Author: Dean Mark Taylor


About Dean Mark Taylor

Dean Mark Taylor joined Olin Business School on Dec. 1, 2016. He is one of the most frequently cited researchers in the areas of international finance and monetary economics in the world. He has served as an economist at the IMF and Bank of England; and as an investment fund manager for Barclays (now BlackRock). Previously, he was Dean at Warwick Business School, UK, and a professor of economics at Oxford among other European universities and a visiting professor at NYU. He is enjoying getting to know St. Louis (and its great restaurants). Follow Mark on Twitter at @DeanTaylorWashU.

Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.

—Sir Walter Scott

Happy New Year from Olin Business School! This is the perfect time for us to extend our best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2018.

Please watch this brief video for a sneak peek into some of the many exciting things Olin has planned for the coming year.





This message announcing the passing of Charles Knight was sent to the Olin community September 12, 2017 from Dean Mark Taylor:

It is with profound sadness that I share the news that today we grieve the loss of Charles F. Knight, one of the greatest friends and benefactors the John M. Olin School of Business has ever known.

Over a period spanning nearly four decades, Charles Knight helped establish Olin as one of the premier institutions of business education and research in the world.

In addition to a distinguished tenure as chief executive officer at Emerson for 27 years, Mr. Knight worked tirelessly to advance the reputation of Olin Business School. He chaired the Business School Task Force in 1980 and in 1995 became the first chairman of Olin’s National Council.

He also was a member of Washington University’s Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1990, a pivotal period of growth in the university’s history.

Many of you will have had the privilege of working with Mr. Knight and will therefore know firsthand his great vision and the effect this has had on our school. Others, like me, will not have had the great privilege of meeting him, but nevertheless feel the impact of his legacy every day at the business school — a legacy which is both figuratively and literally built into the fabric of Olin.

Our thoughts are with Joanne and the entire Knight family at this sad time.

“If you would seek his monument, look about you.”


Mark P. Taylor
John M. Olin School of Business

I recently joined 28 Olin students beginning the London Internship Program for a time-honoured British tradition: afternoon tea.

It was the perfect way to start their five-month experiential education program, which involves coursework on international aspects of business, marketing and finance, analysis of the infrastructure and society of the UK, visits to other European countries, and a significant London-based internship.

While the students were eager to talk about the international business environment, they really wanted to know why tea is such a big deal in the UK. Here’s a quick Tea 101 to initiate Olin students (and other curious Americans) to afternoon tea in the UK:

Afternoon Tea or High Tea?  

Drinking tea along with a selection of light food became fashionable among high society in England in the eighteenth century as a way of bridging the long gap between lunch and a traditionally late dinner, as well as providing a social gathering. By the late nineteenth century, however, as tea reduced in price, it became an everyday drink for all levels of society, so much so that workers’ evening meal, served with a cup of tea typically heavily laced with sugar, itself became referred to as tea rather than dinner. Because this meal was served on a high dining table, rather than on the lower tea tables of a fashionable salon, it was also referred to as ‘high tea.’ Today, however, hotels often refer to afternoon tea as high tea, presumably because ‘high’ suggests superior, but this is actually incorrect.

Dean Taylor treats Olin students to afternoon tea in London.

Dean Taylor treats Olin students to afternoon tea in London.

Milk poured into the cup before the tea, or after?

Milk in second: historically, it showed that you came from a family that could always afford expensive China cups that would not crack their glaze if hot tea was poured directly onto it.

Do I have to take milk in my tea?

No, it’s perfectly acceptable to take tea black or with a slice of lemon. Some teas, such as the smoky lapsang souchong, would not be served with milk.


It is acceptable to take a small amount of sugar if you wish, but more than one or two lumps  would arouse curiosity.

White or brown sugar?

Somebody put brown sugar out on the table?

How do you eat scones, jam and cream?

Slice the scone through the centre to form two semicircles. Place a generous amount of jam on each side and then a dollop of thick cream on top. Eat each half separately.

What food should be eaten and in what order?

Light refreshments are typically served on a three-tier cake stand. On the bottom tier, there will be small finger sandwiches, typically cucumber or egg and cress salad on crustless white bread, and some bread and butter. Start with these savouries and progress with the scones, cream and strawberry jam from the second tier and top off with a slice of cake or some petits fours from the top tier. On no account dunk anything in your tea.

Are there many references to afternoon tea in English literature?

Yes. Many. Indeed, it’s hard to find an English work from the late eighteenth century that doesn’t reference tea in some way.  A good place to start is with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, in which the whole first act is set around an afternoon tea party: it’s hilarious.

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