The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School last week announced the creation of a new international real estate program that promises to benefit students and faculty alike. The Grayken Program in International Real Estate—funded through a gift from John P. Grayken, C’78—will enhance Wharton’s already strong focus on real estate through expanded academic programming for students, research support for faculty and industry events and outreach.
Grayken is founder and chairman of private equity firm Lone Star Funds, which invests globally in real estate, equity, credit and other financial assets. Lone Star is a research sponsor to Wharton’s Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, which will be home to the new program.
“We’re honored by John’s partnership with and generosity to Wharton,” Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett said in a statement. “He is helping us expand the depth and reach of our programming in global real estate—from students who aspire to become real estate leaders, to alumni and executives around the world driving and defining the industry, to faculty whose research is shaping how academics and professionals understand one of the world’s most important industries.”
The new program is expected to enrich the school’s entire real estate community. At the student level, new academic programming will help support students looking to innovate in global real estate. It will also facilitate connections with leading real estate investors around the world, complementing Wharton’s existing domestic network. Finally, it will better support research by Wharton faculty on international real estate topics and facilitate interactions with leading industry professionals.
Wharton’s Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center was established in 1983 to promote excellence in real estate education and research. In 1985, Wharton launched a real estate concentration for MBA students, which has since grown in size and scope. Student complete required courses focused on real estate development and finance and then choose from electives ranging from real estate economics and law to urban fiscal policy, housing markets and the relationship between government policy and private development. The Grayken Program will increase academic and professional opportunities related to international real estate markets.
“I’ve been impressed by the Zell/Lurie Center’s faculty and programs, including their annual London event, which brings together real estate industry leaders from around the world,” Grayken said in a statement. “It’s a pleasure to help Joe Gyourko and his team build on these successes and expand Wharton’s global activities in the field,” he added. Gyourko is a Wharton professor of real estate, finance and business economics & public policy and director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center.