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Wharton School Receives Largest-Ever Gift: $50 Million to Go Toward Faculty

Wharton Donation

Marc J. Rowan (W’84 & WG’85) and Carolyn Rowan recently gifted $50 million to The Wharton School, the largest-ever single gift to the business school. The generous Wharton donation will be used to help attract new world-class faculty, appoint new Rowan Fellows, and support the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a groundbreaking economic policy analysis program.

“With profound gratitude to Marc and Carolyn Rowan, I anticipate the tremendous impact of their philanthropy on the University of Pennsylvania,” Penn President Amy Gutmann says in a university press release. “Their investment in Penn’s future will strengthen our intellectual resources, provide our students with life-changing mentors, and mobilize our knowledge for the advancement of society.”

Wharton Donation For Faculty

A good portion of the $50 million will be used to enhance faculty at the Wharton School. The goal is to help Wharton compete for the most talented business school professors in a highly competitive market. Specifically, the gift will be used to enhance Wharton’s ability to address complex global challenges through research and teaching.

Specifically, the $50 million will go toward faculty recruitment and betterment in two ways:

  • Wharton will recruit three new Rowan Distinguished Professors. These individuals are leaders in their field and will help connect academia and business.
  • The gift will also help the School appoint a select number of Rowan Fellows. These individuals will serve five-year terms and will receive support for the innovative research and teaching.

In a press release, Marc Rowan spoke about the gift’s impact on faculty, saying, “Carolyn and I are honored to join the vision of the Wharton community to bring the School’s outstanding students face to face with the most important thinkers of our time,” Rowan says. “As top Wharton researchers advance and shape their fields, they transform the lives of their students, preparing them to make a difference in the business world and beyond.”

Penn Wharton Budget Model

The gift enhances the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM); a nonpartisan, research-based initiative that provides accurate, accessible, and transparent economic analysis of public policy. The project uses research briefs as well as interactive budget tools to analyze legislation. PWBM works directly with policymakers to provide the most effective insight on policy changes on Capitol Hill.

More Than Ever Fundraising Campaign

The gift comes to the school as part of the More Than Ever fundraising campaign, of which Rowan is the co-chair. The campaign started with a goal of raising $850 million. However, in part thanks to the latest gift, the goal is now $1 billion.

The More Than Ever campaign launched earlier this year with the goal of helping Wharton become synonymous with innovation, analytical decision making, entrepreneurship, and global leadership. The fundraising will go toward two flagship capital projects:

  • A state-of-art academic building, which will stand beside Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall and the Mack Pavilion. This building will bring together Wharton’s cutting-edge research in business analytics, innovative learning, and teaching spaces.
  • A new Venture Lab, which helps Penn students interested in launching new startups.

The gift from Rowan provides an excellent start for all initiatives.

Marc J. Rowan, Wharton W’84 & WG’85

“I am deeply grateful for Marc and Carolyn’s extraordinary gift, which reflects their passion to bring to Wharton the most innovative researchers working on the world’s most pressing and important questions,” Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett says. “Their commitment is the cornerstone of a campaign that will empower Wharton, more than ever, to create leaders who will change the world.”

Marc J. Rowan

Rowan is the Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm with $247 billion in investor commitments. The firm is a leading alternative asset manager with focus on private equity, credit-oriented capital markets, real estate, and insurance investments.

Beyond his work at Apollo, Rowan is an active member of the Wharton community. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the school with a BS and an MBA in finance. Then, since 1994, he’s been contributing to Wharton’s success in a variety of ways.

Through philanthropy, Rowan has supported both undergraduate and MBA aspects of Wharton. He has contributed to financial aid, faculty, the Dean’s fund, capital projects, Wharton Customer Analytics, The Wharton Fund, the football program, the Institute for Contemporary Art, and more. Rowan is also the chair of Wharton’s Board of Overseers as well as being a Penn trustee.

To read more about the Wharton donation, check out the original press release at Wharton News.

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