100 years of business and entrepreneurship at Lindenwood

Harmon Hall is where The Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise is housed.
Photo by Lauren Pennock.

LAUREN PENNOCK | Reporter

The faculty, staff, alumni, and students of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business & Entrepreneurship will celebrate the school’s 100th anniversary next spring.

Dr. Roger Ellis, Lindenwood golf coach for 14 years and Dean of Plaster since 2011, said the anniversary was discovered by total accident.  After he was unable to attend a centennial celebration for the business school at Washington University about a year ago, he asked University Archivist Paul Huffman how long Lindenwood’s business school had existed.  

Lindenwood College students taking notes in a business class in Roemer Hall, 1958.
Photo from the Mary E. Ambler Archives.

After doing some research, Huffman found that both the School of Business and the School of Education will celebrate their 100th anniversary.  

According to archive documents shared through Huffman, the 1917-18 school year was when female students attending Lindenwood College were first able to earn certificates in business. However, it wasn’t until 1923 that they could earn a bachelor’s degree.

Due to growth in enrollment, by the 1962-63 school year, a merge between the economics and office management departments took place, leading to the Department of Economics and Business being developed.

By 1975, Lindenwood students were able to earn a master’s degree in Business.  

A 1975 brochure for graduate programs offered in business administration.
Photo from the Mary E. Ambler Archives.

During the 2008-09 school year, there was a title change from the “Division of Management,” to the School of Business and Entrepreneurship. In 2015, it became the Robert W. Plaster School of Business and Entrepreneurship.

Ellis reflected on just how much the School of Business has evolved over this time.

“Now 100 years ago, they were teaching shorthand, and book-keeping as opposed to financial statement analysis and those types of things, but back then that was considered a business school,” Ellis said.

A prominent aspect of today’s Plaster School of Business is the fact that besides completing the general education requirements, business students will finish out the rest of their degree taking all of their courses in Harmon Hall.

“What makes us different are our small class sizes,” Ellis said. “About your second semester sophomore year, until you graduate, all your classes are in this building, and with classrooms on one side, and faculty offices on the other, plus the congregation areas we placed in between, the students have developed more of a connection with the faculty.”

The students of Plaster feel as though they are able to excel by having everything in one place, said senior Nikolas Kondic from Slovenia, who is double majoring in marketing and international business.

The 2015 Plaster renaming ceremony.
Photo from the Mary E. Ambler Archives.

“This environment is a great place for networking; it’s full of familiar faces, and it’s just become our own community,” Kondic said.

Senior Theo Shriver from Iowa credited his academic success to his professors that have also worked in the field.

“These are people who have real world experience, more than just the academic side of it,” Shriver said.

The anniversary celebration will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center the evening of Saturday, March 23rd, 2019. Video Production students are in the process of creating a video that will be shown that evening.

“I’m honored to be the Dean, and we look forward to this incredible celebration,” Ellis said. “It was just an accident, like most good things; a good accident.”

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