History of The Fuqua School of Business

Recognizing the importance of business education, Duke University’s Board of Trustees established the Graduate School of Business Administration in 1969, with the mandate to provide management education programs of the highest quality. The school began with two programs: an undergraduate major in management science, which no longer exists, and an MBA program that graduated its first class of twelve students in 1972.

Since that time, the school has grown to include ten academic degree programs, a tenure-track faculty of 93, and approximately 2,100 master’s degree candidates. Full-time students are enrolled in residential programs including our daytime and accelerated daytime MBA programs, as well as two master of management studies programs, and a master of quantitative management in business analytics. Fuqua also offers programs with varying forms of flexibility, such as our two executive MBA programs or our three fully-online degree programs: a master of science in quantitative management in health analytics, a master of science in quantitative management in business analytics, and an accelerated master of science in quantitative management in business analytics. The school also offers a PhD program and nondegree executive education courses and seminars.

J.B. Fuqua, formerly chairman of The Fuqua Companies in Atlanta, Georgia, supported the school generously in its development. In honor of his contributions to the school and personal participation in its growth, the school was renamed The Fuqua School of Business in 1980 by proclamation of the Board of Trustees.

In January of 1983, The Fuqua School of Business moved into its present location on Fuqua Drive on Duke University’s West Campus. The Thomas F. Keller Center for MBA Education, designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, offers one of the finest settings for management education in the United States. The 148,000-square-foot space provides for the instruction of business students in a variety of graduate degree programs. The east wing of the Keller Center includes six amphitheater-style classrooms, the 458-seat Harold S. Geneen Auditorium, the Kirby Reading Room, and numerous seminar, breakout, and interview rooms.

In May 1989, Fuqua opened the R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center. Named after the founder of Wendy’s International, Inc., the center was designed to be a comfortable and efficient facility to serve Fuqua’s executive students. In 2017, construction was completed on the JB Duke Hotel, a state-of-the-art facility that now houses the newly renovated Thomas Executive Conference Center; the hotel and its conference facilities are used for Fuqua’s degree programs for working professionals, as well as for nondegree executive education courses. The JB Duke Hotel connects to the east wing of the Keller Center by a covered walkway.

The 61,000-square-foot Wesley Alexander Magat Academic Center opened in fall 1999. The center houses the majority of faculty offices, as well as seminar and meeting rooms. In 2002, the 77,000-square-foot Lafe P. and Rita D. Fox Student Center opened. Included in the Fox Student Center are a student lounge, dining facilities, student lockers and showers, administrative offices, and a glass-enclosed atrium.

The Doug and Josie Breeden Hall, which opened in August 2008, is the front door of the school for students and visitors. The building includes a three-story atrium at the Science Drive entry, three seventy-seat lecture rooms, two small auditoriums (126- and 146-seat), a team room suite, two large meeting rooms, offices, and the newly expanded Ford Library. The 91,000 square feet of space brings the Fuqua campus size to nearly 500,000 square feet.