools. Advisory board members include Mr.
West, John Seely Brown, chief scientist of Xerox and founding member
of 12 Entrepreneuring, Mike Zisman, vice president of emerging business
development at IBM, Elizabeth Daley, dean of the School of Cinema/TV
and executive director of the Annenberg Center at the University
of Southern California, Hal Abelson, professor at M.I.T., Patrick
Harker, dean of the Wharton School, and Wharton Professor Jerry
Wind, director of the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management.
deployed in the curriculum, these interactive learning applications
will add value to students' learning experiences by allowing them
to participate fully in their own educational process, both within
and outside of the classroom. The research and product creation
that will result from the Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab will advance
several strategic goals, including:
Wharton's ability to fulfill its mission to innovate through curricular
advancements and the exploitation of opportunities made possible
by evolving technology;
a deeper understanding of how people learn throughout academia
a new "learner-centric" management education paradigm, helping
to ensure Wharton's leadership and commitment to excellence in
today's competitive educational market;
new methodologies and metrics for testing the effectiveness in
achieving learning objectives;
products and knowledge that will be used throughout management
to promote bold experimentation in learning.
am delighted to have the opportunity to help Wharton push the boundaries
of business education as we know it," said Mr. West. "One of the
School's greatest strengths is its intellectual leadership, and
I am confident that the Learning Lab will set the standard for ground-breaking
research on learning and for technology-enhanced education."
gift directly supports the strategic priorities of the Wharton School's
Campaign for Sustained Leadership, a $425-million fundraising initiative,
and the Agenda
for Excellence, which identifies key priorities for the
West founded Simulated Environments, Inc., the forerunner to SEI
Investments, in 1968 while he was a Wharton MBA student. Today,
with more than 1,700 employees worldwide, the Oaks, Pennsylvania-based
SEI Investments (NASDAQ:SEIC), is a leading global provider of asset
management and investment technology solutions. The company's innovative
solutions help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors,
and affluent families create and manage wealth. SEI (as of June
30, 2001) processes over $1.5 trillion of investment transactions
daily, administers more than $300 billion in mutual fund and pooled
assets, manages almost $80 billion in assets and operates 25 offices
in 11 countries.
to his role with SEI Investments, Mr. West is chairman of Wharton's
SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management, from which the idea
for the Learning Lab was developed. Mr. West also is a member of
the School's Graduate Executive Board.
Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 4, September 18, 2001
September 18, 2001
Volume 48 Number 4