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Columbia Business School Timeline

Columbia Business School was first founded in 1916, thanks in part to a generous gift from the banking executive Emerson McMillin. There were 11 faculty members on our initial staff, teaching an inaugural class of 61, including eight women. Today, as the School has evolved to meet the needs of an ever-changing business world, both our numbers and our reach have multiplied.

In addition to the Full-Time MBA, the School now offers several Executive MBA options, as well as doctoral and master of science degrees and robust Executive Education opportunities. Throughout this evolution, we have maintained an unwavering commitment to improving the world of business through cutting-edge research, innovative education, and an expanding global network.

  • Founded in 1916

    A New School for New York

    The University Trustees formally authorize the creation of a “School of Business“ at Columbia. The Trustees unanimously name James C. Egbert as the first director of the new school. Egbert edits the first official annoucement of courses and instructors, which appeared in late June.

  • 1919: School of Business Association Formed


    The Voice of Columbia Students

    The School of Business Association — a forerunner to the Graduate Business Association — is formed, providing the student body with representation and greatly influencing the School over the years.

    The School of Business Association

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  • 1924: School Moves to Dodge Hall

    Putting Down Roots

    Having grown fivefold since its inception and now offering BS, MS, and PhD degrees, the School gains its own building, today known as Dodge Hall, at 116th Street and Broadway.

  • 1932: Roswell C. McCrea Named Dean

    A New Direction

    Roswell C. McCrea becomes dean, steering the School through the turbulent economic, political, and educational conditions of the 1930s.

  • 1945: Hermes Logo Adopted

    The God of Commerce

    The School begins to shift its focus to graduate education, establishing the MBA degree, admitting its last undergraduate class, and changing its name to the Graduate School of Business. Shortly thereafter, the emblem of Hermes, the Greek god associated with commerce and entrepreneurship, is adopted as the School's logo.

  • 1949: First Yearbook

    There’s a Club for That

    Students produce the School's first yearbook, The Business Cycle, and establish a number of professional and social clubs. Today, the School hosts more than 100 student clubs, ranging from the Africana Association and the Investment Banking Club to the Wine Society.

  • 1951: Dean Phillip Young Launches Junior Executive Program

    Profile of Phillip Young

    A Real-World Program

    Underscoring his belief in the connection between business education and the practice of business, Dean Phillip Young launches the Junior Executive Program, a part-time degree program and precursor to today’s Executive MBA Program.

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  • 1954: Courtney C. Brown Becomes Dean

    Creating New Connections

    Courtney C. Brown, former chief of the Department of State’s division of war supplies and resources during World War II, becomes dean. He raises the profile of the School and furthers its connections to the realm of public policy.

  • 1959: Advisory Council Established

    A Board of Industry Leaders

    The School establishes the Advisory Council, a committee of business professionals who offer expert guidance. Today’s Board of Overseers, co-chaired by Art Samberg ’67 and Henry Kravis ’69 of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., boasts leading practitioners — many of them alumni — drawn from industries around the world.

  • 1964: Uris Hall is Built

    A New Center of Business

    A $1 million gift from noted developers Percy and Harold Uris allows the School to construct a modern new base of operations, Uris Hall.

  • 1965: First Tenured Female Faculty Member

    Breaking through the Glass Ceiling

    Margaret Chandler, professor of organizational behavior, becomes the first tenured female faculty member.

  • 1968: “Curl” Installed

    A New Columbia Landmark

    “Curl” is installed on Abrams Plaza, directly in front of Uris Hall, and quickly becomes a campus landmark. The three-ton steel abstract sculpture was designed by Clement Meadmore, who also designed a concrete sculpture for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City and exhibited a 20-foot work in Central Park in 1967.

  • 1976: Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Established

    The Future of New York

    A group of organizations deeply concerned with New York City’s future, including the RCA Corporation, Exxon, and Bankers Trust, establish the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at the School.

    The next year, 25 directors of New York City–area not-for-profit institutions are enrolled in the program, now part of Columbia Business School Executive Education.

  • 1977: Boris Yavitz Appointed Dean

    Improving Ties with Business

    Professor Boris Yavitz, who wrote an early book on strategy and championed corporate governance, becomes the School’s seventh dean. As dean, Yavitz enhanced the faculty in size and scope, increased applications, improved ties with the business community, and solidified the School’s reputation as a top graduate institution.

