History

A Powerful Force for More than 85 Years

In 1923, the business school began offering courses in accounting and economics. From a college with its first graduation class of two, it has grown to a business school that has more than 7,000 B.B.A. graduates and 1,400 M.B.A. graduates.  The school now offers eight undergraduate majors, a M.B.A. degree, a M.B.A. degree with an accounting emphasis, and the joint M.B.A./J.D.

Over the years, the School’s prominence has attracted such speakers Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford, who both gave lectures on free enterprise to current business leaders such as Lionel Sosa, founder of Bromley Communications, the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the United States.

In the more than 85 years that the business school has been in existence, it has emerged as a powerful force in South Texas, educating some of the finest business leaders in the state and instilling a sense of ethical values that have shaped their lives and our economy. Based on the same Marianist traditions that St. Mary’s was founded upon, the school’s mission is to instill ethical leadership qualities in its students. Marianist Brothers George B. Kohnen, S.M. and Paul Goelz, S.M. as the school’s early leaders worked to make sure these attributes were included in the curriculum, long before the phrase corporate responsibility was ever coined.

Goelz and others also had the foresight to start the Advisory Council of Executives. This group of entrepreneurs and company executives gave the School a strong foothold in the regional business community, served as a sounding board for change and became an advocate for high quality business and management education in San Antonio.

During the same period that the school was building strong community relationships, alumni were establishing themselves as prominent corporate and community leaders. Their rise to positions were important to the overall quality of the school and continues to be an important measure of our success. Indeed, the success of our alumni was accompanied by major increases in the school’s endowment for scholarships, professorships and chairs, and specialized centers.

The Albert B. Alkek Business Building is named for the primary donor of the building, Albert B. Alkek (CL ’32). A gift of almost $1 million from the Albert and Margaret Alkek Foundation enabled the school in 1998 to add 7,000 square feet onto the Alkek Building, bringing the total area to slightly more than 50,000 square feet of classrooms, seminar space, conference rooms, faculty and staff offices and space for centers in entrepreneurship and global business studies.

In 2005, alumnus and Valero Energy Corporation Chairman of the Board Bill Greehey (B.B.A. ’60) made a personal gift of $25 million to St. Mary’s University to endow the business school, establishing the Bill Greehey School of Business. Along with being a very successful business leader, Greehey is also a very generous philanthropist. The importance of giving back to the community and corporate responsibility are virtues he learned at St. Mary’s from the Marianist brothers. His gift to establish the Bill Greehey School of Business furthers the University’s mission to educate future local, national and global business leaders to be citizens of the world.