12.22.2007

In Honor of Two Fellow Whartonites

Sherman Ma and William Whitney are inextricably linked in mind to each
and to my Penn experience. Sherman was assigned to mentor me, which
meant we traded letters before I arrived on campus and he showed me
around when I first arrived. He showed me the ropes and answered my
unceasing questions about which classes to take; through him, I also
found a sweet room in the Quad that I ended up living in my sophomore
and junior years.

Dr. Whitney was both of our advisors, and the very first Whartonite I
talked to when I visited Penn my senior year in high school. He
immediately took an interest in me, and his helpfulness, kind spirit,
and enthusiasm for Wharton were a major reason I decided to leave
California to come to Penn. He was a great advisor during my four
years at Wharton, and we have stayed in touch ever since then.

Needless to say, I owe a great debt to both these men. So it
delighted me to no end to receive Wharton's 2007 "Report to Investors"
and read about Sherman's recent contribution to the school towards the
creation of a scholarship in Dr. Whitney's honor. In the report,
Sherman is quoted as saying, "At the time, I didn't grasp the
significance of Dr. Whitney's stories and parables, and it was only
later that I understood the wisdom of his advice. He has taught me
and many others the importance of developing a meaningful perspective
on life."

I wholeheartedly concur. Dr. Whitney walked us green freshmen through
micro- and macro-economics, management, and game theory, among other
topics. He was ever ready to do what he could do - and he had a lot
of pull - to help us get into the classes we wanted to take. To me
and others, he exuded the kind of warmth and wisdom you want in an
advisor. And he was ever the encourager, pushing us to stretch and
grow in many ways; it was on his suggestion I wrote my senior thesis
on the intersection of faith and business in my four years at Wharton.

Sherman Ma and William Whitney may or may not be readers of this blog,
but to those of you who are, please know that I am but a composite of
many people who have taken the time to help me, including the two of
them. And I'm so glad to know that they will continue to have
influence at Wharton in perpetuity through this endowed scholarship.
Kudos to the both of them.

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