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Largest Fund-raising Campaign in Business School History: Over $445 Million at Campaign's Completion

The Wharton School recently announced the successful completion of the Campaign for Sustained Leadership, a $425 million fundraising initiative, launched in June 1996, and completed in June 2003. A total of $445,774,603 was raised, completing the largest campaign in business school history. The original campaign goal of $350 million was raised to $425 million following a successful "quiet phase."

In addition to the participation of 23,161 donors in the campaign, 86 percent of the School's faculty contributed more than $750,000, and a record 98 percent of the MBA Class of 2003--757 individuals from 59 countries--gave nearly half a million dollars for an unrestricted class gift to The Wharton Fund. The 98 percent participation rate is the highest for any business school of comparable size.

"What I'm really proud about is that this was a community effort," said Dr. Patrick Harker, dean of the Wharton School. "The alumni stepping forward, the students with the class gifts, and the faculty felt so committed to the School that they gave back. That is the most heartwarming part, how the entire community came together and made this a success."

Campaign highlights include:

Raised total of $445,774,603

  • $143.4M for facilities
  • Built Jon M. Huntsman Hall, a world-class 324,000-square-foot educational facility

  • $127.2M for academic programs
  • Created six research centers and programs, including the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative; the William and Phyllis Mack Center for Technological Innovation; the Carol and Lawrence Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research; the Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center; the Alfred P. West Jr. Learning Lab and the Goergen Entrepreneurial Management Program

  • $84.4M for faculty support and research
  • Created 26 endowed professorships

  • $47.2M for student financial aid
  • Created 29 endowed MBA scholarships and fellowships (16 term)
    Created 145 endowed Undergraduate scholarships (12 term)

  • $43.5M for unrestricted and other gifts
  • Launched Wharton West in San Francisco
    Created Alliance with INSEAD

    "A good campaign raises a lot of money; a great campaign transforms an institution," said Steve Oliveira, associate dean for External Affairs. "This campaign has transformed Wharton, and it succeeded because of the broad participation of the whole community, with gifts large and small. It was this level of grassroots enthusiasm and energy that allowed Wharton to ‘defy gravity' by raising the most funds in its history during one of the most challenging economic periods in recent memory. This momentum across the entire community was so great that that we received $15 million during the last 10 days of the campaign alone--with only two gifts above $1 million. This was a watershed moment for the School."

    Thirty-five percent of the dollars raised came from MBA alumni, which was the highest participation rate in the School's history. Thirty-two percent came from undergraduate alumni, 18 percent from corporations and foundations, and 15 percent from other individuals. The largest single gift of the campaign and largest in school history--$40M--came from Wharton Board of Overseers' Chairman Jon M. Huntsman, a 1959 graduate of Wharton's Undergraduate Program, and chairman and CEO of the Huntsman Corporation.

    As part of the Campaign, Wharton Connect alumni events were initiated in 2001 to engage alumni around the world. Fifty such events were held in the past two years in cities across four continents.

    "The campaign has enabled us to continue to fulfill our mission--to create the future business leaders of the world, with facilities, faculty, and student support--not only to reach out to the world but to enable the world to come to Wharton and study," Dr. Harker said. "One of the great things we accomplished in the campaign beyond the financial support, probably the most important thing, was reconnecting to our alumni around the world and getting them involved in the life of the School. That has been the most rewarding part of the campaign, seeing city by city the alumni getting reenergized and reconnected."



      Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 8, October14, 2003