One year ago, the University of Pennsylvania made its first official announcement of operational changes to combat the unprecedented impact of Covid-19. No one knew then that a worldwide pandemic would upend so many lives and present unimaginable challenges.
To reflect on this milestone, Wharton is taking a look back on the ways in which Covid-19 fundamentally changed how everyone communicates, gathers, and works — as a school and as a society.

Pivoting in a Year of Disruption

Catching Up with Wharton’s Vice Deans

The Vice Deans of Wharton’s Undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, and Doctoral programs reflect on the ways their teams adapted to the Covid-19 challenges of the past year: what they did right, what they could’ve done better, and what advice they can share moving forward.


Diana Robertson, Undergraduate Division
Howard KaufoldMBA Program
Peggy Bishop Lane, MBA for Executives Program
Nancy R. ZhangDoctoral Programs

Catching Up with Wharton’s Vice Deans

How do you summarize the past year in just one word? What have we really learned from this experience? Wharton’s Vice Deans — who led their students and teams through it all — have a few thoughts. They remark on the creative ways students adapted, predict what learnings are here to stay, and offer advice on how to move forward.


Diana Robertson, Undergraduate Division
Howard KaufoldMBA Program
Peggy Bishop Lane, MBA for Executives Program
Nancy R. ZhangDoctoral Programs

Following the Wharton Experience

Countless students and staff have inspired their peers through the past year, demonstrating true leadership in crisis. Here are some firsthand accounts of the strength of the Wharton community.

Click the arrows to read their experiences

Fast Forward: What’s Ahead?

In Spring 2020, Wharton launched “Fast Forward,” a video series in which faculty shared their predictions for how the pandemic would disrupt key industries. Now, a year later, they share what they see in store for the rest of 2021 — for the economy, remote work, healthcare, retail, and more.


Advancing the Conversation

In the News

Amplifying Alumni Voices

Alumni experts shared timely insights on Wharton Business Daily, the School’s daily SiriusXM radio show which covers the latest in business news.

COVID-19’s Impact on Health Policy

Covid-19 on Bumble and Online Dating

Leadership in Times of Crisis

Understanding Inequality in America


Meeting the Educational Challenge

Shifting Toward a Virtual Environment for High School Students

Hundreds of high school students have traveled to Philadelphia to participate in Wharton Global Youth Program’s summer offerings. Last year, however, the Program took the opportunity to be creative and tailor to Gen Z in a successful virtual pivot, delivering the Wharton experience to students around the world.

Guiding Leaders Through Crisis

The pandemic fundamentally changed business. Through Executive Education’s Wharton Ready Livecast Series, Wharton faculty offered guidance for leaders to recalibrate and succeed in this new business landscape.

Take a look at some other ways Executive Education has pivoted in the last year in the program’s “One Year Later” video.


“Being a good leader is a never-ending process. Since I started my journey at Wharton, I have been challenged to dive in, adapt, and trust — in my colleagues, our community, and above all, myself. I look forward to how we will grow together, far beyond this pandemic.”

— Dean Erika James