At Wharton, we passionately believe that knowledge is the muscle of business. But as the 2012 -2013 academic year comes to a close, many of us are fondly adding a twist to our favorite mantra: “knowledge and community are the muscle of business.” This mantra came to life on a Wednesday evening in mid-March when over 300 Wharton Second Years congregated at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to celebrate the Wharton Graduate Association’s Night at the Museum event.
The event was planned by the WGA in partnership with the Museum, taking advantage of the Museum’s “Pay What You Wish” Wednesday nights, which opens the institution’s main building to the public until 8:45pm every week. Second Years had the opportunity to “explore the Museum and its remarkable collections in inventive, interactive and dynamic new ways.” Students were invited to visit all exhibits in the museum, including an Academy Award-winning and very inspiring documentary entitled Inocente that featured a live question and answer session with the film’s producers Yael Melamede and Christina Weiss Lurie.
A conscious departure from the normal Wharton event that typically draws First Years, the Night at the Museum strove to deliver an experience that catered to the Second Year community. “Traditionally, the WGA Student Life Team focuses on the Cluster Cup, which mostly engages First Years. We wanted to make sure that we were also serving the Second Years and decided to organize two Second Year focused events — the Battle of the Cohorts at Dave and Buster’s during the fall, and the Wharton Night at the Museum event in the spring,” said TJ Lim (WG ’13), who is a WGA Executive Director of Student Life along with Michelle Lahtonen (WG ’13) and Patricia Oreta (WG ’13).
Truly a departure from the normal Wharton student activities (think beer in hand), the evening at the museum was unique – and dare we say, classy. Art, culture, and life were the main topics of conversation while strolling by masterpieces in a venue that many Wharton students rarely visit while living in Philadelphia. “My favorite part of the event,” commented Maggie Chao (WG ’13), “was the change of venue and seeing Wharton classmates and partners outside of Huntsman and Center City!”
WG ‘13 is leaving a legacy that emphasizes getting to know the Wharton community, building long-lasting relationships, and taking stretch experiences to new heights – like thinking outside the box to sponsor an event such as this. “Don’t be afraid to start something new,” advised Lim, “students should drive the Wharton student life experience and one of the best ways to do that is via the WGA – the ultimate student body focused on the Wharton community.”
Motivated by the event and the non-traditional venue, Jackson Dunlap ‘14, WGA President-elect noted that he is “inspired to try to create opportunities for our community to interface with Philadelphia institutions, like the Art Museum. We can always do more to engage with the arts in Philadelphia and I look forward to seeing this event repeated next year.”