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B-School Life

Ashton Kutcher Will Take the Stage at Wharton

Kutcher attends the première of Jobs at Regal Cinemas in Los Angeles on Aug. 13

Photograph by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Kutcher attends the première of Jobs at Regal Cinemas in Los Angeles on Aug. 13

Ashton Kutcher, or Chris, as he was known before he started growing facial hair (more on that in a moment), is headed to Wharton.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that the actor and movie producer will be speaking on Sept. 18 as part of the Wharton School’s Lauren and Bobby Turner Social Impact Executive Speaker Series.

Katherine Klein, the vice dean in charge of Wharton’s social impact initiative, says Kutcher founded the Thorn, a nonprofit that fights human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children, and uses social media to raise awareness for that and other causes he’s involved in. “He’s doing interesting, important work as a philanthropist, and he’s using his fame in creative ways,” she says. “This is a passion for him.”

The event is free for anyone with a PennCard (the school’s official ID card). Online registration for the event, scheduled for 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Annenberg Center’s Zellerbach Theatre, is required. But the Pennsylvanian reports demand for the first-come, first-served event was so high that registration was closed as of 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Kutcher is known for starring roles in movies such as Jobs, in which he plays Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Jobs, No Strings Attached, and What Happens in Vegas, as well as TV’s Two and a Half Men, where he plays a billionaire, and That ’70s Show.

At the Teen Choice Awards earlier this month, he gave an inspiring speech about the value of hard work and believing in yourself. That’s when he revealed his first name isn’t Ashton, which is his middle name—it’s Chris.

The Pennsylvanian quoted a number of Wharton students who were excited by the news of Kutcher’s upcoming appearance. Sophomore Ashlee Burris said she loves it when someone famous comes to campus, while senior Gavin Huangok declared Kushton’s speaking engagement “awesome.”

Online commenters, however, weren’t as thrilled: “Anon” was “glad to see Wharton brings in speakers as profoundly intellectual as its student body.” (Actress Eva Longoria and rapper Ludacris have also spoken at the school as part of the series.) “Anon2” wondered, “Can we bring Snooki next?”

Join the discussion on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forum, visit us on Facebook, and follow @BWbschools on Twitter.

Lavelle is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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