A program dedicated to the study of business at the University of Notre Dame began to take shape in 1917 when the university became the first in the United States to offer a four-year degree in foreign commerce. Just a few years later, in 1921, the College of Foreign and Domestic Commerce was founded. The Rev. John F. O’Hara, C.S.C., whose vision included developing business between North and South America, became its first dean. "The primary function of commerce is service to mankind," said Father O'Hara when discussing the College mission. "Business has a code of ethics based very largely on divine principles. When this code is followed, commerce can and does advance civilization. When it is overlooked by selfish interests, individual or national, every sort of injustice, from petty thievery to world war, may result."
The college became known as the Program for Administrators in the 1950s, and the College of Business Administration in 1961. In March 2000, the College became the Mendoza College of Business thanks to receipt of a naming gift from Kathy and Tom (ND ‘73) Mendoza, vice chairman at NetApp Inc., a leading data storage and management company. Their generous contribution has enabled the College to recruit top scholars, support existing faculty and initiate new programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
Tom Mendoza (ND '73) Vice-Chairman, NetApp, Inc.
"We wanted to make an impact," said Tom Mendoza. "The business school at Notre Dame is going places fast; our investment will help. This is a place that turns out special people; I am absolutely confident of that. I look forward to hearing about future graduates doing special things, things that will make us all proud."
Today, the Mendoza College of Business includes more than 2,200 students in the following degree programs:
The College also offers a broad range of custom programs for businesses and organizations, as well as certificate programs for executives and nonprofit managers and leaders. These programs are offered through the Executive Education and Nonprofit Professional Development departments.