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$5 Million Gift from Alumnus Robert and Diane Levy to Support Financial Aid and Social Impact Initiatives
October 3, 2006, Volume 53, No. 6

Robert Levy

The Wharton School announced a $5 million gift from alumnus Robert M. Levy, and his wife, Diane v.S. Levy. Based in Chicago, Mr. Levy is partner, chairman, and chief investment officer of Harris Associates, L.P. This gift will establish the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Social Impact Fund with $2 million; provide supplemental funding of $2.75 million to the existing Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Endowed Fellowship Fund; and benefit the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with $250,000.

 “Bob and Diane Levy have long been generous supporters of Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania,” said Wharton Dean Patrick Harker. “Their latest gift will help the Penn Museum create new exhibits of its world-renowned collection. At Wharton, the expanded Levy Fellowship Fund will enable generations of students to have access to a world-class business education, while the new Levy Social Impact Fund will help students and faculty pursue interests in such areas as public and non-profit sector careers, research and teaching in corporate social responsibility, and social entrepreneurism.”

 The Levy Social Impact Fund will provide seed and supplemental funding for student, faculty and institutional initiatives in areas such as social impact management and business ethics, including summer internships for students working in the public and nonprofit sector. The movement to support greater integration of efforts and leadership in corporate social responsibility, ethics and social entrepreneurship is broadly supported at Wharton by faculty and students. Courses throughout the curriculum, conferences and other co-curricular opportunities for students contribute to an environment in which there is broad and growing commitment to using business to advance social change.

 The new gift to the existing Levy Fellowship, designated for students with less than three years’ work experience or women or under-represented minorities, will expand the fellowship to also support students who are interested in careers in the nonprofit sector. With this supplemental gift, the Levy Fellowship Fund will now be the second largest such fund at the Wharton School.

 Mr. Levy said, “Diane and I have found our increased involvement with Wharton and the University to be rewarding, exciting and fun. We have been energized by our exposure to the extraordinary students at our school, and we are very pleased to help Wharton and Penn meet the need for financial aid and for innovative programs.”

A 1974 graduate of Wharton’s M.B.A. program, Mr. Levy is a Penn trustee and a member of the Wharton School Board of Overseers, and he has served as member of the Midwest Regional Advisory Board and the Wharton Graduate Executive Board.

Harris Associates, L.P. manages $63.4 billion in the Oakmark Funds and in equity, balanced, and international portfolios for individuals and institutions. Mr. Levy also is president of the Robert M. Levy Family Foundation as well as a director of the Bill Nygren Foundation. He is committed to helping others—a commitment that goes back to his student days, when he taught evening school classes for community members and volunteered in a community education program to help small, minority-owned businesses develop business plans.

The Levys have already supported the Wharton School with past contributions to Jon M. Huntsman Hall (where the Levy Lobby on Walnut Street is named in their honor) and the creation of the Diane v.S. and Robert M. Levy Fellowship.

The Levys’ gift is an example of how alumni are giving back to the School to deepen resources for students interested in nonprofit work. Last year, Wharton announced the John M. Bendheim Loan Forgiveness Fund for Public Service and the European Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative—which were funded by alumni and board members (Almanac October 11, 2005).

Almanac - October 3, 2006, Volume 53, No. 6