Wharton History

For more than 135 years, Wharton has been the place where visionaries, inventors, and trailblazers get their start.

American entrepreneur and industrialist Joseph Wharton believed in the idea of business as an academic subject, and in 1881 he founded an institution that became and will always be the leader in business education. His vision was that the school would produce graduates who would become “pillars of the state, whether in private or public life.”

Since then, the Wharton School has continued innovating to meet mounting global demand for new ideas, deeper insights, and transformative leadership. We blaze trails, from the nation’s first collegiate center for entrepreneurship in 1973 to our latest research centers in alternative investments and neuroscience.

Learn more about Wharton’s history and where we are today.