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 by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Many prominent early scholars were associated with the college. Among them were H.G. Brown, D.R. Scott and Thorstein Veblen. Today, more than 34,000 alumni contribute their expertise to the public and private sectors in every state in the U.S. and in a host of  foreign countries. Trulaske alumni make up a strong global network, ready to engage with the institution as thought leaders and mentors. 

The college has four academic units — accountancy, finance, management and marketing. The college offers an undergraduate degree in business administration, a full-time MBA and an execMBA for working professionals, a 150-hour program that confers both undergraduate and master’s degrees in accountancy, PhD programs in accountancy and business administration and a host of online offerings for undergraduate and graduate students. Top scholars conduct research with impact alongside instructors who activate innovative learning environments.

The Trulaske College of Business is currently housed in Cornell Hall, a world-class teaching and research facility located 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. 

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. For more than 40 years, Cornell served as the head of Leggett & Platt, Inc., a Fortune 500 company located in Carthage, Mo.