Wharton San Francisco finds a new home


New campus aims to establish 'vibrant presence' on both coasts, improve energy conservation


whartonsanfrancisco02

The Wharton School’s San Francisco campus officially opened the gates to its new location at Hills Plaza earlier this month.

Photo by Courtesy of The Wharton School


Wharton San Francisco officially has a new place to call home.

On Jan. 2, the Wharton School’s West Coast branch opened its new campus in Hills Plaza, San Francisco.

“After 10 years in San Francisco, we had outgrown our space at the historic Folger Building and were anxious to find a larger space which could accommodate tiered classrooms, study and conference room space and executive dining space,” Chief Operating Officer of Wharton San Francisco Bernadette Birt wrote in an email.

The new Hills Plaza building sits only two blocks away from the Folger Building. Both are located on the Embarcadero, the eastern waterfront along the San Francisco Bay.

Wharton San Francisco — which offers MBA and executive education programs — is also currently celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Equipped with high-tech classrooms, faculty spaces, common areas and group conference rooms, the new campus offers students and staff a variety of amenities that Wharton administrators say the old campus lacked.

“We now have three-tiered classrooms, more study rooms, state-of-the-art technology — including high-definition screens and cameras in each study room — and incredible dining and event space that overlooks the Bay Bridge,” Birt wrote.

For Wharton Dean Thomas Robertson, the move is a step forward on the road to establishing a strong presence outside of Philadelphia.

“The relocation of our campus to Hills Plaza is aligned with our vision to establish Wharton as a vibrant presence on both coasts and, moving forward, to position it as a portal to countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim,” Robertson said in a statement in June.

Wharton San Francisco’s new campus is more than 30 percent larger than its old one. In addition, the campus reflects Wharton’s focus on sustainability, according to Birt.

“Since sustainability is very important to all of us, the project team worked hard to develop the space” with the goal of energy conservation, she wrote, adding that the majority of the classrooms and facilities on the new campus take advantage of natural light.

Some students feel that the new campus is aesthetically more pleasing than the old one. Engineering freshman Manosai Eerabathini, a native of the Bay Area, has seen both campuses in person.

“The new location faces outward and it sits right on the main street,” he said. “It’s much more prominent. I felt that the old campus didn’t stand out as much.”

The moving process was a joint effort between Wharton’s Philadelphia and San Francisco branches, with Penn’s Facilities and Real Estate Services team leading the way, Birt wrote.

And while the campus is less than a month old, Wharton San Francisco is already looking into the future.

“We anticipate more interest and growth in the executive education programming due in part to the phenomenal location and facility,” Birt wrote.

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