Thomas Dunfee


Thomas W. Dunfee
June 2, 2008

Thomas W. Dunfee, a giant in the field of business ethics and an Academic Advisor and Advisory Council member for the Institute since its founding, died of prostate cancer on June 2, 2008.

Mr. Dunfee, the Joseph Kolodny Chair of Social Responsibility in Business at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, was widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of business ethics. He was the author or editor of 12 books and authored more that 50 articles for academic journals. He served on the faculty of The Wharton School for 34 years  and he was a visiting professor at The University of Michigan, Georgetown University, the University of Florida, the University of Newcastle (Australia) and Indiana University. During his career he lectured at many European and Asian universities.

His many achievements include: receiving the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award for Excellence from the American Business Law Journal in 1991; serving as president of the Society for Business Ethics (1995-6); chairing the Wharton School’s Legal Studies Department (1979-85) and (1987-91); and serving as president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business (1989-90).

He is remembered fondly by those who knew him. Longtime friends and colleague,
R. Edward Freeman said, “Tom was an institution builder. He, almost singlehandedly, brought ethics to the Wharton curriculum. He worked tirelessly with faculty from every discipline and simply never gave up. He was instrumental in the formation and early success of our Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics. More importantly, Tom was always available to talk to colleagues, doctoral students, and others. Some of my most important memories are of Tom taking time to help me with thinking about what I really wanted to do in life.”

The Wharton School has created a Memorial Website for Thomas Dunfee in his honor. The site includes messages from colleagues and friends, photos of Mr. Dunfee and an obituary.