History of the Trulaske College of Business

IBM machine

Business students learn methods and techniques of operating IBM machines. Photo from the 1956 Savitar, page 84.

The Trulaske College of Business was established on Jan. 19, 1914, as a senior professional school. Professor Herbert J. Davenport was appointed as the first dean shortly thereafter. As it did then, the college offers a variety of curricula that prepare students for responsibilities in business and accountancy. The courses have both scientific and practical value. The first graduate of Business and Public Administration received his degree in 1915.

The college's business programs were among the first in the nation to be accredited. The college was also a leader in offering doctoral degrees in business-related fields. Many prominent early scholars were associated with the college. Among them were H.G. Brown, D.R. Scott and Thorstein Veblen. Today, there are nearly 32,000 alumni, many of whom contribute their expertise to various organizations in every state and numerous foreign countries.

The Trulaske College of Business is currently housed in Harry and Ann Cornell Hall, a world-class teaching and research facility located immediately south of the Reynolds Alumni Center on Carnahan Quadrangle. The 150,000-square-foot building, which opened in May 2002, has 16 technology-rich classrooms, two computer classrooms, two student computer labs, informal student gathering space, a 118-seat lecture hall, a 500-seat auditorium and 13 breakout rooms. A distance-learning classroom allows two-way video conferences, and the entire building is covered by a wireless network.

The total cost of the new building was $29 million. In addition, the college established a $1 million endowment to provide annual funding for necessary refurbishing and upgrades. The State of Missouri provided just over $17 million for the facility, and MU added $750,000 for technology and infrastructure. The remaining $12 million was donated by alumni and friends of the college.

The building is named for Harry Cornell, a 1950 College of Business graduate, and his wife, Ann. For more than 40 years, Cornell served as the head of Leggett & Platt, Inc., a Fortune 500 company located in Carthage, Mo. The Cornells, in conjunction with Leggett & Platt, made the generous lead gift in the successful endeavor to raise private funds for the college's new building. They provided added gifts since then to fully fund and enhance the building.