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$5 Million from Alumni Julie and Ken Moelis to
Support Wharton Sports Business Initiative

March 4, 2008, Volume 54, No. 24



The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced a $5 million gift from alumni Julie Taffet Moelis and Kenneth D. Moelis to the Wharton Sports Business Initiative (WSBI). Wharton School Dean Thomas S. Robertson formally announced the gift on February 25 at the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, a joint venture between the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and Wharton Executive Education that assists NFL players in preparing for their post-playing careers.

The gift will provide both term and endowed funding that will have an immediate and lasting impact on the WSBI program and the School.

Led by Wharton Professor Kenneth Shropshire, the WSBI is a collaboration among top business leaders, Wharton faculty and students, that generates and disseminates knowledge about the sports industry through educational programs, strategic corporate partnerships, high-level student consulting assignments, global outreach and research.

The Moelis’ commitment is one of the largest contributions ever given to support research on the business of sports. “We are deeply grateful for this outstanding gift from Julie and Ken Moelis,” said Dean Robertson. “It is a testament not only to a proud tradition of alumni leadership at Wharton, but also to the importance of supporting emerging research in such areas as sports business.”

Dr. Shropshire, David W. Hauck Professor and director of the Wharton Sports Business Initiative, said, “Through their gift, the Moelis family will help us to take our research to the next level, which will enhance the School’s position as a global thought leader in this field.”

The Moelis family has a strong legacy at Wharton through both their leadership and philanthropy. Julie Moelis graduated from Wharton’s undergraduate program in 1981. Ken Moelis is a 1981 Wharton alumnus; he received both undergraduate and MBA degrees. He serves on the School’s Board of Overseers and is chief executive officer of Moelis & Company, an investment bank he founded in July 2007. His father, Herb, and two siblings, Ron and Cindy, also graduated from Wharton. Currently, the couple’s eldest sons, Jordan and Cory, attend the School. In 2002, Julie and Ken Moelis made a substantial contribution to support the construction of Jon M. Huntsman Hall. More recently, they established an endowed scholarship for Wharton undergraduates.

Mr. Moelis said, “We were inspired to make a commitment to the Wharton Sports Business Initiative because it is a priority in the Campaign for Wharton and consequently for the future of the School. For us, philanthropy is very much a family affair, and we all agree that the sports industry is an important and emerging field of study in business education and research.”


Almanac - March 4, 2008, Volume 54, No. 24