Time Capsule: A Photo History of Business Education

By Tricia Bisoux

February 22, 2016

WE ASKED BUSINESS SCHOOLS that were among AACSB’s first member institutions and other prominent organizations in the industry to dip into their archives and share moments from their histories with us.


A Natural Output

'A Natural Output'

University of California president Benjamin Ide Wheeler, shown here on his horse Rex in the late 1800s, was instrumental in persuading San Francisco Bay area merchants to support opening the university’s College of Commerce. In his address to the local Merchants Association, he urged them “to grab hold of the 20th century—restless, turbulent young fellow as he is likely to be,” and spoke of the democratic role of new land grant universities. “The day has passed when the university existed to train men solely in a certain narrow list of vocations either for lives of leisure as gentlemen’s sons, or to professions such as the ministry, the law, medicine, and teachers,” he said. “The modern university has to do with all that concerns life and the interests of life. ... A college of commerce does not represent any new departure on the part of our university. It is a natural output of the university.” Now called the Haas School of Business, the school recently released the book Business at Berkeley about the early days of management education.

Land Grant

Cora Jane Flood, daughter of industrialist James C. Flood, donated land and securities to the University of California. At the time, the gift was worth more than US$460,000 ($13.2 million in today’s dollars). The gift was used to endow its College of Commerce in 1898.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF UC BERKELEY

Land Grant

Before Facebook

Before Facebook

This photo taken in 1900 of a classroom at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania shows that turn-of-the-20thcentury business students did not need social media to share ideas. Their notes on this chalkboard create an impromptu “Wharton Directory” and poke fun at their professor’s use of a “card system,” among other inside jokes.

PHOTO FROM THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES AND RECORDS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA


Class Uniform

Class Uniform

In 1900, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth became the first to open a graduate program in business, offering a master of science in commerce. Its first student class, pictured here in 1901, was small and composed of young white American men. Flash forward to the present, when Tuck recently announced that of the 286 members of its class of 2017, 20 percent are minorities, 32 percent are citizens of countries outside the U.S., and a record-high 42 percent are women.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TUCK SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT DARTMOUTH


Honorable Mention

Honorable Mention

The inaugural members of the business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma at the University of Wisconsin, 1907. In 1919, AACSB recognized BGS as the only honorary business society, after which BGS opened chapters only at AACSB-accredited schools.

PHOTO COURTESY OF BETA GAMMA SIGMA


First Degree

Pictured here is the first MBA diploma in history, awarded in 1910 to Harold Johnson, a graduate of Harvard Business School.

IMAGE COURTESY OF HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL

First MBA Degree

Delicate Experiement

A ‘Delicate Experiment’

When Harvard Business School was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1908, it was described by the university as a “delicate experiment,” one that included fewer than 100 students, all of them male and mostly from the United States. Pictured here is Harvard’s first MBA cohort in 1910. The school did not enroll its first women students until 1963, when it admitted eight to its two-year MBA program.

Today, 41 percent of HBS students are women and one-third are international; the school also now has a strong minority presence on campus. “Diversity in the broadest sense of that word is an essential ingredient in our commitment to educating leaders who make a difference in the world,” says Harvard Business School’s current dean Nitin Nohria. “Accordingly, discussions both inside and outside the classroom reflect many different points of view.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL


International Ambitions

In 1914, two international events loomed large in New Orleans, Louisiana: the outbreak of World War I and the opening of the Panama Canal. As a port city located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the city was well-positioned to benefit both from increased wartime production and expanding trade with South America. Therefore, the New Orleans Association of Commerce partnered with Tulane University to establish a school that could provide the city’s business community with the skills necessary to leverage these new international opportunities. The cartoon at left appeared on the front page of the New Orleans Times-Picayune on the morning of September 14, 1914, to commemorate the founding of Tulane’s College of Commerce and Business Administration. At that time, Tulane’s inaugural business curriculum included courses in international trade and commercial Spanish.

International Ambitions

Now known as the A.B. Freeman School of Business, the school continues its focus on university-corporate partnerships and global management. “Tulane’s business school was established in direct response to the needs of the business community during a time of political unrest, social change, and technological disruption,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “Today, 100 years later, we’re a much different institution, but I think to some degree our mission remains the same, and that is to respond to the most pressing needs of business with innovative programs that address the critical issues of the day.”

