Owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and 1986 Wharton graduate Joshua Harris and his wife Marjorie donated $10 million to the Wharton School as part of the university-wide Power of Penn fundraising campaign. The donation will create the Joshua J. Harris Alternative Investments Program to expand research opportunities for students and host events that connect students to alumni and experts in the industry.
The new program will focus on research and programming in private equity, hedge funds, venture capital, and investment management, the program's website stated.
“Wharton students continue to express a strong interest in alternative investments, and the Harris Program will provide unprecedented resources to enrich their understanding of the industry,” said Josh Harris in Wharton News. “I know first-hand that Wharton students are creative, entrepreneurial, and eager for new challenges — attributes that the great leaders of the industry possess.”
The donation comes as part of Wharton’s More Than Ever fundraising campaign with a $1 billion goal. This campaign is part of Penn President Amy Gutmann's Power of Penn campaign, which was launched in April 2018 as Penn’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date.
“Josh and Marjorie Harris’ extraordinary gift to the Harris Program will significantly expand student opportunities, advance new knowledge, and meaningfully engage the University community, which are key priorities for Penn,” Gutmann said in the press release. “We are profoundly grateful to Josh and Marjorie for their visionary philanthropy that helps today’s Penn students lead in tomorrow’s complex world.”
The donation is not the first monetary gift Harris has made to Penn. In July 2018, as a former wrestler, Harris donated $1 million from the Harris Family Charitable Foundation to support Penn’s wrestling program. This $1 million donation helped establish the Joshua J. Harris Wrestling Assistant Coach Endowment and assisted the wrestling program with team travel, recruiting, equipment, salaries, and facility renovations, Penn Athletics News reported.
Last fall, 1984 Wharton graduate Mark Rowan, who along with Harris is a co-founder of Apollo Global Management, and his wife Carolyn gave Wharton its largest donation ever at $50 million for the establishment of the Rowan Distinguished Professors and Rowan Fellows programs.