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 after distinguished alumnus Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. in 2007, celebrates a 100+ year legacy of excellence. In that time, the college has built a century of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

  • In the early 1900s, increasing industrial modernization makes formal education in business necessary.
  • 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, in which 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. 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: Business & Public Affairs partners with Westinghouse Electric to create the Executive Development Program for Westinghouse’s engineers and other personnel. The program was designed as a three-year program, with four hours of coursework offered each semester on Tuesday evenings – taught by Business & Public Affairs staff who commuted from Columbia to Kansas City.
  • 1958: A four-year program of study in Real Estate is established. Today, this program is part of the Jeffrey E. Smith Institute of Real Estate.
  • 1959: A new business-park-style 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: The MBA program is founded. Later, it would be named for alumnus Gordon E. Crosby, Jr.
  • 1971: Robert W. Paterson becomes dean.
  • 1971: Quiester Craig becomes the first African American to receive a PhD in accountancy from the Trulaske College of Business. Dr. Craig became one of the pioneering African American leaders in accounting and business academe, serving as dean of the School of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T State University for more than 40 years (from 1972 to 2013), and as president of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, more commonly known as AACSB, in 1992.
  • 1972: The college establishes the School of Accountancy.
  • 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.
  • 1984: Jenice Stewart joins the business school as its first Black faculty member and its first female accounting professor.
  • 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.
  • 1997: The Vasey Academy is founded to provide opportunities for students from underrepresented groups.
  • 2002: Cornell Hall is completed, becoming the new home for the University of Missouri College of Business.
  • 2006: The Trulaske Edge, founded as the Professional Development Program, is established to prepare students to be the business leaders of the future.
  • 2007: The College of Business is proudly named for Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. '40.
  • 2009: The Cornell Leadership Program expands with additional support from the Cornell family to promote leadership skills in top students.
  • 2010: Joan T.A. Gabel becomes dean.
  • 2012: The college launches its execMBA program, designed for working professionals.
  • 2015: Stephen P. Ferris becomes interim dean.
  • 2017: Ajay Vinzé becomes dean.
  • 2017: Camp Trulaske launches for incoming business students, allowing them to become acclimated to the college and meet their peers before coursework begins.
  • 2017: Two new graduate programs, the MS in Finance and the MAcc Online, launch.
  • 2018: The Heartland Scholars Academy launches to equip first-generation, rural business students with the tools and skills needed to achieve academic success at Mizzou.
  • 2020: The college launches the MS in Business, an innovative program based on a stackable certificate model, allowing students to create unique degrees for their unique career paths.
  • 2021: With a generous gift from the Allen family, the college creates the Allen Access Program to identify barriers to student success and hurdle them quickly and decisively by providing scholarships, programs and other support to underresourced students at Trulaske. 
  • 2021: Christopher Robert becomes interim dean. 
  • 2023: Balaji Rajagopalan becomes dean.