Meet Our Donors

Meet Our Donors

We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.



donor-germanoMichael J. Germano IV, W’01, wholeheartedly believes in the importance of giving back. “I was taught that, ‘To whom much is given, much is expected in return.’”

Michael has not only been a loyal annual giving donor over the past decade, he is also including the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School in his estate plans, proving that you are never too young to utilize planned giving. He says, “I have included Penn and Wharton in my estate planning to leave a more substantial legacy, and to assist future students so that they may enjoy similar experiences to those with which I was blessed.”

It is easy for Michael to remember the moment that he realized Penn was for him—as a high school student, flipping through the pages of U.S. News & World Report and seeing the stellar rankings for Wharton. He knew that coming to Penn would open doors, both intellectually and professionally. “I am thankful for the opportunities the University provided me while a student and those that I have been afforded afterwards,” says Michael. “These opportunities are presented both because of the prestige of Penn and Wharton’s reputations and by the preparation and excellence that the University and School enabled me to achieve.”

Michael has watched his career grow, and currently serves as Vice President of Wealth Management for Citi Personal Wealth Management. Owing so much of his success to his time at the University, he plans to further expand his philanthropic support in the future so that others may feel the impact of a Penn education. Reflecting upon his own time as a student he says, “The experiences that I enjoyed at Penn and Wharton are ones that I cherish beyond words.”

Using a Bequest



As a high school student, I chose Penn for the uniqueness of its Management & Technology dual-degree program. There was no other program in the country which could compare with it and the opportunity and flexibility to pursue inter-disciplinary learning was phenomenal. When I was 29 years old, I prepared my first estate plan, because I did not want to be unprepared for the unexpected events in life. My lawyer asked a typical question, “Where do you want the money to go?” Upon reflection, I realized that if I were to die the next day, I would want Penn to be an important part of my legacy. Having named Penn as a beneficiary of my plans, this future gift will help the University to continue executing on its educational mission and enriching the lives of other students like me.

Using a Bequest



For Joel Post, WG’95, the timing was just right.  In reflecting upon the institutions that have made a difference in his life—and helped him to succeed—Wharton emerged near the top of a “pretty short list,” he says.  That made it an easy decision to include the School in his estate plans.  Not one to wait, Joel says, “While this is planning that’s often done later in life, now is the time to do it.”

For Joel, Wharton marked his re-entry to the U.S., after working for several years in Germany.  While it was a challenging move, he credits the international aspects of Wharton—and its student body, in particular—in easing the transition.  He also appreciated being surrounded by “like-minded classmates, with whom you could engage,” as well as the MBA program’s intensity, which “more than matched my other academic experiences.”  By including the School in his estate plans, Joel is helping to ensure that future Wharton students enjoy a similar experience.

Joel is at UBS in New York where he handles financial planning matters for private clients, many of whom are active in philanthropy, including gift planning.

Using a Bequest



Bill Runner understands first-hand the importance of financial aid, and the impact that one person can have on an education. He attended the Wharton Evening School on the GI Bill, where he developed a close relationship with the School’s Director, Dr. William Hockenberry, W’20, G’23–to whom he attributes much of his success. Bill explains: “Dr. Hockenberry saw me as a challenge, and he loved a good challenge. He’d say, ’You pick a course, and I’ll pick a course.’” And they did. To Dr. Hockenberry’s credit, not only did Bill perform well in his coursework, but he was also an actively engaged student–a member of Delta Sigma Pi and the Night Watch Honor Society, as well as editor of The Lantern.

To honor the connection they shared, in 2007 he and his wife, Joanne, established the Dr. William R. Hockenberry, Director of Wharton Evening School of Accounts and Finance, 1938 to 1964, Scholarship. More recently, Bill and Joanne created a Charitable Gift Annuity, designated for the scholarship, and included Wharton in their estate plans. Bill says, “I owe a lot to Penn and to Wharton. And that’s why I did it. I hope that my gift will help to inspire fellow alumni–from the Evening School, in particular–to support financial aid. It certainly opened Wharton’s doors for me.”

For the past two years, he and Joanne have welcomed Connor Cox, W’10, the scholarship’s recipient, to lunch. Also joining them were Anne Hockenberry Trout, CW’46, and her husband, Dr. Robert G. Trout, GM’60. Not only is Mrs. Trout the daughter of the late Dr. Hockenberry, but she and her husband contribute to the scholarship bearing his name. Thus Bill’s connections through Wharton continue–with the next generation.

Using a Charitable Gift Annuity



Shaun O’Malley comes from a large family of three brothers and four sisters. To attend Wharton in the 1950s, he knew he would need financial help. After one semester at Penn, the cost of his education became a real challenge, so he entered the military draft and served two years in the U.S. Army. The benefits he received from the G.I. Bill enabled him to come back to Wharton for his undergraduate degree. After graduating in 1959, Shaun embarked on a long and successful career in the accounting profession.

When the School approached him about a gift, Shaun knew that he wanted to help students with financial need attend Wharton by creating an endowed scholarship fund. The question was how best to fund such a gift. Shaun wanted to make an outright gift to get the scholarship fund started, but he also wanted some income for his retirement. The solution was to combine an outright contribution with a life income gift. To create the O’Malley Scholarship Fund immediately, Shaun made an outright gift by giving Penn a life insurance policy he no longer needed and which the University surrendered for its cash value. He then used appreciated stock to fund a charitable gift annuity, thereby avoiding capital gain taxation and securing quarterly income for life. At his death, Penn will add the principal remaining in the gift annuity to the O’Malley Scholarship Fund. Shaun also makes annual gifts to his Scholarship Fund.

Today, the O’Malley Scholarship Fund is helping future business leaders study at Wharton. The inaugural O’Malley Scholar was Joseph Pankratz, a Wharton student from Missouri who played tight end on Penn’s undefeated, Ivy League Champion football team. “I know well how critical financial aid can be to a student,” said Shaun, “and it was a thrill for me to make it possible for someone like Joe to come to Wharton and Penn.”

Using a Gift of Life Insurance
Using a Charitable Gift Annuity



Nancy Crabbe grew up in St. Louis but has lived most of her life in northern New Jersey. She married soon after high school and postponed college while raising three children. As time and family allowed, she took college courses at a number of institutions and earned her degree from Thomas Edison State College.

In 1978, she joined the First National Bank of Toms River, New Jersey as a teller and discovered that she loved accounting. After taking courses in accounting, she passed the CPA exam on her first try. Her talent and hard work led in time to becoming a senior vice president and controller of the bank.

As her career blossomed, Nancy desired an excellent business education and came to the Executive MBA Program at Wharton which she describes as “the highlight of my business life. It validated my abilities as a businesswoman.” She received her degree in 1988. Her Wharton training later helped her develop a business plan to start a new bank in Toms River. The Shore Community Bank opened in 1997 with Nancy as its Treasurer.

Now retired, Nancy devotes her time to eleven grandchildren, traveling, gardening and occasional sailing races in M-scows, E-scows and sneak boxes. As part of her retirement planning, Nancy wanted to increase her annual income while also helping Wharton. She chose a charitable gift annuity which she funded with appreciated stock. This resulted in a guaranteed annual income for life and a deduction from current income taxes, helped her avoid capital gains and estate tax—and gave her the satisfaction of making a generous gift to Wharton. “I am so grateful for my Wharton education,” said Nancy. “It made a huge difference in my life.”

Using a Charitable Gift Annuity



Janet Lavine and Rick Williams credit Wharton for many things that have helped them succeed in business and in life—especially for bringing them together. Janet (WG’79) and Rick (W’78, WG’79) met at Wharton and married soon after graduation. After several years working for companies in the New York area, the couple moved to Atlanta where Janet served as treasurer of a leading media conglomerate and where today Rick is senior executive of a major insurance and asset management firm.

Parents of two children, Janet and Rick wanted to find a way to plan for their eventual retirement years, provide income to family members and help charity. They found a solution in the form of a charitable remainder unitrust. Income from a unitrust is paid to named beneficiaries for their lifetimes. In addition to a current income tax deduction for Janet and Rick, the charitable remainder unitrust also allows them to shelter assets from estate taxes. When the trust terminates many years from now, charities important to the couple will benefit, including the Wharton School.

