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Wharton Receives $4 Million for Leadership Fellows Program

Posted by Chioma Isiadinso

Sometimes the best resource MBA students have is each other, and the William P. Lauder Leadership Fellows Program at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School puts that idea into action. The program trains second-year MBA students at Wharton to teach and mentor first-year students.

 Now, the Leadership Fellows Program is going to have a little extra cash to work with thanks to William P. Lauder, who has endowed the program with a $4 million donation.

Lauder, former CEO and current executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Companies, is already highly involved in the Wharton community. He is on the Wharton Leadership Advisory Board as well as the University of Pennsylvania’s Board of Trustees, and even teaches a highly popular class at the school.

In Wharton’s Leadership Fellows Program, students begin by working on their own leadership skills. Then, as second-year MBA students, their focus shifts to helping first-year MBA students develop their leadership skills.

Lauder’s donation to the program is especially appropriate considering the connection between leadership and teaching that the program emphasizes: if there are two things Lauder has experience with, it’s teaching and leadership.

As a leader, Lauder has at various times been executive chairman, chairman of the board of directors, and CEO at The Estée Lauder Companies. He’s also chairman and co-chairman of the boards at the Fresh Air Fund and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation respectively.

As a teacher, Lauder designed and teaches MGMT 896: Decision Making in the Leadership Chair, a by-application course that Wharton says has been one of the school’s most popular electives in its six years of existence.

In recognition of his work on the course, Lauder was selected by Wharton’s faculty to receive the school’s Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award in 2014.

Lauder explains that the link between teaching and leadership informs much of what he does. “I have always believed that great leaders are also great teachers, coaches and mentors,” he says. “That’s what I expect of leaders at The Estée Lauder Companies, and what I hope to model for MBA students.”

With his contribution to the Leadership Fellows Program, Lauder has found another way to help underline that connection for Wharton students. Among other things, his gift will enable additional training for fellows and the creation of a new one-day leadership symposium.

For those interested in MBA programs that will take their leadership skills to the next level, the William P. Lauder Wharton Leadership Fellows Program is one reason why Wharton is worth considering.

But you might be wondering: do you have the profile to get accepted at a school like Wharton, and how can you submit an application that shows the adcom all your strengths? We can help with these questions. Ask us for a free MBA application assessment!

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