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Bentley History

1917
Bentley School of Accounting and Finance is founded in Boston by Harry C. Bentley, a pioneering business educator and author who taught accounting at Boston University and other area schools and wanted to use his own methods in accounting education.

1919
Bentley defeats MIT 7-0 in football, in what is believed to have been the school’s first sporting event.

1920
The first class of 18 men graduates. All pass the CPA exam.

1937
The combined enrollment of the day and evening divisions reaches 3,000.

1942
Bentley officially becomes coeducational.

1948
Bentley is incorporated as a nonprofit institution governed by a Board of Trustees.

1953
Maurice Monroe Lindsay ’24 becomes Bentley’s second president.

1955
Alumni Association is founded.

1961
Thomas L. Morison ’38 becomes third president.

1961
Bentley is authorized to grant the Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and changes its name is changed to Bentley College of Accounting and Finance.

1962
Bentley acquires 103 acres in suburban Waltham to build a new campus.

1963 
Bentley faces Merrimack College in its first varsity basketball game.

1965
Construction of the Waltham campus begins.

1966
The college is accredited by NEASC (New England Association of Schools and Colleges)

1967
Bentley joins the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).

1968
New Waltham campus opens with two existing structures (Lewis Hall and the Dovecote) and 12 new buildings:
• The Library
• The Student Center (LaCava Center)
• Faculty and Administration Building (Morison Hall)
• Lindsay Hall
• Classroom Building (Jennison Hall)
• The Tree Dorms, a complex of seven buildings

1970
Gregory H. Adamian becomes fourth president.

1971
Bentley gains authority to grant the Bachelor of Science degree in all business disciplines, the Bachelor of Arts degree and honorary degrees and changes its name to Bentley College.

1973
Graduate School established with Master of Science in Accountancy and Master of Science in Taxation degrees; initial graduate enrollment is 186.

1976
Center for Business Ethics founded, among the first in the United States.

1985
Portable computers are distributed to all incoming freshmen, marking the beginning of Bentley’s deep commitment to technology in education.

1989
Bentley receives AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation.

1990
College begins offering majors in English, History and Philosophy.

1991
Joseph M. Cronin becomes fifth president. 

1991
Service-learning program is launched.

1995
Trading Room is opened, the first of several high-tech facilities that today include the ACELAB, the Center for Marketing Technology (CMT), the User Experience Center (UXC), the Center for Languages and Collaboration (CLIC), the Computer Information Systems Sandbox, and the Media and Culture Labs Studios.

1997
Joseph G. Morone is named sixth president.  

1999
Bentley acquires DeVincent Farm on Beaver Street; the 33 acres now serve as athletic fields.

2000
Army Corps of Engineers land on Forest Street is acquired; it is now the site of apartment residences. 

2001
Field hockey team wins national Division II championship.

2003
Bentley establishes the Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility, a collaborative effort building on the work of the Center for Business Ethics, the Service-Learning Center, and the Valente Center for Arts and Sciences.

2005
The college is authorized to grant PhDs in Business and in Accountancy.

2007
Gloria Cordes Larson is named seventh president.

2008
Bentley earns EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System)  international accreditation, one of only three U.S. institutions with this standing.

2008
Commonwealth of Massachusetts changes Bentley’s status from a college to a university, and the school officially becomes Bentley University.

2011
The Center for Women and Business is established, offering leadership initiatives for students, alumnae and corporate partners.

2012
Bentley launches a new and highly innovative MBA program.

2014
Women’s basketball team wins the Division II national championship.