Wharton Impact Newsletter, Our community, your inbox.

June 2022 • Edition 10

In this edition, read about an alumna’s inspired re-engagement with the School; learn how the recent MBA Reunion Weekend numbers stacked up; and explore a wide-ranging gift that will benefit Wharton and Penn for years to come.

It Pays to Be in the Know

Meet Us At $1 Million
Marilyn Jentzen, WG’92, (right) with her daughter, Anna, who was part of the inspiration for Jentzen’s gift to the The Wharton Fund challenge.

Marilyn Jentzen, WG’92, excels in her consulting career because of her ability to provide clear value and competitive advantage for companies undergoing transformations. Much of this success comes from Jentzen’s instinct for knowing when the time is right to act for a company’s best interests.

This point of view also applies personally to Jentzen, who felt the time was right to re-engage as a donor to the Wharton School. An email from The Wharton Fund regarding its recent “Meet Us at a Million” matching challenge captured Jentzen’s attention. She, like other alumni, were inspired to help the Fund at a Benjamin Franklin Society-level to reach (and surpass) that million dollar leadership goal, which was seeded by two anonymous alumni donors.

Jentzen explained that three experiences inspired her to donate to the challenge: In May, she attended her first Wharton Reunion in 30 years. Second, she had a positive experience leading a fundraising campaign as the foundation board chair for the Nevada State College near Las Vegas, where she had been living until relocating to Philadelphia four years ago. And, third, in June, the graduation of her daughter, Anna, from Germantown Friends School prompted a categorical realization within Jentzen that young people today are facing some extraordinary challenges. Jentzen’s donation to Wharton was a recognition of the need to ensure that opportunities for leadership education will be available for young people to help meet those challenges.

“The future will require leaders with skills to navigate social, environmental, and economic tests that may lie ahead,” Jentzen said.

“The Wharton Fund raises money not just for the ‘big buildings’ on campus. The Fund supports Wharton students directly, and this will help create leaders that come from many diverse backgrounds.”

Jentzen added it was the convergence of these strands, at the right time, that re-engaged her with Wharton, an institution of learning that she believes has what it takes to successfully educate the leaders of tomorrow.

Reunion by the Numbers

Wharton MBA Reunion
Reunion Weekend was joyful — and in person!

MBA Reunion Weekend was a confirmation that together, in person, the event remains an exhilarating milestone for classes, a chance to honor classmates, and an opportunity to strengthen relationships and leave a pay-it-forward legacy for the next generation of Wharton students.

While understandably a smaller size than in pre-pandemic days, over 1,800 alumni and their guests registered to attend the in-person, on-campus event. Throughout the weekend, there was a celebratory atmosphere along with a feeling of joyful reconnection with friends, classmates, and faculty.

For the classes most affected by the pandemic — WG’20 and WG’21 — there was a special in-person Reunion and graduation ceremony the following weekend to honor their journey of attending classes online, navigating a radically changed world of work, and so much more.

For this event, 31 percent of WG’20 and 36 percent of WG’21 attended, which exceeded Wharton’s anticipated attendance projections. These tenacious classes were glad to be celebrated for their accomplishments.

“The positive energy on campus was contagious,” said Joan Adams Hewitt, a Wharton Alumni Relations director. Our classes of 2020 and 2021 were thrilled to don cap and gown and graduate, and also celebrate their one-year Reunion.

“We had families come from as far away as India and Hong Kong for the commencement exercises.”

That feeling was shared by Khadir Richie, WG’02. “Reunion was amazing! I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I arrived,” he said.

“So wonderful to be back on campus while spending time with lifelong friends!”

And look out for details of the upcoming Reunion Reimagined happening on November 5. Wharton graduates from classes who missed their Reunion are being invited back to campus for a special event! Classes eligible to attend include years ending in 0, 1, 5, 6; also, the Class of 2019, and WEMBA East alumni.

A Wharton True Believer

James Joo-Jin Kim, WG'59, G'61, GR'63
James Joo-Jin Kim, W’59, G’61, GR’63, a firm believer in the Wharton School.

Wharton Dean Erika James describes James Joo-Jin Kim, W’59, G’61, GR’63, as a firm believer in the mission and vision of the future of the Wharton School. “Jim epitomizes leadership and service, and his contributions to his alma mater have left a lasting impression,” said James.

Kim is the executive chairman of Amkor Technology, one of the world’s largest providers of outsourced semiconductor packaging, design, and test services. He is an emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the Board of Governors of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management and International Studies, and a longstanding contributor to The Wharton Fund, among other philanthropic donations.

As part of a $25 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania that includes the creation of the James Joo-Jin Kim Center for Korean Studies in the School of Arts & Sciences and the Kim Family Neurovascular Surgery Program at Penn Medicine, the gift will establish the Kim Korean Studies Fund at the Lauder Institute.

“Students develop a global mindset through Lauder’s innovative curriculum and will do even more thanks to the Kim family’s generous gift,” said Martine Haas, Anthony L. Davis Director of the Lauder Institute and Lauder Chair Professor at the Wharton School.

The gift also contains a donation to the Wharton Dean’s Discretionary Fund, which provides crucial resources that Dean James can use to explore new opportunities to enhance academic and co-curricular programming and respond to emerging needs or challenges.

James noted that Kim’s gift of discretionary resources, “is an extension of his trust in the School today and his investment in Wharton’s future, one that allows the School to remain forward-thinking and evolve to meet the needs of students and prepare them for success in a rapidly changing global business environment.”

Read More About Kim’s Gift