Restoring History: The World’s First Executive MBA Program

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Restoring History

The Executive MBA program was established at the University of Chicago in 1943 and was the first of its kind. Back then, applicants applied for the program using ink pens and paper. Nothing was emailed, faxed or copied and there was no spell check or track changes. When it was time to announce our first Executive MBA class and their demographic information, we did so in a small paper booklet.

As time marched on and we adopted digital processes for recordkeeping, many of these documents were either lost or digitized. Fortunately, Deb Fallahay, a long-serving staff member, had the foresight to save this 73-year old piece of our history and others like it for posterity.

Russ Maki ’95 (XP-64), CEO of Graphic Conservation Co., a document conservation and restoration company, was talking to Deb one day and discovered our treasure trove of program memorabilia. His eyes lit up as he touched the first program directory (XP-1) and proposed a brilliant idea. His talented staff beautifully restored the program directory, framed it and presented it to our program staff as a gift. It now proudly hangs in our office suite in the Gleacher Center.

To follow the conservation process, please read the story in Chicago Booth Magazine.

Now, every time we pass in and out of our program suite, we are reminded of the 23 students who started this amazing educational experience. Our student directory might be online these days, but the spirit of that first class continues to permeate all that we do.

Patty Keegan, Associate Dean, Executive MBA Program North America