Keith Willoughby, dean of the Edwards School of Business

Edwards School of Business launches its centennial year

As students start the new school year this week, Edwards School of Business is officially launching its centennial celebrations as part of the third annual Alumni Jubilee.

“As part of the celebrations we want to connect with our alumni who work on campus,” said Edwards Dean Keith Willoughby. “I’m proud to say I’m one of the approximately 600 Edwards alumni working here to build this university. I invite our graduates to join us for a lunchtime barbeque in the Commerce loop on September 13.”

From humble beginnings as the first accounting school in Canada, the history of Edwards started with 17 students who registered in the School of Accounting in 1917. The school was meant to be a temporary stop on the way to a full College of Commerce. As a component of that journey, the School of Accounting—initially part of the College of Arts and Science—became the College of Accounting in 1936.

The year 1943 paved the way for the College of Commerce, reflecting an expansion in business education. In addition to accounting, present-day specializations such as finance, marketing, human resources, management and operations management were now offered. The first 50 years also came with several moves, from the main campus to near the airport, to the Hangar Building, and then into the current space in 1968 when the Commerce/Law addition opened.

Notable alumni of the Hangar era tell tales of the flood of 1951, while the last few generations will speak to the shenanigans experienced in the Reading Room while studying, partaking in a round of Kaiser or a host of other events. And while enrolment increased in the years since the addition opened, the physical footprint remained the same until a $5-million donation was made in 1998 that established the PotashCorp Centre.

A new era was established in 2007 with the unveiling of the Edwards School of Business brand to acknowledge the long-standing relationship and support given by N. Murray Edwards as a student, alumnus and donor.

“At the Edwards School of Business, we’re proud of our students and alumni and know that every success brings value to their degrees,” said Willoughby. “Our centennial year is a time for us to celebrate and recognize all that we have accomplished together over the past century.

“More than 26,000 commerce alumni have left our classrooms armed with knowledge and practical experience to make a tremendous impact on our communities. Our centennial theme of citizenship will emphasize the many ways our grads make the world a better place.”

The year-long celebrations culminate with the Edwards All-Years Reunion, Sept. 20-22, 2018.

For a complete list of events, visit edwards100.ca.


Natasha Katchuk is a communications officer in the Edwards School of Business.

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