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In addition to his recent $1 million gift to Wharton, K. Robert Turner (W'84) has contributed both with donations and initiatives drawing help from public figures such as Andre Agassi. | Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It’s no secret that Penn alumni love to support their alma mater, and the Turner family is no exception.

1984 Wharton graduate K. Robert Turner and 1985 Wharton graduate Lauren Golub Turner recently announced a $1 million gift to Wharton that will establish the Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Society Fund.

This fund will allow for the growth of the Turner Social Impact Society, a group for students in all undergraduate schools interested in applying innovative business strategies to social issues. Sandra Hunt, the assistant director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative and manager of the TSIS, said she thinks the gift will help the TSIS — which had its first year in 2014-2015 school year — continue to thrive.

“This gift will enable TSIS to grow, creating a community of interdisciplinary students who will come together to share their social impact skills and passions, explore career interests and work collaboratively on making a positive social impact at Penn and beyond,” Hunt said.

Some ways in which the gift could be used have already been set in motion. College junior Will Slotznick, a fellow in the TSIS, said that ideas for the gift include a fund which TSIS students can apply to in order to create their own startups related to social impact. Other options include increased grants for summer internships and travel.

“Social impact is becoming more and more important on campus, more people are thinking about it, people are trying to develop a consciousness for these types of issues and it’s great to have that space and those resources there with students that are interested and excited about this,” Slotznick said. “It’s great that the Wharton Social Impact Initiative and Bobby and [Lauren] Turner are there to help ... it’s encouraging.”

This gift is not the Turners’ first contribution to Wharton. The Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Executive Speaker Series was established in 2009 and brings renowned speakers to campus. Additionally, the Lauren and Bobby Turner Curriculum Development Fund also supports social-impact curriculum.

“Bobby and Lauren believe that Penn students should — and will — be leaders in their generation, which places a high priority on building a better world,” said Sherryl Kuhlman, who is managing director of the Wharton Social Impact Initiative and a 2001 MBA graduate. “The connection with Wharton and the Wharton Social Impact Initiative will provide [students] with the experience and knowledge needed to create sustainable approaches to pressing social problems.”

Robert Turner currently serves as the principal and CEO of Turner Impact Capital, LLC, which is an investment management firm that seeks to find solutions to social issues based in Los Angeles. He will return to Penn on Nov. 16, to host William Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, as part of the Lauren and Bobby Social Impact Executive Speaker Series. 

Correction: A version of this article appearing in the Nov. 5 issue of the DP was accompanied by a photo labeled to be a picture of K. Robert Turner when in fact the photo was of another individual. The online article's photo does show a picture of K. Robert Turner. Further, a quote in the story incorrectly referred to Lauren Golub Turner as Laura Turner and has since been corrected. The DP regrets the errors.

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