Wake Forest University School of Business

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Wake Forest University
School of Business
WFU School of Business logo.png
Type Private
Established 1969
Dean Charles Iacovou
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 1,300
Location Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Old gold & Black
Website business.wfu.edu

The Wake Forest University School of Business was formerly the Babcock Graduate School of Management and the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy. Established in 1969, the Babcock School admitted its first classes of full-time and executive students in 1971 and presented its first graduating class in 1973. The Babcock School was established with a gift from the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and named in honor of Charles H. Babcock, a noted businessman and philanthropist who influenced civic, cultural and business development in Winston-Salem and North Carolina.

In 1985, the Babcock Graduate School of Management earned its accreditation from the AACSB, and in 1993, the school moved into the newly constructed Worrell Professional Center, the first building in the nation to house both graduate business and law schools under one roof. In 1987, Babcock launched its evening Master of Business Administration (MBA) program in Winston-Salem, followed by an evening MBA program in Charlotte in 1995 and a Saturday MBA program in Charlotte in 2004.[1]

International relationships[edit]

The Wake Forest University School of Business has long-standing relationships with leading international business schools including eight international programs that allow faculty and students from each school to teach and study at the other. The partner schools are Bordeaux School of Business, France; EM-Lyon Graduate School of Management, France; European Business School, Germany; Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta, India; Institute of Business Studies, Russia; University of Kaiserslautern, Germany; WHU-Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management, Germany and Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Austria.


The Wake Forest University School of Business is consistently ranked among the world's best graduate business schools. It is currently among the top 50 U.S. business schools by BusinessWeek, U.S. News and World Report, and Poets & Quants. Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked the undergraduate business program #13 in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranks the School of Business in the top 10 percent of undergraduate business programs nationally for the last ten years. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the part-time MBA program for working professionals #1 in North Carolina, and #19 nationally.

Centers and institutes[edit]

The Wake Forest University School of Business houses several centers and institutions.

Center for Leadership and Character[edit]

The Center for Leadership and Character at the Wake Forest University School of Business provides energy and focus to the School’s mission of developing leaders of character who achieve results with integrity. The Center is responsible for developing graduates who lead ethically and exhibit personal strengths.

Center for Retail Innovation[edit]

The Center for Retail Innovation provides faculty- and student-led scholarly research that aims to shape the future of retail commerce. The Center is responsible for ensuring students develop as impactful leaders who think strategically, act practically, and communicate effectively.

BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism[edit]

The BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism was established in 2008 through a grant from the BB&T Charitable Foundation. It explores the roles of business and capitalism in a humane and just society, investigating the moral, economic, political and cultural institutions that produce human prosperity. The Center is responsible for ensuring students develop as professional leaders who create value for others, embrace a professional identity, and steward the profession of business.

Marketing Summit[edit]

Students celebrate the opening of the 2007 Marketing Summit.

Each year, the Babcock School hosts a Marketing Summit which includes an MBA case competition, undergraduate case competition and a marketing forum.

For the MBA case competition, major corporations submit marketing challenges in a business case format. For example, in 2008, (judged by Bingham Willis) the event was sponsored by PepsiCo and students were challenged to develop new business opportunities for its True North snack food brand. In 2007, Motorola challenged students to create a marketing plan for its new Q product for small and mid-size U.S. companies. MBA student teams have 36 hours to create a marketing solution that is presented to a panel of judges and the sponsor's representatives. Past sponsors have included Motorola, Yahoo!, Coca-Cola, Lowe's Home Improvement Store, Apple Computer, Sara Lee, GlaxoSmithKline, Heineken, Microsoft, DISH Network / Echostar Communications and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The first-place team receives $5,000; second place, $3,000; and third place $2,000. In addition to prize money, participating students get great exposure to some of the world's best companies. Resumes of participating team members are published in a book that is distributed to the sponsor, panelists, judges and distinguished guests attending the Summit. Moreover, communications to senior marketing executives and recruiters at the country's 1,000 largest corporations highlight the competition and encourage executives to review participants' resumes. Past participants in the MBA case competition include teams from the University of Washington, University of Virginia, Michigan State University, Indiana University, Hong Kong University, Dartmouth College, University of California-Berkeley, and the Babcock School.

In the undergraduate case competition competing teams participate in a three-phase challenge over the course of two months in which they deal with pressing issues facing the event’s corporate sponsor. The three highest-scoring teams are invited to attend the Marketing Summit and present their solutions before a panel of MBA faculty, CEOs, CMOs and representatives from the sponsor. The winners are announced at the closing awards dinner and receive their cash prize. Past participants have included teams from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida and Boston College, among others.[2]

The Marketing Forum features marketing leaders executives from companies from around the world arranged for a panel discussion with the general public. Panelists discuss issues facing their companies and offer unique insights into current marketing trends.

