University of Michigan Ross School of BusinessCommunity Creation 2006-2008
Building the Learning Community of the Future

Campus History 1944–2005


On January 10, 1924, the Michigan Alumnus newspaper announced the creation of the School of Business Administration. The Regents designated Tappan Hall as the new school’s permanent home, where it remained for 25 years.

Early leaders were risk-takers who crossed the boundaries of accepted thought and practice for the sake of advancing business education. For decades to come, this innovative tone was one of purpose and vision. Over time, the high quality of instruction increased demand, and students eagerly filled the lecture halls. The next two decades would prove to be a time of growth and consolidation for the school.

click to enlarge image
click pictures to view enlarged images

back to top


The school’s building timeline begins post-World War II when returning veterans flooded the University, an indicator of future program growth.

1944 click to enlarge image Russell A. Stevenson is appointed dean and makes plans for a new building.

Enrollment increases to 366 with more than 83 percent veterans.


1947 Cornerstone laid for the new $2.5 million structure.

click to enlarge image click to enlarge image
Enrollment reaches 1,081 with 340 graduate students, making Michigan one of the largest MBA programs in the nation.


1950s First executive education programs
click to enlarge image
1958 Chapter of the National Women’s Business Association established.

1960 Floyd A. Bond is appointed dean.
click to enlarge image
1967 Dean Bond begins a fundraising campaign for the Assembly Hall, starting with a pledge from alumnus Clayton G. Hale and other private donors.


1971 Groundbreaking for the new Assembly Hall, which includes the 450-seat Hale Auditorium, Executive Board Room and D. Maynard Phelps Lounge. click to enlarge image


click to enlarge image 1976 The 14,000-square-foot William A. Paton Accounting Center is completed.


1979 Gilbert R. Whitaker is appointed dean and begins to expand what grows to be 17 joint programs. He also sets goals of doubling charitable revenues. click to enlarge image

1982 $15 million Capital Campaign approved. With nearly $3 million in gifts from the Kresge Foundation, construction on the new Business Administration Library and the Executive Education Center begins along East University Avenue.

click to enlarge image
click to enlarge image
click to enlarge image

click to enlarge imageB. Joseph White is appointed dean and implements strategies to retain traditional strengths while making a new commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.


During the next decade, teaching programs are expanded and new coalitions are formed:

  • click to enlarge imageThe school is one of five to receive a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which is used to establish the Center for International Business Education.
  • The MBA Program is reformatted to blend seven and 14-week courses.
  • Global MBA Program established and offered in click to enlarge imageHong Kong, Korea and Brazil.
  • Multidisciplinary Action Projects launched.
  • The National Quality Research Center launches the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
  • Corporate Environmental Management Program launched.


1992 William Davidson donates $30 million, the largest gift ever associated with the University and the Business School, to establish the William Davidson Institute. click to enlarge image


1995 Joel D. Tauber gives $5 million to the Michigan Joint Manufacturing Initiative, a joint program between business and engineering to form the Tauber Manufacturing Institute. click to enlarge image


1996 Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb contribute $5 million to create the Erb Environmental Management Institute. They also donate an additional $5 million in 1999 and $10 million more in 2005. click to enlarge image


click to enlarge image 1997 Alumnus Sam Wyly donates $10 million for expanded executive education facilities at the corner of Hill Street and East University Avenue.


1999 Samuel Zell and Ann Lurie donate $10 million to establish the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. click to enlarge image


click to enlarge image Sam Wyly Hall opens with expanded classrooms, staff offices and hotel accommodations for executives.


2000 Keith E and Valerie J. Alessi Courtyard dedicated. click to enlarge image

2001 click to enlarge imageRobert J. Dolan is named dean and works to expand the school’s capability to combine scholarly theory with practical application. A commitment to action-based learning shapes all aspects of the school’s educational offerings and a new strategic positioning statement—“Leading in thought and action” —headlines the school’s updated graphic identity.

click to enlarge imageJohn R. and Georgene M. Tozzi Electronic Business and Finance Center opens, a $2 million, 5,800-square-foot state-of-the-art learning facility that uses wireless technology to support action-based learning.



2004 Alumnus Stephen M. Ross makes history donating $100 million, $75 million of which is earmarked for a new building. In recognition of the power of the gift to elevate the school’s aspirations and realize its ambitious vision, the Board of Regents renames the school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. click to enlarge image

2005 Architects and a group comprised of 85 faculty, staff, students, directors and deans collaborate on the design of new facilities. In October, the Regents approve the design for the new $145 million building.

click to enlarge image

Timelines, notes, photographs and graphics from 1944 - 2000 adapted from Tradition, Vision and Change: Business Education at the University of Michigan 1900-2000, published on the occasion of the Ross School's 75th Anniversary. Additional photos from Office of Marketing Communications Archives with the exception of the architectural rendering by KPF Associates.

back to top