Hankamer Celebrates 75

July 14, 1998

by Alan Hunt

The year was 1923, and change was in the air. America's 29th president, Warren G. Harding, died 29 months after his inaugural address. Country music legend Hank Williams Sr. was born in Georgiana, Ala., and Yankee Stadium, built at a cost of $2.5 million, opened in the Bronx, N.Y

Meanwhile, citizens of Waco and the Baylor community witnessed the birth of a new academic entity -- the Baylor School of Commerce and Business Administration.

The man with the vision to recommend the move to the board of trustees was then-Baylor President Samuel Palmer Brooks, who recognized the future would demand "better equipped men and women in the different fields of business."

Brooks' prediction was on the money. Today, as preparations mount for the School's Diamond Jubilee anniversary, Baylor's Hankamer School of Business enjoys a reputation as one of the nation's top business schools, showing it has come a long way in just three-quarters of a century.

A major player

The numbers speak for themselves. The largest professional school on the Baylor campus,

Hankamer School of Business has more than 3,000 students, 120 faculty members and 30 staff members in its eight professional centers and six academic departments. Roughly one-fourth of all Baylor degrees awarded each year are BBAs and MBAs. In addition, the business school has more than 19,000 alumni located in all 50 states and numerous countries around the world.

It's easy to see why the School is synonymous with success, said economics student Jaime Antal, a junior from Boston, Mass. "The professors work you hard and provide you with a very good education," she said.

The School is positioned to make even greater strides in the 21st century -- particularly with the growing trend toward "globalization."

The consensus among executives and educators is that business education programs must continue to address the rapidly changing arena confronting many American companies. Instead of simply second-guessing the tactics of domestic business rivals, these companies now have to face the unpredictable consequences of competing in a global economy.

The Hankamer School of Business already is confronting the challenges of a worldwide marketplace. Today, it's not uncommon to find the School's professors and students helping to shape the way the former Communist countries of Europe do business. Indeed, through the School of Business' innovative exchange programs with institutions around the world, Baylor's influence has spread far beyond the borders of Texas and America.

From Finland, France, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, to Canada, Russia and Australia, a number of Hankamer faculty members have shared their expertise internationally by teaching courses at universities in these countries.

"In each case, they not only have contributed to the educational mission of their host institution, but have also brought back a broadened perspective to share with their Hankamer students," said economics professor Dr. Joe McKinney.

Expert counsel

Closer to home, members of the Hankamer faculty have helped shape several areas of public policy. For example, economists Dr. Tom Kelly and Dr. James Henderson have advised state legislative committees on matters of tax policy, as has Dr. John Pisciotta on the state's educational system.

Dr. McKinney has testified on trade policy issues before the Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. Congress and several times before the U.S. International Trade Commission. He also co-directed a study for Congress on the potential impact of free trade on the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Earning accolades

Hankamer's solid reputation as a leader in collegiate business education has earned the School regular and well-deserved appearances in some of the most prestigious national rankings. Particularly impressive is the School's role as a champion of the entrepreneurship system.

In fact, Hankamer was among the first schools in the nation to establish an entrepreneurship center in 1977, and today Baylor University enjoys high marks for its entrepreneurship offerings. The Entrepreneurial Studies Program in the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship was ranked among the top five in the nation in a survey of top business school entrepreneurship programs by U.S. News & World Report. Similar accolades come from Success magazine, which recently ranked Baylor as one of the nation's top 25 business schools for entrepreneurs.

That same entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Hankamer's Department of Marketing, which in 1985 established the Center for Professional Selling, one of the first of its kind in the nation. The center initiated and hosted a unique sales contest between students representing the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Department of Marketing also was ranked as one of the top departments in the country in terms of faculty members' research published in refereed academic journals.

Hankamer's accounting program also has a distinguished history. Its graduates consistently place among the highest in the state of Texas in scores and pass rates on the certified public accountant (CPA) exam. In 1992, the accounting program was named one of the top 20 accounting programs in the country by Public Accounting Report.

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