IMAGE COURTESY OF TULANE UNIVERSITY


Street Car College

'Street-Car College’

Pictured at left is the first graduating class of the business school at Washington University in St. Louis on the steps of Brookings Hall in 1920. At center is the only woman in the class, Margaret Haase Calhoun. In an interview in 1985, Calhoun recalled her student days: “It was a street-car college. Some faculty and out-of-town students lived in McMillan Hall, where there were also sorority rooms…and [the business school’s first home] Duncker Hall was about to be built.” As a sign of the times, Calhoun came from a wealthy family and went on to inherit part of her family’s food importing business, ACL Haase Company. Calhoun later became chairman of the board of the Girl Scouts Council of Greater St. Louis. During World War II, women’s enrollment in the business school increased from 18 to 121.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN ST. LOUIS


Accounting for History

Accounting for History

Shown above, an accounting class is at work at the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, circa 1915. That year, economist David Kinley, the director of courses and training for business who later became the university’s president, said “We need to develop in our young men imagination and the spirit of investigation, the capacity and desire for generous leadership, and a high sense of moral obligation to their fellow business men and to the public at large.” That quote is now displayed within an 8-foot-high alcove at the entrance of the College of Business’ Wohlers Hall, serving as a touchstone for the school, says Jeffrey Brown, the dean of the college today. It serves to connect the imagination and spirit of those “early days of penmanship courses and antiquated adding machines to today’s blended courses, online MBA program, and 3D printing lab.”

IMAGE 6150 COURTESY OF UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS ARCHIVES


Trailblazer in Economics

When the School of Commerce at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln became the College of Business Administration in 1919, Minnie Thoorp England (pictured above at top right) was the only woman among its 423 faculty. In 1906, England had been the first recipient of a doctorate in economics at UNL at a time when many universities limited the number of women admitted.

Her mentor, W.G. Langworthy Taylor, hired England while she was still a doctoral student, and she served as an assistant professor from 1906 to 1921. She was never promoted, even as her peers were elevated to the rank of full professor. She published four articles from 1912 to 1915 on the idea that entrepreneurship encouraged investment swings, which in turn drove business cycles—an idea that would be more fully developed by Joseph Schumpeter, who had read her work. England and her work are largely missing from many histories of economic study, according to Robert Dimand in his chapter in the book Feminist Economics.

As World War I grew more heated, several UNL professors voiced their opposition to the conflict, including England. Their perceived disloyalty to the cause attracted the attention of Nebraska’s State Council of Defense, which called for their dismissal. Although England was cleared of wrongdoing, she resigned in 1921, at the age of 45. She is considered a trailblazer for women in a male-dominated discipline.

Today, women comprise 33 percent of the CBA’s administration and faculty, including its dean Donde Plowman. Women also make up 36 percent of the CBA’s student body.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Trailblazer in Economics

BGS Welcomes Women

The welcome message in this 1933 clipping from the Beta Gamma Sigma Exchange newsletter is directed to the female members of the honor society Gamma Epsilon Pi. This followed the change of the BGS constitution that marked its merger with Gamma Epsilon Pi and its decision to allow women in its membership.

IMAGE COURTESY OF BETA GAMMA SIGMA

BGS Welcomes Women

Urban Evolution

When New York University first opened the doors of its School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in Greenwich Village in 1900, New York City was in the midst of the greatest wave of immigration in its history. The school’s undergraduate program provided professional training for students pursuing careers in business. In 1916, the school launched its graduate business program in New York’s downtown business district. That location, shown here in 1941, was called the “Wall Street Division.” It was housed at 90 Trinity Place, less than two miles from the school’s current home in Greenwich Village. In 1940–1941, the graduate program enrolled 1,196 full-time and part-time students, more than 99 percent of whom attended class in the evening. Course topics included the New York money market, railroad securities, urban land economics, societal evolution, and advertising copy.

Urban Evolution

When NYU first opened in 1831, its founder Albert Gallatin announced that the university would be “in and of the city” and provide “a system of practical and rational education fitting for all,” explains Peter Henry, dean of what is now the NYU Stern School of Business. Henry adds that, “as business and society play on an increasingly global stage, being ‘in and of the city’— understanding our comparative advantage not only in terms of location, but also in terms of talent and human potential—is as important today as it was in Gallatin’s time.”

PHOTO BY A.F. SOZIO


Early Returns

Associate dean James Lorie (shown above in 1960, left) and finance professor Lawrence Fisher (right) founded the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP) at what was then the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. The pair collaborated to collect and analyze data from NYSE common stock returns between 1926 and 1960. Their research formed the basis for the CRSP, the first comprehensive database for historical security prices and returns. Today, the CRSP at Chicago Booth provides data for investment managers, as well as scholarly researchers at 470 academic institutions in 35 countries.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SPECIAL COLLECTIONS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LIBRARY

Early Returns

1950s Field Trip

In the post-WWII era, business schools did more to provide their students with opportunities to experience real-world business. During the 1950s, Washington University began emphasizing internships and group projects for students at local companies, as well as trips farther afield. Shown here are marketing students in 1958 as they prepare to board a plane to visit the original “Mad Men” working on Madison Avenue in New York City. Several such NYC visits were arranged by marketing professor Patricia Schoen, also the wife of Sterling Schoen, who founded the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

