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October 02, 2018

Penn's Wharton School receives $50 million gift, largest in history

Education Philanthropy
University of Pennsylvania campus Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice Staff

The Quadrangle at the University of Pennsylvania.

A $50 million gift from billionaire investor and philanthropist Marc J. Rowan will become the largest donation ever received by the University of Pennsylvania's prestigious Wharton School.

Rowan and his wife, Carolyn, revealed the gift on Tuesday along with Wharton School officials, who outlined a plan for gift to help expand programs, faculty and fellowships in the years to come.

The founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Rowan graduated from Wharton in 1984. Carolyn Rowan followed a year later.

“With profound gratitude to Marc and Carolyn Rowan, I anticipate the tremendous impact of their philanthropy on the University of Pennsylvania,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “Their investment in Penn’s future will strengthen our intellectual resources, provide our students with life-changing mentors and mobilize our knowledge for the advancement of society.”

Funds will be used to build on the Penn Wharton Budget Model, an economic policy analysis program that promotes data-drivem solutions for the U.S. economy. Wharton will recruit three Rowan Distinguished Professors and appoint a group of Rowan Fellows to five-year terms.

Rowan currently serves as as chair of Wharton’s Board of Overseers, a Penn Trustee, and co-chair of Wharton’s More Than Ever fundraising campaign. His donation pushed the campaign's current goal from $850 million to $1 billion.

“Inspiring Wharton faculty who were committed to cutting edge business education were catalysts for my success,” Rowan said in a statement. “Carolyn and I are honored to join the vision of the Wharton community to bring the School’s outstanding students face to face with the most important thinkers of our time. As top Wharton researchers advance and shape their fields, they transform the lives of their students, preparing them to make a difference in the business world and beyond.”