A History of the College of Business

Business education has been taught at Iowa State University since the early 1920s, well before the College of Business was officially established in 1984. The first courses were held in the Department of Economics, back when Iowa State University was called Iowa State College and students paid a nickel to ride the train to get from town to campus.

Throughout the decades, the business department continued to grow and adapt to meet the needs our students, building our foundations on the commitment to educate the best business leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the College of Business has a history of high-quality education through excellence in research, innovation in teaching, and diversity that broadens perspectives.

That’s why we serve more Iowa high school graduates than any other 4-year business program in the country. After three decades as the College of Business and over a hundred years of business education, the future of business has never been brighter.

  • 2017 – Debbie and Jerry Ivy announced a $50 million naming gift to the College of Business
  • 2017 – Gerdin Charitable Foundation commits  a $7 million naming gift for the expansion of the College of Business facility
  • 2013 – David P. Spalding named Raisbeck Endowed Dean, the College of Business’ fifth dean
  • 2012 – Michael Crum named interim Dean and Raisbeck Endowed Dean
  • 2011 – Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purposeconcludes with the College of Business raising nearly $48 million, nearly $6 million above goal
  • 2009 ­– ­­Labh Hira installed as the first Raisbeck Endowed Dean
  • 2008 – David and Ellen Raisbeck announce a $3 million gift to create Iowa State University’s second endowed deanship
  • 2004 – Gerdin Business Building opened on January 6, 2004
  • 2002 – Labh S. Hira appointed Dean
  • 1998 – College of Business building initiative launched with $10 million gift from Russell and Ann Gerdin
  • 1995 – Benjamin J. Allen named Dean
  • 1991 – Name changed to College of Business and initial AACSB accreditation received
  • 1989 – David L. Shrock named Dean
  • 1984 – College of Business Administration officially formed on July 1, 1984; Charles B. Handy named inaugural Dean
  • 1980 – School of Business Administration formed
  • 1978 – Charles B. Handy named as head of business programs
  • 1968 – William H. Thompson named department chair
  • 1955 – William H. Schrampfer named department head
  • 1955 – Department of Industrial Administration established January 15, 1955
  • 1920s – Business courses offered in the Department of Economics