Expanding Programs

President Lyndon Baines Johnson persuades Congress to pass a new Immigration Act, bringing an end to quotas based on national origin. Instead, preference was given to applicants based on their occupation and the current needs of the U.S. labor market, as well as to applicants with relatives already in the United States.

The Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) is founded, a cooperative venture of Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania's Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Nursing. Leveraging the strengths of Wharton and Penn's renowned health-care schools, the institute brought together multidisciplinary studies on the medical, economic, social, and ethical issues, influencing how health care is organized, financed, managed, and delivered. LDI represents one of the earliest efforts to promote collaborative scholarship in health care through formal partnerships within the same university among the clinical, management, and social sciences.

Wharton's Industry Department renames itself the Management Department after rolling out a new general management program. The new form of business learning tapped the sometimes arcane and heavily theoretical departments of the University to assist the nation's managers. Managerial models, quantitative procedures and the rapid expansion of computer-aided research all became the norm, and corporations and the government assisted in organizing thriving, well-funded research centers.

Wharton Then and Now
“ We founded Whitney Young at a time when there was tension between African-American students and the administration. There was no rallying point for African-American students at that point. We were new to the world of business. ”

— Milton Irvin, WG'74, executive director, UBS Warburg

The Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research opens its doors, further enhancing Wharton's dominant role in the field of finance. Today the oldest financial research center in the country, the White Center was initially the brainchild of the New York investment bankers sitting on Wharton's Finance Department Advisory Committee. The bankers saw the Finance Department's growing body of research in the "capital asset pricing model" (CAPM) and its potential usefulness in their day-to-day business. CAPM focused on the relationship between total return and the risk involved in holding an asset, thus providing a method to value stocks.

Wharton establishes the first MBA program in health care management, leading to Wharton being named the federal government's National Health Care Management Center throughout the 1970s. Today, Wharton continues to partner with the University of Pennsylvania's health-care schools, offering seven dual and joint-degree options for undergraduates and MBA students, from a BS/BSN to an MBA/MD.

From the Gazette
In 1970 Penn’s ‘Cinderella’ basketball team earns a 25-1 record. Black students march through campus to denounce the lack of funding for black advising programs. Student walkouts and protests interrupt Commencement ceremonies. With the cry “alternate floors for 74s,” coed housing comes to the Quad. A study finds the ratio of men to women at the University is 2-to-1. Martin Meyerson Hon’70 is appointed president, and the University faces a financial crisis and looming deficits.


Simon Kuznets Simon Kuznets wins the Nobel Prize in Economics for a method for measuring the Gross National Product that he developed as a Wharton professor.

The Journal of Marketing Research publishes the first article on conjoint analysis, Wharton's innovative approach to understanding consumer preferences and predicting market response to new product introductions, used by thousands of companies worldwide.

Vance Hall Vance Hall opens to house the School's ever-expanding Graduate Division. The new space allowed MBA enrollments to quickly mushroom from 1,050 in 1972 to 1,350, and its modular brick and concrete gave the graduate program a modern, physical identity.

Whitney M. YoungThe first Whitney M. Young Memorial Conference is organized by four MBA students to honor the former Executive Director of the National Urban League, Whitney M. Young Jr., who died in a tragic accident. Managed by the membership of Wharton's African-American MBA Association, the Whitney Young Conference has evolved into a three-day event focusing on African-American achievement and opportunity in business, industry, and entrepreneurship. Now one of the largest student-run business conferences in the country, the conference features career fairs, keynote speakers, and panels, providing opportunity for networking and building mentoring relationships among the 400 students, alumni, and other business leaders who attend.

Wharton introduces the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, the first fully integrated entrepreneurial program in a business school, under the leadership of Management chair Ed Shils, W'36. The first class in entrepreneurship had been offered through the department in 1970, shortly after Shils was named department chairman in 1969

In a changing of the guard, full administration of Wharton's PhD programs is transferred from Penn's School of Arts and Sciences (SAS). At the same time, the departments of Sociology, Political Science and Regional Science are transferred from Wharton to the SAS.

