Skip to main content
1921 BBA First Class

Stirring Up Dust for More than a Century

Since the university’s founding in 1883, we’ve done business differently.

  • Shaping the Future of Business

    Before McCombs became a standalone school in 1922, faculty and students met in cold classrooms with fire in their bellies. In 2018, we opened Robert B. Rowling Hall, our newest site of learning. With great thinkers, game-changing gifts, and a lot of heart, we grow and evolve with each passing year.


Humble Origins

The University of Texas at Austin officially opened in the unfinished west wing of the old Main Building. There were eight professors, 221 students, and minds full of ambition.



Shacks for Classrooms

The School of Business Training, a part of the College of Arts and Sciences, first held classes in “G. Hall,” a temporary pinewood shack outfitted with potbelly stoves for heat. Professor Spurgeon Bell had to arrive early on cold days to bring in firewood for the stoves.


June 1917

First Class

The school awarded its first undergraduate (BBA) degrees at the 1917 spring commencement. One of the first graduates, Fred Ward Adams, went on to take over a family company that remains one of Texas’ oldest active businesses.



A New School

A stand-alone School of Business Administration was born when the UT Board of Regents formally separated business studies from the College of Arts and Sciences.



Career Starters

Dean J. Anderson Fitzgerald opened a career placement office in Waggener Hall to help alumni find employment. This work continues today in McCombs’ Career Management office.



Technology Comes to Business

Dean John Arch White ordered the purchase of an IBM 1620 Data Processing System, a room-size computer, for $75,000. The school offered the first computer programming course on campus, with all BBA students required to take it.



First Black Graduate

After the university fully integrated its undergraduate enrollment in 1956, Peggy Holland became the first Black student to earn a BBA degree.



Graduate School Founded

The Graduate School of Business is established to administer master's programs in business administration and accounting and to confer graduate degrees apart from the College of Business Administration.



Welcoming the World

The school developed joint degree programs and faculty and student exchange programs, with the aim of creating an internationally competitive curriculum.



MBAs Take on Wall Street

The MBA Investment Fund was created to become the first legally constituted, private investment company to be managed by students. The fund continues to enable MBA students to obtain real-world experience in managing portfolios and developing client relationships.



Transformational Gift

In the largest single donation in the history of The University of Texas at Austin, San Antonio businessman Red McCombs gave a $50 million naming gift to the business school. The gift allowed us to recruit world-class faculty, enroll top students, and dream big.



A Place for Leaders

UT announced the naming of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in recognition of a $25 million gift. The center still positions Texas McCombs as one of the leading providers of executive education in the U.S.



McCombs Scholarship Fund

The McCombs Scholarship Fund was created to recruit top-tier students to UT Austin. By 2016, 120 scholarships had been created with more than $33.5 million in philanthropic support.



Launching New Ideas

Entrepreneur Jon Brumley, BBA ’61, gave $6 million to Texas Venture Labs, which is renamed in his honor. The program offers MBA students courses, competitions, and connections to Austin’s vibrant startup community, encouraging innovation and commercialization.



A New Undergraduate Home

Jim Mulva, BBA ’68, MBA ’69, and his wife, Miriam, donated $40 million to lead the future renovation and transformation of McCombs’ undergraduate buildings, including the newly named Mulva Hall, into state-of-the-art learning and research spaces.



Giving Opportunities of a Lifetime

In 2018, Phil Canfield, BBA ’89, and his wife, Mary Beth, give $20 million to support scholarships, programming, and national profile-building in McCombs’ Canfield Business Honors Program, which was renamed in their honor.



The Future of Business

Robert B. Rowling Hall, a 497,500-square-foot graduate business center at the gateway to campus, opened its doors. With state-of-the-art technology and ample space for meeting and sharing ideas, Rowling is home to the MBA program, Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs, and meeting spaces where campus and city leaders intersect.



Leading Ahead

Lillian F. Mills was appointed permanent dean, following previous dean Jay Hartzell’s appointment as the university’s president. With experience in industry and the classroom, Mills continues to empower faculty and students to shape the future of business.