Posted by: Geoff Gloeckler on October 29, 2010
On Thursday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School announced a $15 million gift from Patty and Jay Baker to permanently endow the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the B-school.
“We are honored by Jay and Patty Baker’s gift,” said Wharton’s Dean Thomas Robertson in a statement. “The Baker Center offers an increasingly important and popular career choice for both our MBAs and undergraduates. With this gift, the Center will continue to be the premier source of knowledge within the retailing industry. Our goal is to have an impact on the welfare of retail nationally and globally.”
This marks the second large gift that Baker, a Wharton alum and retired president and director of Kohl’s, and his wife have donated to Wharton specifically earmarked for retailing. The first—$10 million in 2002—was used to establish the Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative.
“The Center will continue work that began with the Baker Retailing Initiative and work closely with the industry, students, and faculty to help develop the leaders of retailing,” Jay Baker said in a statement. “It is wonderful to give while we’re living and actually see the benefits derived from our gift, and feel the immense joy from that.”
The Bakers have been longtime financial supporters of Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania as a whole, previously endowing a professorship, a PhD fellowship, a 50th reunion scholarship, and the Baker Forum in Huntsman Hall, Wharton’s main academic building.
Wharton is currently the only top business school to offer a degree in retailing.