The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala at the Annenberg Center.
This interdisciplinary research center, led by Wharton marketing professor Barbara Kahn, was established in 2002 and expanded in 2010 through generous gifts from Patty and Jay Baker, W’56, former President of Kohl's Corporation.
"Retailing is changing and getting more complex every day. We want to support the industry by getting our faculty to think about challenging business questions that are at the top of retailers' agenda. Our students benefit from it through the curriculum," explained Dr. Kahn.
The Center, established to be the global leader in retail knowledge and education through cutting-edge academic research, joint academic-industry programs, student and alumni activities, global initiatives, and career placement, works with a C-level industry advisory board and accomplished Wharton faculty thought leaders to foster the exchange of ideas and initiate collaboration.
"We've been able to get the industry and academia to work together. It's something we've nurtured and built, and it's really working now," said Jay Baker.
The Center's activities over the last decade have raised the recognition of retail as an academic discipline and business career across the Penn campus and have greatly enhanced students' interest in retail management careers. In the most recent academic year, the number of undergraduate and MBA students taking full-time or internship positions in retail has increased to a total of about 160.