Jon M. Huntsman Sr. is honored on several Utah buildings. Now his name has become prominent on a Philadelphia building, too.
The new Jon M. Huntsman Hall at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business was dedicated today.
Included among the speakers at a private dedication ceremony Friday morning were President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and Huntsman.
Huntsman, a Salt Lake philanthropist and corporate leader and an alumnus of the Wharton School, and his family donated more than $50 million toward the $140 million structure.
Steven Oliveira, associate dean of external affairs at Wharton, said both Cheney and President Hinckley were on the program because they are friends of Huntsman.
Anti-war activists at the University of Pennsylvania planned to protest Cheney's campus visit, Knight Ridder News Service reported Thursday.
In an effort to energize anti-war sentiment on campus, the student activists were to use cardboard cutout skulls and a small tent city on the university's College Green, the news service said.
The students were also unhappy that Cheney was invited to the business school. "Wharton is making great progress promoting socially responsible business practices in its curriculum, and I'm appalled that they would open this great building by inviting Cheney," Penn student Melissa Byrne told Knight Ridder.
After the private morning program, a separate public dedication program was planned for tonight.
Speaking of Huntsman's charitable efforts, Oliveira said, "Utah has produced one of the greatest philanthropists in the country."
He said Huntsman's efforts have extended beyond his quest to help find a cure for cancer and his other interests in Utah to now benefit higher education on the East Coast.
"Huntsman's donation was critical," he said of the building project. The unrestricted donation was given early to get things going. "Utah has a great deal to be proud of," he said.
The 324,000-square-foot building includes 48 classrooms and 57 group study rooms among its lecture halls, auditoriums and conference rooms. It culminates a decade of planning and has been funded entirely by major gifts and pledges from alumni, corporations and friends.
"Huntsman Hall brings to fruition an important part of our strategy to attract the best faculty and best students," Wharton Dean Patrick Harker said. "We now have a state-of-the-art facility that will revolutionize how we deliver a Wharton education."
The new building also features the latest in digital and video recording and Internet access. The facility will serve 2,400 undergraduates, 1,600 MBA students, 200 executive MBA students and 200 doctoral candidates.
Huntsman, who graduated from Wharton in 1959, already has a program at the business school the Huntsman Program for International Studies named in his honor.
The Wharton School invented business education in 1881 and offers one of the premier business programs in the world. Oliveira said the school also has some Utah students each year, though he's not sure how many are enrolled this year.
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