The Wharton School named professor Judd B. Kessler as the inaugural Howard Marks Endowed Professor for his research in behavioral economics and behavioral investing.
The Howard Marks Endowed Professorship is awarded with the purpose of encouraging and supporting those like Kessler to explore an intersection of business and behavior in the industry sector and apply the results to society, Wharton News reported.
A Business Economics and Public Policy professor, Kessler's research is mainly focused on uncovering the economic and psychological forces regarding an individual’s decision to donate — such as studies intended to optimize the organ donation process and charitable giving. His research has appeared in multiple publications, including the American Economic Review.
Wharton Dean Erika James told Wharton News that Kessler’s work "embodies Wharton’s commitment to preparing the next generation of great business leaders with the tools to translate theory into practice and drive meaningful change,” said James.
Howard S. Marks, W’67, who funded the Endowed Professorship, has contributed to the University for three decades. He previously chaired Penn’s Investment Board, and served in Wharton’s Undergraduate Executive Board — still remaining as an emeritus trustee of the University.
Marks has also recently endowed the Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing at Penn Arts and Sciences and established several professorships, including the Howard Marks Professorship for faculty in economic history which is currently held by Marc Flandreau.
“Howard’s generosity furthers this vision and is an investment in the faculty leaders who will guide Wharton students in this journey," James told Wharton News. “We are sincerely grateful for his long-standing partnership with the School and the University, and for his support which elevates the work of such exceptional faculty.”