The Wharton School, the world's first collegiate business school, was founded in 1881 by Philadelphia industrialist and philanthropist Joseph Wharton. A native Philadelphian, Wharton became a leader in industrial metallurgy and built a fortune through his American Nickel Company and Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The anvil, a School symbol, reflects Wharton's pioneering work in the metal industry.
Joseph Wharton envisioned creating a new collegiate foundation which would produce educated leaders of business and government. From the beginning, he defined the goal of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy (its original name) to be: "To provide for young men special means of training and of correct instruction in the knowledge and in the arts of modern Finance and Economy, both public and private, in order that, being well informed and free from delusions upon these important subjects, they may either serve the community skillfully as well as faithfully in offices of trust, or, remaining in private life, may prudently manage their own affairs and aid in maintaining sound financial morality: in short, to establish means for imparting a liberal education in all matters concerning Finance and Economy."
Commencement for the first undergraduate class of the Wharton School was in June, 1884. Setting an early standard for diversity and international leadership at Wharton, graduates of the class went on to become an ambassador to Brazil, a member of the Japanese Diet, a university historian, and a manufacturer of railroad supplies.
Wharton's MBA program was initiated in 1921; the Wharton Executive MBA program began in 1974 and hosts programs in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Today, the Wharton School is one of the preeminent schools of business in the world and is widely regarded as a leader in preparing students to succeed in a globally competitive business environment. It offers undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in ten academic departments: Accounting, Business, Economics & Public Policy, Finance, Health Care Management, Legal Studies & Business Ethics, Management, Marketing, Operations, Information & Decisions, Real Estate and Statistics. The research interests of the faculty tend to be highly quantitative.