  • 1982: John C Burton Named Dean

    From the Accounting Hall of Fame

    After serving as chief accountant of the SEC, deputy mayor of New York, and, while in college, assistant statistician to the Brooklyn Dodgers, John C. Burton '56, PhD '62, becomes dean. He was named to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1997.

  • 1985: Uris Hall Gets New Look

    Uris Takes Shape

    Uris Hall takes its present-day shape with the addition of an extended facade designed by Peter Gluck.

  • 1989: Meyer Feldberg Becomes Dean

    Over a Decade of Leadership

    Meyer Feldberg '65 is named dean. During his 15-year tenure, he expands the School’s reach, building on its global outlook and capitalizing on the New York advantage.

  • 1990: Department of Education Establishes Center for International Business and Research

    The Department of Education takes advantage of the significant international resources at Columbia Business School and the School of International and Public Affairs and establishes the joint Center for International Business and Research> (CIBER).

    A year later, a $10 million gift from Jerome A. Chazen ’50 establishes the Chazen Institute of International Business, which oversees language education, exchange programs, curriculum development, international research, speaker events, conferences, and study tours.

  • 1996: Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center Established

    Fostering Entrepreneurship

    A gift from Eugene M. Lang, MS &’40, establishes a center for entrepreneurship in his name; strategies for identifying opportunity and thinking like an entrepreneur are integrated throughout the School's curriculum.

    Lang says he hopes the School “will attract, excite, and foster the entrepreneurial instincts of a stream of students from all over the world and from all conditions of life.”

  • 1999: Warren Hall Completed

    A State-of-the-Art Space

    Warren Hall is completed in partnership with the Law School, offering students a light-filled, state of-the-art building. In addition to offering classroom and study space, Warren becomes home to the Executive MBA Program.

  • 2001: First Partner Program Launched

    Going Global

    The School launches EMBA-Global, a groundbreaking executive MBA program offering degrees from both Columbia and London Business Schools. EMBA-Global is followed in 2002 by a 10-year partnership with UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and in 2008, Columbia and LBS team up with the University of Hong Kong to create EMBA-Global Asia, the first executive MBA program on three continents.

  • 2002: Arthur J Samberg Institute for Teaching Begins

    Enhancing the Classroom Experience

    Endowed with a gift from Board of Overseers co-chair Arthur J. Samberg ’67, the Arthur J. Samberg Institute for Teaching Excellence launches, offering resources to help faculty members at all levels improve their teaching skills.

    The institute’s initiatives — including a unique mentoring program that pairs junior faculty members with experienced mentors — enhance the classroom experience for students and faculty members alike.

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  • 2003: Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics Founded

    The Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Center for Leadership and Ethics is founded, exploring issues of individual leadership and integrity, corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility, particularly through its novel Innovation, Business, and Society Curriculum. Among the center's guest speakers are SEC commissioners Paul Atkins and Harvey Goldschmid, Anne Mulcahy of Xerox, and Paul Volcker of the Federal Reserve.

  • 2004: Glenn Hubbard Appointed Dean

    A New Office

    After government roles that included serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Glenn Hubbard, the Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, becomes dean.

  • 2010: Kravis Gives School $100 Million to Establish Manhattanville Campus

    Looking to the Future

    In the largest gift in Columbia Business School's history, Henry Kravis '69 pledges $100 million to the School in support of its new campus in Manhattanville.

  • 2012: EMBA-Americas Created

    Executives across the Americas

    Further expanding its flexible and innovative degree programming, Columbia launches EMBA-Americas. With a modular format tailored for executives located throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America, the program provides more convenient access to the Columbia MBA, meeting in New York, Toronto, Silicon Valley, and São Paulo.

    With the Full-Time MBA Program's two entry options, EMBA-New York’s Friday/Saturday or Saturdays-only formats, the EMBA-Global partnerships, and now EMBA-Americas, the School has eliminated the barrier between high-potential business leaders and Columbia’s world-renowned MBA degree, enabling students to focus on their education on the schedule that’s best for their careers.

  • 2013: Perelman Donates $100 Million Toward Manhattanville

    Innovation, Uptown

    Board of Overseers member Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, pledges $100 million to the School’s new facilities in Manhattanville, directly north of Columbia's existing campus in Morningside Heights. In recognition of his generosity, the School will name one of its two buildings on the new campus the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation.


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Congratulations to the

Class of 2015

Best of luck to all of you from the entire Columbia Business School community.

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