The Wharton School Receives $6.5m to Establish Social Impact Prize

B-school alums have really been coming through for their alma maters lately. Last week, I wrote about Columbia Business School alum Richard Paul Richman’s $10m gift to Columbia University for the establishment of the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law and Public Policy. This week, the trend continues with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School alum Barry R. Lipman, who recently gave Wharton $6.5m to establish the Lipman Family Prize, which will honor one organization committed to social change annually.

According to a press release, Wharton will award one organization each year a $100,000 cash award, choosing a winner who is “devoted to positive social impact and the creation of sustainable solutions to significant social and economic challenges.”  The winning organization, as well as top finalists, will have the opportunity to form ongoing partnerships with Wharton, from working with faculty researchers to recruiting students for internships.

Said Wharton dean Thomas S. Robertson:

We are deeply grateful for Barry Lipman’s gift. Dedication to social impact is one of the pillars of the Wharton School, and it is an honor to administer such an important award that recognizes organizations with an effective, innovative approach to creating social and economic value worldwide.

Wharton hopes to begin the application process for the Lipman Family Prize this spring, and plans to hold the first award ceremony in the spring of 2012. While Wharton will administer the prize, the winner will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee comprised of faculty and staff from several departments across the University of Pennsylvania.

Lipman stated that his goal for establishing the prize is to “expand the benefit of social impact organizations around the world by helping to improve their delivery of services through competition, to inspire Penn students to enter the field, and to encourage the transfer of successful methods of operation to similar local and regional organizations.”


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