“ We at Wharton... thought the future of the country depended on our developing business leaders who had the entrepreneurial instincts and the ability to actually plan growth and make decisions about growth. ”

— Edward Shils, founding director of Wharton Entrepreneurial Center in 1973

The Wharton MBA Program for Executives opens its doors. Meeting on alternate Fridays and Saturdays and for four weeklong sessions over two years, the rigorous program puts experienced executives through a full-time MBA curriculum while allowing them to continue full-time work. The programs awarded its first MBA degrees two years later.

Finance Professor Jean Crockett becomes Wharton's first female department chairperson, later serving as the first woman chair of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Lawrence Klein Wharton and the School of Engineering launch the Joint Degree Program in Management & Technology (M&T). Inaugurated two years before the introduction of the IBM PC revolutionized business, the interdisciplinary program was the first undergraduate program of its kind.

Lawrence Klein Wharton professor Lawrence Klein, considered the world's master econometrician, wins the Nobel Prize in Economics. Klein created computer-based models that showed how events such as soaring oil prices affect world economic trends.

The Wharton Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) opens, supporting the local business community. Wharton served as headquarters for the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (PASBDC), which provide funding and overall program management for WSCBC and 15 other university- and college-based small business development centers statewide.

LEAD Wharton launches the LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Program to provide talented minority high school juniors with an intensive, month-long introduction to the world of business. Created by founding director Harold Haskins, the program has since been adopted by 11 other U.S. business schools.

Wharton Turns 100! Centennial celebrations mark the milestone.

Finance Professor Jean Crockett is appointed the first woman chair of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

Wharton collaborates with Thailand's Chulalongkorn University and the Kellogg School of Management to create the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, a new model for international graduate management education.

On to “Raising the Bar” >>

“ What I've learned is that the game has more than one move. The relationships that you have with people should last 20 or 30 years. That means that fair, ethical dealing is essential. Trying to get an outcome where both parties feel great and create value is what capitalism is all about. It's about making the pie larger. ”
— Rob Coneybeer, WG'96, partner, New Enterprise Associates

What trends shaped business in the 1960s?
Daniel Raff:
The 1960s were an expansionary time in the economy. This was the period where President Lyndon Johnson was explaining that we could have both guns and butter — the Vietnam War and the War on Poverty. It was also a period in which relatively undiversified American manufacturing firms were doing very well. You can look at the automobile industry, in which we were by far the world's leader in that period, to get a sense of that spirit that all was possible. You could see it in the cars. This was even reflected in the pop music of the day — think of the Beach Boys singing "She's real fine, my 409" — the engines, by present-day standards, were mammoth and immensely powerful. Think of ordinary production cars with trunks large enough for school kids to lie down in them. There was casual plenty.

When did this era of expansiveness end?
The situation changed quite radically in 1972 with the rise of OPEC and oil prices. The industrialized world sank into to stagnation and inflation. The general response of big business to this was not good. It was a blow, and they didn't know how to respond to it. By the end of the decade, you could see two responses working their way through the system. One was that large American companies, who didn't see that circumstances had changed for their customers, were not adapting their product offerings, quality, and service to meet those needs. So consumers became more open to buying alternate goods that were more attractive. For example, in the flagship auto industry, it turned out that the Japanese were rather good at making cars that didn't use so much expensive gasoline and that had higher product quality. (They had to be good at these to survive, such were the conditions in their home market.) The Japanese firms were also much better at changing what they made to respond to the demands of consumers. Differences in practice and performance by the late 1970s were quite striking.

The other thing that emerged was that the capital markets roused from their critical slumber. They began to see clearly that many large businesses — many of these diversified conglomerates — were not using investors' money very productively. And you began to see in the late 1970s the beginnings of a market in corporate control. That is, the old Wall Street rule of be happy or sell the shares went out the window; and active investors began trying to affect the firms' policies or even to take over ownership and change the policies directly.



© 2007 The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania.