BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The centennial celebration in 2020 for the Indiana University Kelley School of Business sadly was muted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But 2022 offers something of a reset, given that IU offered its first classes in commerce in 1902.
This fall provides two major milestones – the 120th anniversary of business education at IU Bloomington and the 20th anniversary of the William J. Godfrey Graduate and Executive Education Center.
In 1920, the IU Board of Trustees established a School of Commerce and Finance, but the initial foundation for business education was laid by IU presidents William Lowe Bryan and Joseph Swain, who identified the need for the university to expand and provide more professional areas of study. Commerce courses were introduced into the economics curriculum in 1902.
In 2002, retired Kelley professor Joseph Waldman published a book, “The First One Hundred Years of Education for Business: 1902-2002,” which highlighted the important role that the Godfrey Center – also opening that year – would play in the business school’s future.
When it opened, the $34 million, 180,000-square-foot building was praised for its technological features, including “innovations” such as wireless Internet and more than 2,600 data ports for computers. Kelley also became the first business school to use “smart whiteboards” that allowed students and faculty to apply hand-written notes to Web-based presentations in the center’s conference rooms.
Today, the Godfrey Center continues to serve its original purpose, housing offices for several master’s level programs, including the Full-Time MBA Program, Kelley Direct Programs, Master of Science in Information Systems, Kelley Executive Education, Executive Degree Programs and Graduate Accounting Programs.
“This is a building that has served us very well, always enabling the Kelley School to evolve and innovate to meet the needs of students and faculty in our growing and respected graduate programs,” said Ash Soni, interim dean of the Kelley School, SungKyunKwan Professor and professor of operations and decision technologies. “One of things we teach at Kelley is how to build value, for our students and the people they serve. The Godfrey Center is a building we highly value.”
The Godfrey Center remains a vibrant hub for all kinds of activity at Kelley, which is evident to those entering the building and its Subhedar Forum and atrium on the first floor. Students frequent gather there for informal meetings as well as for special gatherings such as an annual multicultural night. Classrooms on the first and third floors are in constant use, including during the summer months.
According to the book, “Indiana University Bloomington: America’s Legacy Campus,” by former IU vice president J. Terry Clapacs,” the now familiar bridge over Fee Lane that connects the Godfrey Center with the Hodge Hall Undergraduate Center, initially was opposed by the campus administration.
“The university architects had always believed that connecting links above grade was an urban solution not in keeping with the natural, bucolic environment of the campus,” Clapacs wrote. “Nevertheless, (architect John) Belle convinced IU administrators and trustees that the bridge was appropriate in that location and would be seen as a symbolic unifying element, particularly if the offices of the dean were placed there, thus bonding the two major components of the school.”
Offices for faculty in the Department of Business Law and Ethics moved from Hodge Hall into Godfrey Center this summer, reflecting the growing size of the student body and the faculty needed to deliver quality degree programs to them. (more…)