1950s Field Trip

360 Degree Leadership

360-Degree Leadership

In the 1940s, the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire was developed by scholars in the Leadership Studies department at The Ohio State University. They included Ralph Stogdill, John Hemphill, Alvin Coons, and Melvin Seeman. Its 1962 revision, shown at left, was published by Andrew W. Halpin and B.J. Winer. Rather than studying leaders themselves, these scholars were among the first to survey subordinates. “The outbreak of WWII spurred government and military branches to advance efforts to identify and study leadership to meet wartime demand,” explains David Greenberger, associate dean at OSU’s Fisher College of Business. The questionnaire asked respondents to rate their leaders on a one-to-five scale for each of 150 statements describing different behaviors. The tool laid the groundwork for current theories, such as the Path-Goal Leadership model, which emphasize matching a leader’s behavioral traits to the working environment.

IMAGE COURTESY OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY


Call for Diversity

This reprint of a 1974 Businessweek article (below) highlights the growing attention to the need for greater diversity within corporate leadership. While the article mentions organizations such as the National Association of Black MBAs, its focus is the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, based in St. Louis, Missouri, calling it “the most successful program so far” in the push for diversity.

Sterling Schoen, a professor of management at Washington University in St. Louis, founded the organization in 1966. The article refers to Schoen’s “missionary commitment to get minorities, including Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and American Indians, into the U.S. power structure.” It also describes him as a tenacious fundraiser. “Schoen is a pest around corporate offices,” said Arthur Singer, a VP from the Sloan Foundation. “They give him money to go away.” That year the Sloan Foundation gave the consortium US$150,000; other supporters included IBM and GM.

Call for Diversity

In 1974, the consortium included Indiana University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Rochester, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, and Washington University in St. Louis. That year, those six schools graduated 63 black MBA students—more than had graduated from all U.S. business schools combined eight years earlier. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the consortium, which now includes 18 universities that have graduated more than 8,000 MBA students from minority populations. It will offer membership to 400 more students in 2016. The work of CGSM laid the groundwork for organizations with similar missions, such as The PhD Project, founded in 1994, which has helped more than 1,000 minority students earn their doctorates in business disciplines.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CONSORTIUM FOR GRADUATE STUDY IN MANAGEMENT


The Holistic Teacher

In 1970, when many faculty were encouraged to advance business research, James A. Graaskamp (at left), a real estate professor at the University of Wisconsin, chose to focus on teaching. To honor that legacy, the Wisconsin School of Business now houses the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate.

“Graaskamp cared about what students learned, not just from his lectures and countless office hours, but from the whole of their educational experiences. He cared about helping students form ethical mindsets, reach beyond their own aspirations, and develop networks within which they would thrive,” says François Ortalo-Magné, the Albert O. Nicholas Dean. “Graaskamp’s legacy lives on as we shift our educational mission from the traditional emphasis on classroom teaching to a more holistic approach that inspires student learning.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WISCONSIN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

Holistic Teacher

Early Tech

Early Tech

The 1980s mark the decade when business schools began opening their first computer labs, such as the one pictured above from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, circa 1985.

PHOTO FROM THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES AND RECORDS CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA


Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning

Business students from the 1980s probably would not recognize the classroom spaces and technology their 2016 counterparts have at their disposal. For example, the Wisconsin School of Business recently unveiled its new collaborative learning classroom, shown above. The redesigned classroom, which will allow students to work in teams at round tables in specially designed spaces, will play a prominent role in the school’s new approach to teaching, explains dean François Ortalo-Magné. Instruction will rely more on guided collaboration and encompass five dimensions of learning—knowing, doing, being, inspiring, and networking. Faculty are working with instructional designers to co-create holistic learning experiences throughout the curriculum.

In 20 years, such holistic, student-centric experiences—where “students create meaningful representations of what they know, what they can do, what they value, and who they aspire to be”—are likely to be the norm rather than the exception at business schools, says Ortalo-Magné. He also sees business schools renewing their partnership with the liberal arts. “Business education will be at the core of undergraduate training, preparing all undergraduates to lead fulfilling lives, broaden their perspectives to embrace complex challenges, and thrive in the global market economy.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WISCONSIN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS


Turning to 2016

Even as business educators continue their debates about increasing diversity, adopting new technology, embracing experiential learning, and promoting innovation, it’s enlightening to look at the artifacts featured here to gain a glimpse of how past educators viewed these issues in their own times. The next year— and the next 100—will inspire a myriad of new moments, new approaches, and new insights, ready to be captured by the business historians of the future. At BizEd, we’re excited to see what the industry will become and share the ways business schools are shaping the future.

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