A glimpse at the last year at the College of Business


Russell and Ann Gerdin helped benefit the Gerdin Business Building. They donated a $10 million grant to build the establishment.

Tristan Wade

The College of Business will kick off Business Week Monday, which is five days packed with activities for students within and outside of the College of Business.

Business Week is an event that the College of Business has held since 1995, and is meant to provide students networking and professional development possibilities.

Over the past year, the College of Business has experienced many important beginnings and milestones, capped off with Thursday’s enrollment announcement. Iowa State’s College of Business is the fourth largest college at Iowa State at 4,921 students.

The 2016-17 academic year launched with a new program in the College of Business. In August 2016, a Ph.D., as well as a major, in entrepreneurship was offered for the first time at Iowa State. It was the first of its kind at a public university in Iowa. Students could begin the program in fall 2016 and the program was listed in the catalog beginning fall 2017.

Many of our graduates go on to work for small businesses, and to have that degree and experience in entrepreneurship is very valuable,” said Judi Eyles, assistant director of the ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

The fall of 2016 was a busy time for the College of Business. The college experienced a then-record enrollment of 4,772 students, and in September it began it’s CEO Speaker Series.

It was an idea of College of Business Dean David Spalding, and started with Dan Houston, CEO of Principal Financial Group.

“This is a unique opportunity for students that you don’t see in many business schools,” Spalding said.

The series has had a total of five installments so far, with a sixth coming during next week’s Business Week. 

Other speakers in the series so far include CEO of Union Pacific Lance Fritz and CEO of TIAA Financial Services Roger Ferguson, who each came to Iowa State in April of 2017.

The end of the school year brought good news for the College as well. On May 3, 2017 it was announced that the company Kingland, whose CEO and chairman, David Kingland, is a member of the College of Business Dean’s Advisory Council since 2009, donated $1.5 million to Iowa State, some of which went to the College of Business.

“Iowa State has been a tremendous collaborator with Kingland, and this is our way to say thank you and to continue to partner in the next generation of software, data and innovation,” Kingland said.

The money was meant to support data analytics across three colleges at Iowa State, including the College of Business. It provided eight named faculty positions to support professors who taught material relating to data analytics. The gift also went toward a scholarship fund for the college, that can be awarded beginning this fall.

The 2017-18 school year started off well for the College of Business, similar to how it wrapped up the spring prior.

On Aug. 23, 2017, it was announced that the college would be receiving a $7 million dollar commitment from the Gerdin Charitable Foundation to go towards expanding the Gerdin Business Building.

The Gerdin family also provided the money needed to build Gerdin in 1998.

The expansion will be approximately 35,000 square feet to go next to the current building.

We are deeply appreciative of their generosity to expand their namesake building, thus ensuring we have the necessary space to provide our students a world-class education for years to come,” said Benjamin Allen, interim president at Iowa State.

The last year has positioned the College of Business to have an even more successful year this year.

Business Week will begin Sept. 11 and last through the 15. It will feature the latest part of the CEO Speaker Series Kenneth Sullivan, CEO of Smithfield Foods visiting Iowa State.

Information about all the events during the week can be found on the College of Business’s website.