History

A pioneering legacy  

Talk about having our priorities aligned. The very same year (1896) that Utah was admitted as the 45th U.S. state, the University of Utah began formally educating students in the ways of business. Utah is the Beehive State after all, known for its industriousness and self-reliance.

Originally, business students took classes through the University of Utah’s Economics & Sociology Department. But soon it became clear that the study of business deserved a school all its own. The School of Commerce & Finance was founded in 1917, and in that first year, 126 students enrolled.

It’s no surprise that nearly one hundred years later, the number of enrolled students has increased more than 25-fold. Today the David Eccles School of Business has risen to the forefront of business excellence and each year educates nearly 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students in five departments.

Our Timeline & Highlights

1896 A humble beginning: The University of Utah begins teaching business classes through the Economics & Sociology Department.

1927 It’s official: The name of the School is changed to School of Business. Course divisions include accounting, distribution and production, finance and economics.

1933 The first graduate degrees are awarded. And, the School of Business is officially accredited by the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), making it one of the first in the country to receive the industry's highest accreditation standard. Today, it is one of 480 global business schools that earn this mark.

1955 The first MBA program between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is founded at the University of Utah’s School of Business. Read more about MBA programs.

1980s & 1990s The School sets a goal to become a leader in the use of information technology. It becomes one of the first business schools in the country with a network accessible to students and faculty.

1991 Emma Eccles Jones gives the School $15 million as a tribute to her late father’s legacy and the School is renamed the David Eccles School of Business in his honor. Read more about David Eccles.

2000 The C. Roland Christensen Center is opened to provide a learning environment where students and faculty can interact with one another. The center offers broad access to technology and a great space for students to study and gather.

2011 The first phase of a brand new building, the 188,000-sf., LEED Silver-certified Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building welcomes students to sophisticated learning, researching and interacting spaces, plus show-stopping views of the Wasatch Mountains and downtown Salt Lake. Read more about the redesigned campus.