WashU’s School of Commerce and Finance was founded in 1917 as the First World War was heading into its final year. In 1920, as the country and economy began to recover from the war, Student Life reported University increases in tuition, salaries, and room rents:

“The increase in tuition applies only to students entering Washington for the first time…The tuition in the College, the School of Commerce and Finance, the School of Architecture, and the School of Engineering will be raised from $150 to $200 per year.”

sl1920-tuition-increase-commencementFaculty salaries were set to increase by 50% over the 1916-1917 rates for professors making $4,000 or less. The increase was contingent on reaching a campaign goal for a salary endowment fund.

In 1925, Isador Loeb was named the third dean of the business school. He had been acting president of the University of Missouri, was a well-known constitutional lawyer, a skilled political scientist, and an expert on tax laws and Missouri history. The new dean had a keen interest in public service and was responsible for a new focus and the new name: the School of Business and Public Administration.

Loeb introduced bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in public administration to the curriculum at WashU, which had previously offered only BS and MS degrees in business administration.

1933-dean-loebBy 1929, the business school had 200 students enrolled and 100 candidates for degrees. It had changed its name to include Public Administration a few years earlier and was clearly gaining in stature as suggested in this essay from The Hatchett yearbook:

“The man with a business college education is receiving recognition of a new character. He is succeeding where the so-called ‘practical’ man is failing. After considering this situation and the fact that there are more openings for business men than for any other line of workers, the wonderful scope and possibilities of this school in the future will be seen.”

Dean Loeb retired in 1940 after serving longer than the previous two deans. He did not retire from public service. Archival documents describe Loeb’s post-deanship career this way, “He accepted the grueling job of the Office of Price Administration (OPA) price administrator for the St. Louis area, served as a special investigator for the National War Labor Board, and became involved in the drive for a new state constitutional convention. He died in 1954 at age 85.”

1923 illustration from The Hatchet yearbook for a student group called The Quad-Wrangles.

1923 illustration from The Hatchet yearbook for a student group called The Quad-Wrangles.

Read more on the Centennial website,

Sources: “Fifty Years in Business,” by George Monaghan, Washington Magazine, 1967; Washington University in St. Louis, A History, Ralph E. Morrow, 1996; The Hatchett, Washington University yearbook, 1923, 1929; WUSTL Archives


Early in October 1992, then-Chancellor William Danforth got word that Washington University in St. Louis would be host of the Oct. 11 presidential debate. His first call was to Bob Virgil, then-dean of Olin Business School, to ask if he would chair the effort and make it happen in a little over one week’s time. That’s exactly what Virgil did, putting together a team of professionals from throughout the university and implementing the work ethic and can-do spirit that exists to this day.

“We had people who represented all parts of the university,” Virgil said. “We met every morning at the same time in the north Brookings conference room and every morning we went over ‘What are we doing?’ ‘What’s happening?’ ‘What’s bothering you?’ ‘What do we have to think about?’ ‘Are there issues we are forgetting?’

“It was fast moving,” he said. How did they do it? Just watch, click above on video.






For the all the news about the Oct. 9, 2016 Presidential Debate at WashU, visit: The Ticker

This content first appeared on the WUSTL news site.


CNBC turned to Olin’s Patrick Rishe this morning for his take on two big sports stories in the news. Rishe, Director of the Business of Sports Program at Olin, says Twitter’s deal with the NFL to live stream games is a good play to attract a younger audience.

As for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) announcement Wednesday to relocate all neutral-site championships from North Carolina just two days after the NCAA announced it will pull all 2017 championships from the state to protest the HB2 “bathroom” law, Rishe predicted the state will lose $125 million – $175 million in 2017 due to lost sports-tourism spending.

In July, the NBA announced its decision to relocate its 2017 All Star Game from Charlotte due to the law that bars transgender people from using government building restrooms in accordance with their gender identities.

In his column on, Rishe identifies four areas the state will likely lose out based on the NBA and NCAA’s decisions to pull out of the state:

  • Loss of new spending by non-North Carolina residents (coming to the state for sports events)
  • Leakage of spending by North Carolina residents (going to other states to see sports events)
  • Loss of new spending by non-local organizations (event-related expenditures)
  • Loss of local spending through the multiplier effect (money injected into the NC economy gets spent at local businesses who then spend money at other local businesses)

Link to CNBC video.




Stuart Zimmerman

Marketplace recently tapped Olin Executive in Residence Stuart Zimmerman to discuss Donald Trump’s tax returns and “the sticky situation on income tax for real estate developers.”

Zimmerman, who has more than 40 years of wealth management experience, is the retired co-founder of the Buckingham Family of Financial Services, and current Chairman and CEO of Audubon Associates LLC.

When asked about Trump’s returns, Zimmerman told Marketplace reporter Adam Allington, “I would expect that his taxable income is zero.”

Allington continues:

Because of the way the tax code is written, developers are allowed to deduct millions of dollars for depreciation, even if their property is appreciating in value.

“And if it ever gets to the point where it looks like there is going to be some taxable income and they’re going to have to pay some tax because they’re running out of depreciation, just start another project,” Zimmerman said. “It’ll show losses in those first years.”


Alumni in the news

Olin alumni make headlines every day. Here are three recent stories that make us proud, as always, of our successful graduates and their impact on the business world and beyond.

Mary Jo Gorman, MD, EMBA ’96

Dr. Mary Jo Gorman.

Dr. Mary Jo Gorman.

Mary Jo Gorman was presented with the Missouri Women’’s Council Award of Distinction in recognition of her role as a nationally recognized innovator, leader in hospital medicine, and serial entrepreneur at the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in Kansas City. Dr. Gorman currently serves as the Lead Managing Partner of the Prosper Women Entrepreneurs Startup Accelerator in St. Louis.

Doug Rubenstein, MBA ’89


Doug Rubenstein

Douglas D. Rubenstein was named to the position of chief operating officer (COO) for the financial services firm Benjamin F. Edwards & Co.  Rubenstein joined the firm in 2012 as director of capital markets and business strategy. He is also a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. In his new role as COO, Rubenstein will continue with his existing responsibilities, while also overseeing the alignment and prioritization of company initiatives.

Al Li, EMBA ’13

Al Li

Al Li

Al Li,  Vice President of Global Trade Finance at Regions Bank for the Midwest area, was honored as one of 19 Diverse Business Leaders by St. Louis Business Journal. Earlier this year, Li was also elected President of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis.