The Founder

In 1893, with a new Ph.D. in economics in hand, David Kinley came to the university as an assistant professor. Within one year he had been promoted to full professor and in 1895 he founded the Department of Economics. Kinley was a man of great ability and ambition. In his early years on campus, he taught from eight to eleven courses a year. He served as head of the department until 1915, became vice president of the university in 1914, and was president of the university from 1920-1930. During those years he held other posts simultaneously -- director of the School of Commerce; dean of the College of Literature and Arts; dean of the Graduate College; and president of the American Economic Association (1913). It was at his urging that the University Senate and then the Board of Trustees approved the creation of the College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1915. The early years of the department and college are entwined with David Kinley's career. As a fitting tribute, the "new" Commerce Building (1925), was later renamed in his honor.

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