Wharton Business School’s Trump Card

Donald Trump

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is one of many well-known alums of Wharton Business School.
Image: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Wharton Business School ranks right up there with big names like Stanford and Harvard, with one of the most-published business school faculties and big-name alums like Yotaro Kobayashi (CEO of Fuji Xerox), Robert Crandall (former president and chairman of American Airlines who invented the frequent flyer program), and Laura Lang (former CEO of Time). But the alum getting the most press these days is Donald Trump, would-be Republican nominee for President, who frequently cites Wharton as a badge of honor for his business career.

Established in 1881 by industrialist Joseph Wharton, the school is home to one of the most-often-published faculties and boasts 94,000 alumni in 53 countries. Its alums include Rene Kern of General Atlantic, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, and Mortimer Zuckerman of U.S. News.

  • Lately, though, the alum on everyone’s mind is Donald Trump. “I went to the Wharton School of Finance,” he said multiple times in a July 11 speech in Phoenix. “Some of the great business minds in the world have gone to Wharton,” he added. In an August 16 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he described Wharton as one of the most difficult business schools in the country to get into. And back in 2007, even before Trump’s notoriety as a Presidential candidate began, Wharton’s alumni magazine named him one of their 125 most influential people.
  • “He sort of had a magnetism about himself,” said classmate Ted Sachs. “He knew where he was going—that was clear.”

Wharton boasts on its website that MBA students will be “stretched, pushed, and ultimately, transformed.” A full time MBA can be earned in two years, offering students the opportunity to focus on one of 18 majors. (Many end up pursuing dual degrees.) Career management assistance is also available to both current students and graduates. The core curriculum covers traditional areas like accounting, finance, marketing, and management, while electives offer advanced learning options and the chance to interact with other University of Pennsylvania schools, including the Annenberg School for Communication, the School of Social Policy & Practice, and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

Trump may be in the spotlight now when it comes to Wharton alums, but Wharton has a history of turning out well-educated, high-powered graduates poised to positively influence the world around them.


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