Our History

The GW School of Business (GWSB) was born in a spirit of innovation. You might say it’s our oldest — and proudest — tradition. Since our founding in 1928, we’ve stood on the cutting edge of bold new ideas. Today, that’s still where you’ll find us: creating and building for a new century.

In 1928, the school was founded on the idea, new for its time, that business and government might become partners in promoting national prosperity and international development. Beginning with a $1 million endowment from the League of Masonic Clubs, GW President Cloyd H. Marvin established what was known as the School of Government, with degree programs that integrated business and politics on the national and international levels.

In the years following World War II, change came rapidly. In 1960, the school was renamed the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs. Then, in 1966, President Lloyd H. Elliott split its faculties into a new School of Government and Business Administration (SGBA) and a School of International Affairs — which today bears President Elliott’s name. The SGBA was renamed the School of Business and Public Management in 1990. In 2004, it became the School of Business.

Fully dedicated to the proud traditions of growth, excellence, and innovation, Dean Phillips helped forward GWSB’s expertise in preparing the business leaders of tomorrow.

In January 2006, the GW School of Business opened its new location: the newly constructed Ric and Dawn Duquès Hall and the renovated Norma Lee and Morton Funger Hall. This complex provides students, faculty and staff with a unified center for study and career-development activities.

Throughout its history, GWSB has attracted some of the nation’s most outstanding leaders from academia, government, and the business world, including former deans F. David Fowler, a managing partner of KPMG Peat Marwick and Susan M. Phillips, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. 

Over the course of the years, and through the various stages of its evolution, the GW School of Business has assembled an impressive roster of distinguished alumni, including: U.S. Senators Jean Carnahan, Kent Conrad and Michael Enzi; Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan; General Colin Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. secretary of state; Mary-Beth Morgan, former director of cybersecurity, U.S. Department of Defense; Michelle Knox-Zaloom, U.S. Olympian (women’s rowing team, 1992 and 1996); and Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, to name just a few.