Management education at Rensselaer began in 1925 with the establishment of the Department of Arts, Science, and Business Administration. In 1933 business and management education was further expanded and operated in parallel with the development of an industrial engineering program. The two curricula later combined and resulted in the establishment of the Department of Management Engineering, which combined both industrial engineering and business education. By January 1963 a decision was made to create the School of Management.
The new School of Management was initiated to prepare students for careers in industry, business and government. The program encompassed studies in accounting, finance, marketing, personnel and industrial relations, and production and statistics. Often, we are asked in the Archives to provide early course schedules, so looking back I thought our readers might find it interesting to peruse the management courses required in 1963!
The Union Clubhouse was the first home for the new management school. Soon after the building ceased being the student union in 1967 it became known as the Management Center until it was formally named the Lally Management Center in 1981. By this time the program offered (in addition to a B.S.) a minor in Management, a joint Program in Engineering and Management, an accelerated Management-Law Program, and an M.B.A. Other programs were also included to sharpen leadership and management skills for business people.
On October 1, 1980, Kenneth T. Lally (1914-2008), a trustee of Rensselaer, Teledyne Gurley retiree, and his wife Thelma P. Lally (1913-2005), presented a $1 million gift to Rensselaer. In recognition of their generosity Rensselaer formally named the building the “Lally Management Center.” Mr. Lally was President of Teledyne Gurley while Thelma was a dedicated teacher for 35 years. Both had impressive professional, charitable and educational backgrounds.
In 1998, the Lally’s pledged $5 million toward a $7.5 million dollar renovation project for the Pittsburgh Building and $10 million to endow and support programs for the Lally School of Management, “a preeminent business school that creates and disseminates knowledge to leverage advanced management practices, analytical insights, and technology for the benefit of society.”
Rensselaer had the deep seated insight to continue expanding upon the established track of management and business programs due to the early speculation of an exploding technological business world. Today, thanks to many parties who have been staunch supporters of the School’s growth and stability we now celebrate 50 years of management at Rensselaer.