Images: Mizzou School of Commerce


Show Me Legacy

Photo courtesy of the UMC Archives: C:22/8/21.

The University of Missouri College of Business was established in 1914 as a senior professional school and offers a variety of curricula that emphasizes preparing students for responsibilities in business, government, and society as a whole. Its business programs were among the first in the nation to be accredited. The college was also a leader in offering the PhD degree in business-related fields. Many prominent early business scholars were associated with the college, including H.G. Brown, DR Scott, and Thorstein Veblen. The tradition of scholarship and teaching remains strong to this day.

The Trulaske College of Business, named in 2007 after one truly great alumnus, celebrates its 100+ year legacy of excellence. In that time, the college has built a century of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

  • Early 1900s, increasing industrial modernization makes formal education in business necessary.
  • As a land-grant institution, Mizzou provides education in agriculture, mechanical arts, business and more.
  • Bucking pressure for purely theoretical education, courses are scientific and practical.
  • 1914 the Missouri School of Commerce is established — one of the first schools in the nation to prepare leaders in business, government and society.
  • 1914 Herbert J. Davenport becomes Dean.
  • 1915 the first business degree is awarded to Donald S. Libbey.
  • 1916 Katherine O'Neill King becomes the College's first woman graduate and the first person of either gender to earn a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration.
  • 1916 Isodor Loeb becomes Dean.
  • 1917 the Commerce Club is founded for the study of practical business problems.
  • 1925 Frederick A. Middlebush becomes Dean.
  • 1926 Mizzou's business programs are among the first to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
  • 1929 the first Commerce Day is held. Events include the Derby Dance where men compete for the title of "Ideal Boss."
  • 1934 Harry G. Brown becomes Acting Dean.
  • 1935 Merea Williams, Assistant Professor of Education, approved as senior teacher of secretarial courses for the new curriculum in Secretarial Science. This made her the first female appointed to a major teaching position within the college. Additionally, the Merea Williams Scholarship for Business Education was established in 1985 to support undergraduate studies in business education.
  • 1936 Roy E. Curtis becomes Dean.
  • 1942 Harry G. Brown becomes Acting Dean.
  • 1946 William L. Bradshaw becomes Dean.
  • 1954 B&PA partners with Westinghouse Electric to create the Executive Development Program. Westinghouse desired a "graduate program in business for its engineers and other qualified personnel." The program was designed as a 3-year program, with four hours of coursework offered each semester on Tuesday evenings - taught by B&PA staff who commuted from Columbia to Kansas City.
  • 1958 Four-year program of study in Real Estate is established. There was a feeling by some that the lack of formal real estate education was a void that needed filling. Today, this program is thriving as part of the Jeffrey E. Smith Institute of Real Estate.
  • 1959 A new business-park-styled learning center opens. It's later named Middlebush Hall after Dean and University President Frederick Middlebush.
  • 1961 John W. Schwada becomes Acting Dean.
  • 1962 William H. Baughn becomes Dean.
  • 1964 Pinkney W. Walker becomes Dean.
  • 1964 MBA program is founded. Later, it would be named for alumnus, Gordon E. Crosby, Jr.
  • 1971 Robert W. Paterson becomes Dean.
  • 1972 the College establishes the School of Accountancy.
  • A College of Business at a major-research university means major business research.
  • 1976 Owen J. Koeppe becomes Acting Dean.
  • 1977 S. Watson Dunn becomes Dean.
  • 1980 Ronald J. Ebert becomes Interim Dean.
  • 1981 Stanley J. Hille becomes Dean.
  • 1988 Robert V. Penfield becomes Interim Dean.
  • 1989 the Davenport Society is founded and named in honor of the College's first dean.
  • 1990 Bruce J. Walker becomes Dean.
  • Our faculty are nationally and internationally known and published thinkers, teachers and researchers.
  • Academic Analytics ranks the Trulaske accounting faculty 9th in the nation for research productivity.
  • 1997 the Vasey Academy is founded to provide opportunities for minority students.
  • 2002 Cornell Hall becomes the College's new home.
  • Niche programs in sales, entrepreneurship and angel investing prepare students with real-world skills.
  • 2006 The Professional EDGE, founded as the Professional Development Program, is established to prepare students for the rigors of their careers.
  • 2007 the College of Business is proudly named for Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. '40.
  • Trulaske students manage realtime investment funds in a fully functioning trading room with Bloomberg access.
  • 2009 the Cornell Leadership Program expands with additional support from the Cornells and promotes leadership skills in top students.
  • 2010 Joan T.A. Gabel becomes Dean.
  • 2012 the execMBA program launches.
  • 2015 Stephen P. Ferris becomes Interim Dean.
  • 2017 Ajay Vinzé becomes Dean.
  • 2017 Camp Trulaske launches for incoming freshman to help get them situated and acclimated to the college
  • 2017 MS in Finance and MAcc Online launches
  • 2018 Heartland Scholars program launches
  • 2020 Trulaske launches the MS in Business, an innovative program based on a stackable certificate model allowing Students and Colleges across campus to cross connect their educational experience with the Trulaske College of Business