Wharton School Announces Highest Honor to Two Prominent Alumni

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Philadelphia, PA—The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has announced that the Dean’s Medal, the School’s highest honor, will be awarded to two distinguished members of the Wharton community: Alvin V. Shoemaker, W’60, HON’95, and Sukanto Tanoto, WF’01.

Wharton Dean Thomas S. Robertson said, “The Dean’s Medal recognizes the outstanding achievements of today’s leaders of global business. Both of the awardees have contributed to their communities and beyond, allowing diverse groups of people to gain knowledge and opportunity. It is my honor to present the Dean’s Medal to these exemplary individuals in recognition of their efforts to help others succeed as they have.”

In the 1980s, Alvin V. Shoemaker helped build First Boston into its reputation as a powerful firm during his role as its Chairman, and then shepherded its merger with Credit Suisse. Today, Alvin V. Shoemaker Investments is a private equity firm specializing in the needs of the oil and gas technology and service businesses.

Mr. Shoemaker was Chairman of Penn’s Board of Trustees from 1986 to 1994, which was a period of significant growth, and he chaired the Campaign for Penn, which raised $1.4 billion for University priorities. During this time, he also established the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women. Mr. Shoemaker has supported the Wharton School, the School of Arts and Sciences, the Museum and the Athletic department, and he served as Chair of the Athletic Board of Overseers. He is an emeritus member of the Penn Board of Trustees and of the Wharton Board of Overseers. On September 20, 2012, a 2.75-acre green space on the University of Pennsylvania campus, Shoemaker Green, was dedicated in his honor.

In addition to receiving the Dean’s Medal, Mr. Shoemaker was awarded an honorary doctorate from Penn in 1995 and the Alumni Award of Merit, Penn’s highest alumni honor. In 1994, he received the Beacon Award from the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women for his leadership in furthering the advancement of women, and he is the only man to be so honored. The Shoemaker family, including four children who are Penn alumni, are active volunteers for the University.

Sukanto Tanoto is the Founder and Chairman of RGE, a global resources-based group of companies with corporate offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia.  At the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Tanoto has supported the Wharton School through his contributions to the Chinese language edition of Knowledge@Wharton, the Global Alumni Forums, the Wharton Fund and the Wharton West Program Seed Fund. He is a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers, the Wharton Executive Board for Asia and the INSEAD International Council.

A self-made entrepreneur, Mr. Tanoto pioneered the plywood business in Indonesia in 1973. His company, RGE, has manufacturing operations in China, Indonesia and Brazil, as well as sales offices in four continents. He advocates the importance of social corporate responsibility in all of his endeavors, citing that operations must be “good for the community, good for the country and good for the company.” Mr. Tanoto is also passionate about using his success to help people in his native Indonesia and across the globe. In 2001, he and his family formed the Tanoto Foundation to help reduce poverty and advance human achievement; its primary focus is on education, empowerment and enhancement. The Foundation makes available scholarships to students, helps train teachers, builds schools and distributes equipment and books, in addition to providing health care in remote areas and rapid-response assistance in earthquakes and other natural calamities.

Mr. Tanoto is a Wharton Graduate Fellow, having completed an Executive Education program at the School in 2001. He and his wife Tinah have four children, three of whom are active alumni at Wharton.

About the Dean’s Medal

Created in 1983, the Wharton School Dean’s Medal recognizes outstanding leaders of private enterprise, public service and academia. The awardees are chosen for their contributions to the enlargement of the global economy and to the improvement of lives worldwide. The Dean selects individuals who, through excellence in management, have truly made a difference in the creation of wealth and value, and in the promotion of a peaceful and prosperous world. Past recipients of the award include two Nobel Prize winners, presidents of five countries and many chairmen and chief executive officers from thirteen countries worldwide. For more information, please visit: http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/alumni/deansmedal/.

About the Wharton School

Founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. With a broad global community and one of the most published business school faculties, Wharton creates ongoing economic and social value around the world. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and a powerful alumni network of 91,000 graduates.

The Campaign for Wharton

With an ambitious $550 million goal, The Campaign for Wharton includes foundational elements and cutting-edge initiatives in such areas as faculty and student support, research programs and curriculum development, technology and facilities, and unrestricted support. Launched in 2005 and ending in 2012, The Campaign for Wharton will help to ensure Wharton’s prominence as the thought leader in global business education. For more information, please visit www.thecampaignforwharton.com.