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History of the Manning School of Business

Students sit in a lecture hall in the 1950s in wooden numbered chairs
Students wait for class to begin in the 1950s.

The roots of the Manning School of Business trace back to 1948, when President Martin Lydon hired Stuart Mandell, an MBA from Syracuse University, to develop an industrial management program at Lowell Technological Institute (LTI). In the mid-’50s, Mandell wrote a new curriculum in industrial management that included two years of engineering and science courses and two years of management studies. In 1959, LTI introduced the Division of Business and Economics to produce “scientifically-oriented” managers and sales professionals.

Out of this program, along with Mandell’s connections with the International Marketing Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, LTI registered its first students in a four-year business administration program in 1964. The College of Management Science was developed in 1971, offering a range of degree programs in business administration. Mandell was named the college’s first dean, and new faculty staffed the options in finance, accounting, personnel administration and production management.

Exterior of the Pulichino Tong Business Center on North Campus
Exterior of the Pulichino Tong Business Center on North Campus.

After the University of Lowell was formed in 1975, the College of Management Science grew dramatically. The college established an evening Master of Business Administration program, and in 1987, it was accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (now known as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB). In 1994, accounting alumna Kathryn Carter ’78 was named the college’s dean, a position she held for 19 years.

In 2011, the college was renamed the Manning School of Business in honor of alumnus Robert J. Manning ’84, chairman and CEO of MFS Investment Management. Manning and his wife, Donna ’85, ’91, made a multimillion-dollar commitment to support ongoing initiatives at the school.

Pulichino Tong computer lab, students in computer lab, news on television
Students work in a computer lab in the Pulichino Tong Business Center in 2018.

Sandra Richtermeyer was named dean of the Manning School in 2016. In the following spring, in April 2017, the school moved to its new home, the Pulichino Tong Business Center. The building is named after alumnus John Pulichino '67 and his wife, Joy Tong, who committed more than $4 million in scholarship funds for Manning School students. The Pulichino Tong Business Center has over 54,000 square feet of technology-enhanced classroom, office and conference space. The facility features a four-story atrium and a finance laboratory simulating a trading room floor.

Today, the Manning School enrolls more than 1,900 undergraduate students and offers concentrations in accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management, management information systems, marketing, and analytics and operations management. At the graduate level, the Manning School offers master of science degrees in accounting, business analytics, finance, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship with a health care option, as well as an MBA and a Ph.D. in business administration, to nearly 900 students.