Thanks to our alert readers, we learned that the Wharton Club of New York began long before we thought. We had reported in our Winter 2012 issue that our Club was formalized by constitution in 1970, and that the first Joseph P. Wharton Dinner as held at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1972. All true; however, there was in fact a club well before 1970.
The Wharton Graduate Business School Club of New York was founded in 1962 to 1963 through the efforts of Paul Paulson, WG’59 — along with Bob McDonald, WG’58; John Proudfit, WG’59; Bob Sachs, WG’58; John Main, WG’59; and David Michealson, WG’59.
We were able to reach Paul Paulson, residing in Greenwich, Connecticut, who served as the Club’s first President. Paul reached back 50 years to share this account of its founding. “At the time, in 1962, I was on the Executive Committee of the Wharton Graduate Business School formed by Dr. Donald Blankertz, the Director of the Graduate Business School Division. I had a lot of respect for Don Blankertz. He excelled at raising funds for the school from New York-based alumni. Don was concerned that the lack of a formal Wharton Graduate alumni organization in New York inhibited the Graduate School’s ability to raise funds and generate favorable publicity for the Graduate School versus the school’s competitors. Based on these conversations, we decided to start the Wharton Graduate Business School Club of New York.
“We began with social events and then later included guest speakers who worked in finance, industrial management and marketing fields. These events were held at the Williams Club, formerly located at 24 East 39th Street, as were our monthly meetings.
“There was considerable discussion about including Wharton undergraduate alumni in the Club. This idea was championed by Dr. Willis Wynne, who was the Dean of the Wharton School from 1958 to 1971. We resisted the merger, because many of the Graduate Business School alumni felt they had allegiance to the Graduate Business School but also had allegiance to their respective undergraduate colleges or universities. Therefore, when it came to fundraising, they were less likely to contribute to a total Wharton fund.
“As interest grew among the Graduate School alumni, our organization became more vibrant. The Club took a significant leap in 1970 under the enthusiastic leadership of Bob Bedell, WG’68. I continued to serve on the Club Board for several years and watched the organization flourish.”
While Paul was President, he was the managing director at Compton Advertising, became President of Doyle Dane Bernbach, and later started an advertising agency called Isidore & Paulson, which he sold in 1993. Finally, he formed Paulson Marketing Services, a marketing consulting company.
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