Academics and Research

Business school celebrates centennial

One-hundred years ago, a mere 12 students comprised the entire student body of the University of Denver’s business school. Today, there are 2,300 undergraduates and 900 graduates enrolled in theDaniels College of Business — the eighth oldest collegiate school of business in the country.

This month, the college will launch a yearlong series of events celebrating its centennial.

Tentative plans are in place for a daylong kick-off celebration on April 24. The free event will be open to all current and former faculty and staff, current students, alumni and friends of the University.

The day will begin with a breakfast near the site of the business school’s first location in downtown Denver. Next will be lunch on the fourth floor patio of the Wellington Webb Building, the school’s fifth home. An afternoon reception at Sturm Hall will be followed by an evening event on the Carnegie Green outside of the current home of the Daniels College of Business. At each stop, students and faculty who attended the school or worked at that location will be honored.

Other anniversary events will be planned throughout the year, including a community work project and a visit by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

From its inception, the University of Denver’s business school has focused on teaching leadership and ethical decision-making. John Geijsbeck, the school’s founder and first dean, dreamed that “educational facilities be provided [for accountancy] like in all other professions, in order to maintain a high and ethical standard,” he
explained in archival documents.

James “JJ” Johnston taught business law from 1946 until his retirement from teaching in June 2007. “Even in the early days of our business law classes, we taught ethics constantly and always talked about honesty, integrity and telling the truth,” he says. “Now every department teaches it. We emphasize it big time throughout the curriculum.”

Interim Dean Bruce Hutton says the Daniels’ 100th anniversary is a source of unique pride for alumni, students, faculty, staff and the entire Denver community. “When you think about the first business colleges founded in the United States —Wharton, Chicago, Berkeley, Dartmouth, New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, Harvard, Northwestern, and Pittsburg — Daniels is part of a truly extraordinary group,” he says.  “Our goal with the 100th is to energize the Daniels and Denver community around what is a very special place that has produced very special talent, and to create momentum for our next 100 years.”

Get information about 100th anniversary celebration events.

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