2019-11-22T11:27:35-06:00 November 22, 2019|

The Ivy College of Business celebrates milestone anniversaries

As the youngest college at Iowa State University, just 35 years old, the Debbie and Jerry Ivy College of Business is making a name for itself.


“Our name is new, yet our impact is not,” said Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding.

“Our student enrollment has grown in recent years,” Spalding said. “We have the second largest enrollment in the Big 12. Because of our progress, we are growing. This led us to add more programs, such as entrepreneurship, actuarial science, and business analytics, with others currently going through the approval process.”

The college is also experiencing physical growth, with a 45,000-square-foot expansion that is currently underway at the Gerdin Business Building. With this expansion, Ivy students will enjoy having 40 percent more space, including additional classrooms, team rooms, a dedicated sales suite, a large common space for study, and more.

“Even though we have experienced significant growth in recent years, we continue to maintain our friendly, small-campus atmosphere,” Spalding said.

One thing that has not changed over the years is the focus on student support. Ivy students have a lot of support from faculty and staff, including academic planning from advisers, career and internship planning with professional career coordinators, assistance with presentations from a team of experts in the communications center, and opportunities to join a learning community or one of many Ivy student organizations.

The college also just started offering more than $1 million in student scholarships each year, which is a direct result of the $50 million gift from alumnus Jerry and Debbie Ivy.
“As you can see, we strive to create a supportive atmosphere and culture where our students can learn, grow, and eventually succeed in a global economy,” Spalding said. “We are a college on the move.”

“Even though we have experienced significant growth in recent years, we continue to maintain our friendly, small-campus atmosphere.”

David Spalding
Raisbeck Endowed Dean



35-year anniversary
Although business education has been taught at Iowa State University since the early 1920s, the College of Business was not established until 1984. The Gerdin Business Building opened in 2004 and serves as the home of business education at Iowa State.

In 2017, alumnus Jerry Ivy and his wife, Debbie, announced a $50 million gift to the college. It was the largest gift in college history. At the time of the announcement, there were only 14 business schools in the country to have received a larger gift.

“This is an exciting time for us as we celebrate 35 years as a college,” Spalding said. “To our alumni who graduated before the college was named Ivy — and before it became a college or a school — we want them to know they are all part of the Ivy family. Everyone who graduated with a degree in business, from the 1920s to today, are Ivy College of Business alumni. Having a named college elevates their degree.”


20-year anniversaryThe college had been offering a successful Saturday MBA program in Ames designed for working professionals since 1992. By 1999, college leaders knew it was time to expand that opportunity to the greater Des Moines business community.

Twenty years ago, the college began offering the MBA program in Des Moines. Still thriving today, the program is for working professionals who want to advance their careers without having to quit their jobs and go back to school full time.

Ron Ackerman, director of MBA students services, was involved in the program launch 20 years ago.

“Offering evening classes in the heart of downtown accommodates busy professionals from the Des Moines metro area interested in an MBA,” Ackerman said. “A unique learning experience, a dedicated faculty and staff, and the program’s convenience have been keys to our success in Des Moines.”

The Ivy MBA program has been named Best MBA Program in Des Moines in 2018 and 2019 by the readers of the Des Moines Business Record.

“This shows the community support for our program,” said Ivy College of Business Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding.


15-year anniversary
The college also celebrates 15 years of having its own home — the Gerdin Business Building, which opened in 2004.

A much-needed Gerdin Business Building expansion is underway. Work on the $28 million, three-story, 45,000-square-foot addition started in February. The expansion is expected to be complete in fall 2020, with classes being held in the new space beginning January 2021.
BNIM of Des Moines and Story Construction of Ames are the design-build team for the addition, which is being constructed on the east side of the Gerdin Business Building, facing Wallace Road.

Follow the expansion progress on our website at: ivybusiness.iastate.edu/gerdin-grows and on social media! #GerdinGrows

Milestone Anniversaries

35 years – Ivy College of Business Highlights

Business education courses began at Iowa State University

The Department of Industrial Administration was established

The School of Business Administration was established

The College of Business Administration was established

The name was changed to College of Business

The Gerdin Business Building opened

The Ivy College of Business became the first named college at Iowa State University

Groundbreaking for the 45,000-square-foot Gerdin Business Building expansion