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Our History

1908 / At the request of President Charles W. Eliot, the Corporation of Harvard University voted to establish a school of business administration.

1908 / Edwin F. Gay was appointed the first dean, and HBS opened its doors on October 1 with a course of study, faculty of 15, 33 regular students, and 47 special students.

1911 / The “problem” method, the predecessor to the case method, was introduced to the classroom as businessmen were invited to present real problems to students.

1915 / A course titled “Social Factors in Business Enterprise” was added to the elective curriculum in the MBA Program, marking the beginning of the School's long history of incorporating issues surrounding business ethics into its research and teaching.

1922 / The Harvard Business Review was founded.

1924 / George Fisher Baker, president of the First National Bank of New York, donated $5 million to build a campus for the Business School on the Boston side of the Charles River.

1945 / A group of 60 executives and recently demobilized veterans enrolled in the School's first Executive Education program, named the Advanced Management Program, which was a continuation of a wartime retraining course launched in 1943.

1959 / Women graduates of the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration were admitted to the second year of the MBA Program. These women earned their MBA degrees in 1960.

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1973 / The International Senior Managers Program was initiated in Switzerland — the School's first program held outside the United States.

1993 / The Social Enterprise Initiative was established to generate and share knowledge that helps individuals and organizations create social value in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors..

1993 / HBS Publishing (HBSP) was formed.

1997 / The California Research Center opened in Silicon Valley; other regional research centers were opened in the Asia-Pacific region (1999), Latin America (2000), Japan (2002), Europe (2003), and India (2006).

2003 / The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was established to support faculty, research, and course development in entrepreneurial studies at HBS.

2004 / The C. Roland Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning was established to promote and support teaching excellence and innovation within HBS and to provide leadership and expertise about case method teaching and participant-centered learning for instructors worldwide.

2005 / The Healthcare Initiative was launched as a multidisciplinary program dedicated to innovative thinking in the healthcare industry.

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