Large Donations at Wharton and HBS Aid Fundraising Campaigns

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania received the largest single donation in its history last week, when alumnus and co-founder of Apollo Global Management, Marc J. Rowan (BS ’84, MBA ’85), and his wife, Carolyn Rowan, gifted $50M to the school. A portion of the donation will go toward the establishment of the Rowan Distinguished Professors program, which will allow Wharton to recruit three new faculty members who are considered leaders in their fields, and the Rowan Fellows program, a five-year designation to support current Wharton faculty members. The donation will also be used to support the Penn Wharton Budget Model, which provides analyses on current U.S. economic issues. The University of Pennsylvania is hosting a fundraising campaign with a $4.1B goal, of which Wharton aims to raise $850M. After the Rowans’ donation, however, Wharton announced that the business school’s goal has been increased to $1B.

Harvard Business School was similarly engaged in a massive fundraising campaign that ended successfully in September. The school brought in almost $1.4B during the campaign, surpassing its original goal by $400M. Nearly 60% of MBA alumni donated during the campaign—overall, close to 27,000 individuals took part financially. One of the most recent donations, a $5M gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman (MBA ’72), the co-founder and CEO of Blackstone, will be used to develop case studies on artificial intelligence in the business world.

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