Wharton School Receives $10 Million Gift from Josh and Marjorie Harris to Advance Learning and Engagement in Alternative Investments

Support by Apollo Global Management Co-founder Josh Harris and his wife Marjorie Harris brings programming for students, academics, and industry leaders in alternative investments to a new level.

Josh Harris, W’86
Josh Harris, W’86

PHILADELPHIA, February 21, 2019 — The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced today a $10 million gift from 1986 undergraduate alumnus Josh Harris and his wife Marjorie Harris to establish the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program. This innovative new program will expand co-curricular opportunities for Wharton students in the field and bring together alumni and industry experts through events and dynamic programming. Mr. Harris is a co-founder, senior managing director, and director of Apollo Global Management, LLC, an alternative investment manager serving institutional investors worldwide.

Mr. and Mrs. Harris’ gift is a major contribution to Wharton’s More Than Ever fundraising and engagement campaign, which is part of the University-wide Campaign, The Power of Penn: Advancing Knowledge for Good. By helping to redesign and redefine finance education, the gift enhances a key Campaign priority for Wharton.

“Josh and Marjorie Harris’ extraordinary gift to the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program will significantly expand student opportunities, advance new knowledge, and meaningfully engage the University community, which are key priorities for Penn,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “We are profoundly grateful to Josh and Marjorie for their visionary philanthropy that helps today’s Penn students lead in tomorrow’s complex world.”

The landmark gift extends Mr. and Mrs. Harris’ longstanding support for learning and excellence in finance at the School. They co-founded the Wharton Private Equity Professorship, currently held by Bilge Yilmaz, who is also Professor of Finance and will serve as faculty director of the Harris Program. Building on the foundation of curricular and co-curricular offerings in alternative investments, the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program will bring together students, alumni, academics, and practitioners to expand this critical work. Mr. and Mrs. Harris’ generosity extends to support for Wharton’s international and domestic conferences, deepening alumni engagement, and expanding student programming in alternative investments.

“As an alternative investments trailblazer, Josh is a role model for our students and an incredible friend to the Wharton School,” said Dean Geoffrey Garrett. “His and Marjorie’s gift is a generous investment in students who seek a better understanding of the industry. It also reflects their deep commitment to Wharton and our ability to shape the future of finance. We’re sincerely grateful for their belief in the School and we couldn’t be happier to have this program carry the Harris name.”

“Wharton students continue to express a strong interest in alternative investments, and the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program will provide unprecedented resources to enrich their understanding of the industry,” said Josh Harris. “I know first-hand that Wharton students are creative, entrepreneurial, and eager for new challenges—attributes that the great leaders of the industry possess. I look forward to the Harris Family Alternative Investments Program inspiring our students to pursue transformative opportunities and develop into future leaders of the industry.”

Mr. Harris serves as a member of Wharton’s Board of Overseers. His and his wife’s other areas of giving to Wharton include the Harris Family Endowed Scholarship to support undergraduate Wharton students from the Washington, D.C. area and the Joshua J. Harris Professorship—a position currently held by former Dean Thomas S. Robertson, who also serves as Academic Director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center and Professor of Marketing.

Penn Athletics has also benefited from Mr. and Mrs. Harris’ giving. Inspired by Mr. Harris’ undergraduate experience as a member of Penn’s wrestling team, he and Mrs. Harris established the Joshua J. Harris Wrestling Assistant Coach Endowment and supported the Grapplers Fund for the University’s varsity wrestling program. Today Mr. Harris is the Managing Partner of the Philadelphia 76ers, Managing Member of the New Jersey Devils, and a General Partner of the Crystal Palace Football Club.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduateMBAexecutive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 13,000 participants in executive education programs annually; and a powerful alumni network of 98,000 graduates.

About the University of Pennsylvania 

Founded in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution with a distinctive past. Its 12 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools are located in Philadelphia on an attractive urban campus that serves a diverse community of more than 20,000 students from throughout the nation and around the world.  Ranked consistently among the top universities in the nation, Penn has a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education.