Farrell Hall[edit]

Farrell Hall—a $55 million, 130,000 square foot facility completed in 2013—houses the Wake Forest University School of Business. Made possible through a generous donation by Mike and Mary Farrell of Summit, N.J., Farrell Hall reflects the unity of the undergraduate and graduate schools of business, bringing them together under one roof and name for the first time in 2013. One of Wake Forest’s most distinctive buildings, Farrell Hall features state-of-the-art technology and groundbreaking design to create an environment where faculty-student engagement can thrive. Built around an 8,500-square-foot “living room” concept that brings faculty and students together in new ways, the cutting-edge facility is designed to include flexible classrooms and spaces that allow for collaborative learning and social interaction.

Elevator Competition[edit]

MBA students pitch their ideas during the Elevator Competition.

Another event at the Babcock School is the Elevator Competition. The competition was first held in 2000 and has been held every year since at the Wachovia Center in downtown Winston-Salem. During this competition, MBA students with an interest in entrepreneurship pitch their ideas to a venture capitalist while riding in an elevator for two minutes. The student must also supply a detailed business plan and prepare a formal presentation of their business venture. The objective is to earn more time to present their ideas formally to a panel of venture capitalists, which chooses the winners. The winning team wins $5,000 in cash, $40,000 in professional services and the opportunity to meet with a venture capital group to explore possible funding for their business plan.[3]

Past participants have included MBA students from Babson College, Carnegie Mellon University, Yale University, Duke University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, New York University, Peking University, Purdue University, University of Arkansas, University of Chicago, University of Michigan and Wake Forest University.

Student life[edit]

The School's primary location is on the Wake Forest University campus in Winston-Salem, N.C. Programs offered there include a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program for undergraduates with majors in finance, accountancy, mathematical business, and business enterprise management. Graduate business programs include an evening MBA, MA in Management and MS in Accountancy. The School of Business also maintains a campus in Charlotte, N.C., that houses the Charlotte evening and Saturday MBA programs.

Student clubs and organizations[edit]

Students at the Wake Forest University School of Business can choose from among nearly 20 clubs and organizations, or they can participate in a variety of events including the Greater Babcock Open and a Charity Auction. Student organizations include the Black Business Students Association, Entrepreneurs Club, Hispanic Club, Net Impact Club, Strategy and Consulting Club, Women in Business and The Joint Degree Society.[4]

Lecture series[edit]

Through the Babcock Leadership Series and Broyhill Executive Lecture Series, MBA students can meet, both formally and informally, with business and government leaders.

Notable past speakers have included:

Members of Pilobolus (dance company) also visited to stress the importance of creative thinking in the business world.[5][6][7]

Career Management Center[edit]

The Career Management Center (CMC) staff works with students to assess career options, refine goals, and network with well-placed corporate contacts. Beyond the immediate job search, the staff works with students to develop interview and résumé skills.

Faculty and academic units[edit]

More than 75% of Babcock faculty have international consulting, teaching work or research experience. More than 90% hold a PhD or other doctoral degree, 33% serve on a company board of directors and 30% have experience owning their own company.[4]

Notable students and alumni[edit]


Name Years as Dean
1 Robert S. Carlson (1969–1971)
2 Jack Ferner (1972–1974)
3 Frank J. Schilagi (1974–1980)
4 Bernard L. Beatty (1980)
5 Edward L. Felton, Jr. (1980–1982)
6 Robert W. Shively (1982–1988)
7 Paul A. Dierks (1988–1989)
8 John B. McKinnon (1989–1994)
9 Gary Costley (1994–1996)
10 R. Charles Moyer (1997–2003)
11 Ajay Patel (2003–2008)
12 Steve Reinemund (2008–2014)
13 Charles Iacovou (2014–present)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Chronological History of Wake Forest University". Babcock Graduate School of Management. 
  2. ^ Marketing Summit, Elevator Competition draw top MBA students to campus;Babcock Graduate School of Management
  3. ^ About the Elevator Competition;Babcock Graduate School of Management
  4. ^ a b "Crafting Possibilities Bulletin". Babcock Graduate School of Management. 
  5. ^ Audio Lectures;Babcock Graduate School of Management
  6. ^ Babcock Leadership Series & Broyhill Executive Lecture Series;Babcock Graduate School of Management
  7. ^ Past Lectures;Babcock Graduate School of Management

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°08′14″N 80°16′30″W / 36.1373537°N 80.275078°W / 36.1373537; -80.275078