The decision to include Wharton in their estate plan was easy. For Janet, “Wharton taught me how to acquire business savvy and gave me a wonderful network of fellow alumni.” For Rick, “the School instilled in me the self-confidence and critical thinking process necessary to be successful. We are delighted to give back to Wharton because it gave so much to us.”

Using a Charitable Remainder Unitrust



Ken Middleton came to Wharton in the fall of 1965 after active duty in the US Coast Guard and after working in the insurance industry. Upon his graduation from the MBA Program in 1967, Ken joined the Treasurer’s Department of Exxon Corporation and traveled the world. In the back of his mind, though, was a yearning to own his own business. In 1980, he purchased a small storage company on the east coast of Florida and, four years later, he left Exxon to pursue his dream full-time. In the years that followed, Ken expanded the company and never looked back. Today, his business is thriving. Ken continues to oversee its operations, but he and Emmy also find time for travel, fishing and scuba diving.

Throughout his career, Ken has been grateful for the education he received at Wharton and the business success that his training helped him achieve. When it came time to plan his estate, he was determined to help future generations of Wharton students achieve their goals by establishing an endowed fellowship fund. To do so, Ken took the creative approach of placing his business in a trust that will benefit the School. At his death, ownership of the business will pass to the University of Pennsylvania. The University will then sell the business, and the proceeds will be used to create a fellowship in Ken’s name at Wharton.

Ken is enthusiastic about helping Wharton students become the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs. “I would not have been successful without the education Wharton gave me,” Ken asserts. “Wharton gave me a chance by admitting me and by giving me financial aid. I am delighted to help give future students the same opportunity.”

Using a Charitable Remainder Unitrust



As he neared the completion of his undergraduate engineering degree, John H. Shaw III decided to apply to Wharton’s MBA program to prepare for a career in business. He was worried, though, that a lack of funds would prevent him from attending. “I was ecstatic to learn that not only was I admitted, but that Wharton would also offer me a generous fellowship and loan package.”

After graduating in 1969, John joined Exxon and embarked on a career in financial and operational controls that included assignments on six continents and some twenty years living overseas, mostly in Asia. He met his wife of thirty years, Joanna, in Malaysia. Now retired, John and Joanna lead active lives in Houston and especially enjoy fast-paced games of tennis.

The Shaws are great believers in the power of education and have financed the college educations of two nieces and a nephew at universities in the U.S. and New Zealand. Their generosity will also extend to Wharton through a substantial bequest that will one day create the John Hill Shaw III Endowed Fellowship Fund. “Wharton provided me with the financial aid necessary to attend,” John said. “I was helped when I was young, and I want to reciprocate by helping future students. This is the best way I know to thank Wharton for giving me such a fine education and a good life.”

Game, set and match for John and Joanna and for Wharton.

Using a Bequest



The late Philip J. Whitcome, a member of the Wharton Graduate Class of 1976, has bequeathed $3.8 million to the School to provide endowed financial aid for MBA students. The gift is one of the largest estate gifts for fellowship in Wharton’s history.

Dr. Whitcome was a molecular biologist who spent his career in the biotechnology industry. In addition to his Wharton MBA, he held an undergraduate degree from Providence College in Rhode Island and his doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles. Early in his career, he held a variety of research and marketing management positions in the diagnostics division of Abbott Laboratories, and later served as manager of corporate development for medical products at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

He joined the biotechnology firm, Amgen, in 1981 where his roles included director of strategic planning. In 1988, he joined Neurogen Corporation where he served as president and chief executive officer until 1994. Most recently, he was a director and chairman of the board of Avigen, a firm based in San Francisco which develops gene-based therapeutic products for the treatment of inherited and acquired diseases. He passed away in December 2005.

“This generous gift will make it possible for generations of students to attend Wharton and prepare for business careers in bio-technology and many other fields,” said the Wharton Dean Patrick T. Harker. “I am confident that the Whitcome Fellows supported through this bequest will follow in Dr. Whitcome’s footsteps as the business leaders of tomorrow.”

Using a Bequest