Campus Buzz

The big day finally arrives: Vice President Dick Cheney and a few hundred of Jon M. Huntsman’s (W’57) closest friends started the Jon M. Huntsman Hall celebration with a private get-together the morning of Oct. 25. The evening, however, belonged to the entire campus, with an official dedication and open house that started at 5 p.m. Huntsman made an impassioned plea for putting humane and ethical values uppermost in business—and in business education—in his speech at the ceremony. After that, Huntsman, Wharton Dean Patrick Harker, President Judith Rodin, Provost Robert Barchi and a few of Huntsman’s nine children and 60 grandchildren cut the ribbon that let the assembled crowd of 300-plus in for an evening-long open house, which included performances by the Wharton Follies, tours and a spirited game of “Wharton Jeopardy!” hosted by William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management Michael Useem. Among the numerous Wharton alums who returned for the gala: Wendy Finerman (W’82), one of two Wharton Oscar winners—she won hers for producing “Forrest Gump.”

…and we do mean BIG: So just how huge is Huntsman? Here are a few numbers to give you an idea:

2: number of Au Bon Pain cafés in the building; one of them is just for the MBA students.

5: number of lounges in the building, including the Baker Forum, the main public gathering place; two are study lounges, and one, in the Colloquium Room on the eighth floor, has a spectacular view of the Center City skyline.

48: number of classrooms in the building—the biggest increase in the campus classroom inventory since World War II, according to Rodin, who added, “Huntsman Hall puts our students first.” (And how!)

139.9: what it cost to build Huntsman Hall, in millions of dollars. All of them came from alumni contributions, and 50 of those millions came from Huntsman.

600,000: the number of bricks used in the building; one-third of them were custom-shaped by computers to fit the curvature of the building’s cylindrical office wing.

Smiles all around: The School of Dental Medicine had its own ribbon-cutting Nov. 1, formally opening the new Robert Schattner Center at a luncheon for contributors, Trustees and SDM overseers hosted by Dean Raymond Fonseca and President Rodin. Afterwards, the school threw a party for its staff and faculty to celebrate the new office and clinical facility that connects the school’s two older main buildings. The party featured a live band, which, as it turns out, is a link to the building’s name donor: Fonseca told Buzz that Robert Schattner (D’48) worked his way through dental school by playing in a band. The previous evening, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who helped secure funding for the building, regaled a dinner audience with a talk one attendee described as “practicing his stand-up routine for his post-senatorial career.”

Originally published on November 14, 2002