Crandall Challenge


Crandall Challenge


2018 Crandall Challenge Citation Winners

Washington, DC

Following a 40 year careers a federal research economist, Tony re-invented him self as a playwright, a lyricist, book writer, director, predictor, odor, screenwriter, publisher and theatre owner.  The “Seventh Street Playhouse” that he established in Washington, Dc has had over 160 performances in 45 venues in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York City.  He has written and produced 24 dramas.  He is also a librettist and lyricist for several musicals on musicals and has produced motion pictures.  17 of his drama publications are available from Amazon.  He is known as the “Wharton School Playwright” and is active professionally in a number of dramatic associations.  The vast majority of this effort is devoted to the message of religious tolerance and upholding basic Judeo-Christian ethics.

Tony’s  second public service focus is that of a journalist and has made contributions to the National Press Club for the past 15 years.


Oshawa, Ontario

Gordon’s career was in Financial Reinsurance for Crown Life Insurance of Canada.  During his work years, he  held  a number of positions in a Canadian political party which brought business and government closer together to understand each other’s views.  He also volunteered for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and “Eva’s Place”, a homeless shelter for teenagers. Gordon was also active in the Quebec separatist referendum focused on keeping Quebec in the Canadian government.  Other volunteer efforts led to appointments in the Board of Canada’s Council for the Arts and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

His professional work involved international assignment which led to his being a founding member of the Japan society, working with orphans & homeless children  in Mongolia and Afghanistan, as well as organizing programs to build and support artists in both countries.  Hi assignment in Moscow led to the creation of a Rotarian Club which provided advanced hearing aids for children.

In his ‘retirement” he remains active in the Rotary Clubs of Canada which provide books for children of ‘aboriginal peoples’ of northern Ontario which had to be delivered by ‘aid drops.”  He is also on the National Board of the Canadian Landmines Foundation and active for the past few years as a delegate to several international conferences celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Oxford Manifesto  devoted to the abolishing human rights abuses worldwide.

Lafayette Hill, PA

When attending a Wharton Graduate Reunion Luncheon between 1998 and 2002, you’d undoubtedly find Jack Smith meeting informally with the 50 year Class.  He loved a good time, but also had something on his mind — spreading the world about the ‘tea’ principle.

His focus:  MBA’s 50 years out have acquired so much talent, experience and accomplishment, it’s a terrible waste to put them “out to pasture.’”  Both Wharton and Senior Alumni could benefit by creating a vehicle to increase contact and turn close relationships into good works  Thanks to Jack, the result was the Wharton Graduate Emeritus Society (WGES), established in 2003.  As our initial Chair of the WGES Steering committee, Jack helped shaped and guide the Society as it grew in programs, activities and  membership.

Jack was dedicated and caring, full of good ideas, and had a love of Penn and Wharton. He was a strong mentor and contributor.  Everyone involved in WGES had the good fortunate to work with Jack in building the unique Society and strengthening Wharton continually.

Hebron, CT

Richard’s volunteer work devoted to strengthen the arts and culture of his community began early in his professional career (1965) when he organized and direct a 70 voice volunteer ‘Collegiate Choir’ at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul in Philadelphia, where he was served a Director of Music.  This choir, now renamed The Adult Cathedral Choir, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Later in his career, when he worked in Connecticut and on into his ‘retirement’, he was a participant and active in two well-known and established choral groups:

  • The Hartford Chorale: Founded in 1972, the Hartford Chorale is a volunteer not-for-profit organization that presents masterpieces of great choral art on a symphonic scale for listeners throughout Southern New England. in addition singing with the chorale, Dick has served as Vice-President and a Member of the Governance Committee for several years
    • Connecticut Gilbert & Sullivan Society which has present annual shows of Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic operates in Connecticut since 1981. In addition to be a member of the cast each year in their performances, Dick served on the Society’s board and managed their Marketing program

2018 Crandall Challenge Citation Honor Roll

Alan Ahrens, WG’63

Lynchburg, VA

Alan has devoted himself to being a “Business Mentor” for SCORE (a nonprofit dedicated to providing experienced ‘retired’ business executives to provide face-to-face help for new businesses as business counselors and mentors.) The Lynchburg SCORE chapter has provided business counseling to over 600 clients from several large counties in Central Virginia.

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.

John Baker, WG’68

Wallowa, OR

When John and his wife retired to a 63 acre ranch in Oregon, in 2001, they devoted their talents, time and energy as Founders, Board member and Treasurer of the “Joseph Branch Trail “ consortium which is a $20,000,000 trail restoration project in Wallowa County, Oregon. In addition to walking/biking/hiking/riding trails, a major goal is also to improve the fish habitats of Steelhead and Chinook salmon. In addition to working with Oregon and federal agencies and the Bonneville Power Administration, John works closely with the sovereign nation of the New Pierce Tribe to restore Fish Habitat in the Wallowa River in Oregon, which is part of the coho salmon 600 mile journey that includes the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.

Filemon Berba, WG’64

Antipolo, Philippines

Following his career in several Philippine companies that included electric and water public utilities, electronic and pharmaceutical industries, Filemon has devoted his retirement to the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST). This Foundation, of which he was a founder, has the objective of creating a critical mass of young people exposed to science with the intent of preparing them for engineering and technological careers. As President and Chair of the PFST Board of Trustees, he has developed outreach programs that involve 400,000 Philippine high school students each year. They created the Philippine Science Centrum, the first interactive science museum in the country. Since the Philippines is an archipelago, they created 7 mobile exhibits that over the years have been visited by 7 million students and teachers. They have trained 6000 teachers all over the country. Filemon also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Philippine Science High School, the University of the Philippines and the Batangas State University, both of which have a student population of over 35,000.

Alan was also a founding director of the central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence (CVANE), which is affiliated with the Central Virginia Community College and has established a Certification in Non-Profit Management.