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Columbia Business School was founded in 1916, thanks in part to a generous gift from banking executive Emerson McMillin. Eleven faculty members taught the inaugural class of 61 students, which included eight women.
Over the past 100 years, the School has evolved alongside the ever-changing world of business. To meet the demands of a new century, Columbia Business School will move to a new location on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus. The new facilities — designed by renowned New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with FXFowle — will reflect the fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business in the 21st century.
Business culture has been evolving away from the hierarchies that dominated organizations in past; instead, organizations are moving toward more horizontal, collaborative models, and in order to maintain its position at the forefront of graduate business education, the School must inhabit a physical space that facilitates and encourages:
- The development of social intelligence–based skills, such as leadership, management, teamwork, and negotiation.
- The creation and strengthening of social networks among students, faculty members, alumni, and business practitioners
- The integration of cutting-edge technology into teaching and research
Similarly, faculty researchers understand that they must work cross-functionally in order to ensure innovation and relevance to business practice, particularly in multidisciplinary, problem-solving areas such as negotiations and decision making or strategy.
The construction of state-of-the-art facilities therefore offers Columbia Business School a unique opportunity to create spaces that lend themselves to a variety of uses, and that foster a deep sense of community — spaces where students, faculty members, and external constituents can gather and exchange ideas. In effect, the new campus will unlock the full potential of Columbia Business School, providing the necessary underpinning for the ongoing transformation of the School’s programs and the growth of its intellectual capital.