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Social Impact Speaker Series

February 15, 2011, Volume 57, No. 22


The Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact will host the Wharton Leadership Lecture on February 24 featuring a dialogue with Andre Agassi, professional tennis player and founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation. After winning eight grand slam titles, 60 singles titles and an Olympic Gold Medal, Mr. Agassi is now dedicating himself to improving the lives of thousands of children by transforming public education in the United States.

K. Robert (Bobby) Turner, W’84, and Lauren Golub Turner, W’85, are building on Penn’s strengths in the sciences, arts, and humanities to shape society for the better and to improve lives around the globe. In 2010, the Turners endowed the Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact and established the Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Curriculum Development Term Fund at the Wharton School. 

The Lauren and Bobby Turner Executive Speaker Series for Social Impact brings high-profile executives to inspire the Penn communi ty with leaders who are “doing well, and doing good.” Earvin “Magic” Johnson gave the inaugural speech last spring.

“We passionately believe profits are not the only element in the measure of success, and wanted to support social impact programming at Wharton. We benefited as students because the alumni who preceded us gave back and made sure Wharton continued to lead. The same is true today. If we don’t step up, few others will. It’s our turn,” said Mr. Turner.

Mr. Turner will sit down next Thursday with Mr. Agassi, from 4:30 until 6 p.m. in Zellerbach Theatre, at the Annenberg Center for a lively conversation. Mr. Agassi will discuss his personal and professional career, his strikingly candid autobiography, Open, and why he believes that his greatest success is yet to come as he reaches for his goal of building hundreds of charter schools over the next decade and providing tens of thousands of at-risk children in underserved communities with the opportunity to succeed.

The event is open to the Penn community, pre-registration required:  https://whartondeansoffice.wufoo.com/forms/andre-agassi/

“Social responsibility is no longer relegated to the relatively small percentage of students who seek to work in the non-profit sector. It has become integrated in our way of thinking at Wharton. Our students now graduate with a deeper sense of social responsibility,” said Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson.

Mr. Turner is a founding partner and CEO of Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, LLC and a managing partner of Canyon Capital Advisors, LLC (collectively, “Canyon”), money management firms and registered investment advisors headquartered in Los Angeles, with over $20 billion in assets currently under management.

Mr. Turner oversees all of Canyon’s real estate investment activities and has been a pioneer over the past decade in the area of “triple bottom line” investing—an investment philosophy of providing sound financial returns for investors, fostering opportunities for residents of the communities in which it invests, and embracing environmental responsibility. These funds include the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, a series of closed-end real estate funds and joint venture with Earvin “Magic” Johnson focusing on inner-city and urban real estate development and the newly formed Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a joint venture with Andre Agassi focusing on the development of learning friendly, environmentally responsible charter school facilities for best in class charter school operators.   

Almanac - February 15, 2011, Volume 57, No. 22