Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Celebrating Peirce College’s 148th birthday!

CELEBRATE: Today is Peirce
College's 148th birthday!
Thomas May Peirce founded Union Business College, the original name of Peirce College, on September 18, 1865 -- that makes today Peirce’s 148th birthday.

We’re very proud of our history and all that we’ve accomplished. We celebrated our birthday here at the College today with cake, coffee, and conversation about where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we’re heading into the future.

We also looked back at the some of the milestones we’ve accomplished throughout our history. Here are some of the biggest ones that shaped who we are and what it means for students and alumni to have a Peirce College degree.

1865 -- Union Business College opens its doors, focusing on career-related education and nine male students enroll. Women enroll shortly after, making the College one of the first higher education institutions in the United States to accept women. Classes are held year-round, students can begin at any time, and the time for completing any course of study is unlimited. Evening sessions are also available. Tuition for a full course is $30.

1892 -- The College holds its first public commencement at the Academy of Music, and many notable guests will be the ceremony's keynote speaker over the years. Some include Andrew Carnegie; former Presidents Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and William Howard Taft; and the Police Commissioner of New York and future president, Theodore Roosevelt.

1917 -- Peirce plays an important role when the United States enters World War I. Mary B. Peirce, a member of the founding Peirce family, organizes the Comfort Kit Club, where students and alumni put kits together for soldiers in need. The institution introduces a special series of war courses to help meet the demand for clerical workers in the public and draft-depleted private sectors. Courses are extended free of charge to local branches of the armed services to train war-time recruiters in typewriting and other modern military bureaucracy. The Red Cross and Women's Liberty Loan Committee are offered full use of the school's facilities for providing aid to soldiers. And more than 1,000 Peirce graduates and students serve during the war, with over 23 giving their lives.

1919 -The U.S. Veterans Bureau places over 800 war veterans at Peirce School to study business and accounting, continuing Peirce's founding mission of educating veterans.

1951 -- Peirce meets new industry demands sparked by World War II by offering a number of specialized certificates required for growing positions, such as medical and airline secretaries and receptionists.

1963 -- Peirce petitions the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to change the status of the school from a for-profit to a non-profit corporation, and have it be operated by a nine-member board of trustees. In 1964, the school received approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant associate degrees and changed its name to Peirce Junior College.

1985 - Peirce expands its offerings to include an American Bar Association Paralegal Studies program, which quickly becomes one of the school's most popular offerings.

1997 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Education formally grants Peirce four-year collegiate status and approves the institution to award Bachelor of Science degrees to students.

2000 -- Peirce College becomes a pioneer in online education by enabling students to earn their degree remotely -- anytime, anywhere. The first degree programs offered online are Business Administration and Information Technology.

2010 -- Peirce introduces programs in Health Information Technology, Health Information Administration, and Healthcare Administration in response to the demand for skilled healthcare employees in the region. The school also expands its degree portfolio to include a bachelor's degree in Accounting, and in 2011, offers degrees in Human Resource Management (B.S.) and Criminal Justice (A.S.).


2013 -- Peirce College launches its first master's degree program in Organizational Leadership & Management, aligning with growing business needs in Philadelphia.

We're looking forward to achieving many more milestones over the next 148 years. Happy birthday, Peirce College!