A historical snapshot of the Wharton Club of New York.
1980 was a very good year for the Wharton Club of New York. Speaker program breakfasts were popular, often attracting 50 or more participants, and the Club held lobster bakes for families at Sherwood Island State Park. Rick Carmichael, WG’69, and Club President that year, recalls sourcing the lobsters as one of the Club’s more interesting challenges.
“My job was relatively easy! I graduated a year after Bob Bedell, WG’68, who founded the Club in 1972, and benefited from all of his efforts. Bob did a first-class job in setting the direction of the Club. He aimed high and developed a powerful board. The board members (all 25 of them) were well-connected, and took their roles seriously. For example, the Joseph Wharton Award Dinner in 1980 had 84 sponsors! Board members could and did pick up the phone and call their friends to take a table or two, so there was very little cold calling for us to do. Bob himself was a terrific fundraiser — as I recall, he even worked part-time at the University’s development office. I remember Pat Waide, WG’61, of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and other board members meeting frequently to plan the dinner, and decide how to approach the award recipient.
“Don Regan, as our honoree in 1980, was a big draw. He had built Merrill Lynch. And our keynote speaker was also a huge draw, the renowned columnist William Safire. I believe that it was the first time we paid an honorarium for a speaker, but we decided it was worth it. There were maybe 800 people attending that year, almost all corporate tables, filling the Waldorf-Astoria’s grand ballroom.”
Today, Rick runs R.S. Carmichael & Co., a marketing research firm that serves the commercial finance and equipment leasing industries.