The Kelley Story
Our Namesake, E. W. Kelley (1917-2003)
E. W. “Ed” Kelley made a name for himself as a person of extraordinary energy, talent, and leadership abilities—qualities he exhibited as a business administration student at IU in the late 1930s. He served as president of the School of Business student body, founded the Accounting Club, chaired IU Sing, and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity.
After graduating from IU in 1939, Kelley became a rising star in the business world. He ran the Birds Eye division of General Foods and later, as president of Fairmont Foods, helped develop the Klondike ice cream bar, directed the rollouts of Tang and Cool Whip, created parts of the Lean Cuisine food line, and brought Grey Poupon mustard to America.
He was founder and managing general partner of Kelley & Partners Ltd. and taught at the Columbia University School of Business. As chairman of Steak n Shake, he turned the company into the multimillion-dollar chain it is today.
Supporting the School where he got his start was important to Kelley. It enabled him to “give back to society what society helped me get. I’ve done that by choosing to support a few special things, and Indiana University is obviously one of them.”
He provided financial support for a scholarship fund and three buildings at IU Kokomo. In 1969 he established the first fully funded chair at the School of Business, the E. W. Kelley Chair in Business Administration. Kelley also supported IU Bloomington’s Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center, Mellencamp Pavilion, Alva Prickett Chair in Accounting, and the Jacobs School of Music.
In 1997 Kelley’s $23 million gift to IU established the Kelley Scholars Program, which provides four years of full tuition, room, board, and living expenses for some of the nation’s most promising business students. His extraordinary generosity inspired IU to rename the School of Business in his honor.
Today our alumni, students, faculty, and staff carry on Ed Kelley’s legacy of leadership, philanthropy, and innovation. We are honored to be associated with such a remarkable man.
Highlights from Our History
- Indiana University, then known as Indiana College, offers a course in political economy. From this course would grow one of the nation’s most respected schools of business.
- The School of Commerce and Finance is established. William A. Rawles is the first dean, and the initial enrollment is 70 students.
- The School is renamed the School of Business Administration.
- Dean Rawles retires and is replaced by a young assistant professor of economics named Herman B Wells. Wells serves as dean for two years before becoming acting president of the university. He is named president in 1938 and leads IU until 1962.
- The School’s name is shortened to the School of Business.
- The MBA degree is created, replacing the Master of Science in Business and the Master of Commercial Science.
- The School of Business Alumni Association is established. Today Kelley alumni number more than 86,000.
- The School awards its first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Commercial Science.
- A new School of Business building is dedicated in Bloomington. Today it is the undergraduate building.
- The School receives a national award for its integrated core program for undergraduates, now known as I-Core.
- The School expands to Indianapolis.
- Twenty undergraduates spend the spring semester at Tilburg University in the Netherlands as the first class in a new overseas study program. Student reaction is so enthusiastic that similar programs are developed in other countries. Within five years, the School’s faculty members establish an international requirement for undergraduates.
- The faculty approves the Executive MBA Program.
- The School’s Bloomington campus awards its 10,000th MBA degree.
- The School is renamed the Kelley School of Business in honor of E. W. Kelley, BS’39. His $23 million gift to the School creates the Kelley Scholars Program, through which the university attracts the nation’s top undergraduate business students.
- The first MBA in Accounting class is launched with 37 students.
- The Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA) degree program is launched.
- Kelley Executive Partners is established to manage executive education programs.
- The Kelley Direct online MBA program launches.
- The Master of Science in Information Systems program is launched.
- The Mitte Foundation announces a gift of $8.2 million to the School to fund undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships. The Kelley Honors Program is renamed the Roy E. and Joann Cole Mitte Honors Program.
- The state-of-the-art Graduate and Executive Education Center is dedicated.
- Dick Johnson, BS’55; Rick Johnson, BS’81; and their family commit $1 million to the Graduate & Executive Education Center project. The entrepreneurship center within is named in honor of the Johnsons’ longstanding and generous support of Kelley initiatives.
- The Graduate and Executive Education Center is renamed in honor of William J. Godfrey, BS’64, MBA’68. He bequeathed land valued at $25 million to the School for need-based scholarships and the building’s needs.
- Clare W. Barker Chair in Marketing and Professor of Marketing Daniel C. Smith becomes the School’s new dean.
- Stanley W. Benecki, BS’81, donates five undeveloped, beachfront lots on Dog Island, Florida, to establish and support endowments for the Kelley School’s Center for Real Estate Studies, which is renamed in his honor. Kelley students have the opportunity to develop the land, valued at $1.95 million, with the proceeds supporting further educational endowments for the Center.
- Kelley students succeed in bringing CNBC’s Mad Money to IU Bloomington. Host Jim Cramer interviews Kelley alumnus Mark Cuban, BS’81, in front of a large crowd of Kelley students at Assembly Hall.
- Fred G. Steingraber, BS’60 and Chairman Emeritus of A.T. Kearney donates $2 million to fund the School's new Global Leaders Network (GLN)—an online worldwide network of business experts who share their insight on global business issues—and consulting initiatives within the undergraduate and graduate programs.
- The Fry Scholars Program was created through a generous $15 million donation from alumnus William R. Fry, BS '50 to provide opportunities for promising students from underrepresented minorities with financial hardships.
- The Kelley School of Business Living Learning Center (LLC) opened in the fall to a community of 250 undergraduates, who live and take classes together. A first-of-its-kind academic thematic residence hall, Kelley’s LLC fosters student engagement in both academic and extracurricular activities, and is located in McNutt Quadrangle, a block from the School.
- The Institute for Global Organizational Effectiveness was created through a $4.8 million private gift coordinated by GEO Global Foundation. The Institute prepares our top talent for the global marketplace, while it generates new knowledge to advance global business.
- The Kelley Institute for Social Impact was founded to educate students to use their business knowledge to foster positive economic and social change to make the world a better place.
- The Kelley Bstore opened on Aug.1, offering Kelley-affiliated student organizations the opportunity to raise money by selling school-branded items. Managed by the all-student Women's Financial Association (WFA) the Bstore was founded by Anne Auer, MBA'96; Alyssa Brooks, BA'12; Leslie deVane, BA'12; Claire Hoffman, BA'11; Emily Phillips, BA'12; Danielle Prince, BA'12; and Hannah Smith, BA'12.
- The Institute for International Business (IIB) was formed to house the Kelley School’s international initiatives and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
- The Institute for Business Analytics was created to support research and academic programs that prepare students to solve business problems using analytics and to further corporate partnerships that shape the school's understanding of analytics.
- In a ceremony on March 30, the Kelley School’s undergraduate building was renamed Hodge Hall, honoring alumnus James R. Hodge, BS’74. Hodge's $15 million gift sparked donations for the building’s renovation and expansion—a $60 million project funded completely by private donations. Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded $33 million toward the project, the largest grant received by the Kelley School to date.
- The Kelley School entered an agreement with the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow on May 8. The partnership will result in two graduate-level certificate programs in business analytics and global strategy—one for IIM-Lucknow students and another for working professionals in India.
- Idalene Kesner named the 11th dean of the Kelley School of Business, and the School's first female dean.