The History of Walsh College

  • Mervyn Walsh leaves his job as Thomas Edison’s accountant to buy a franchise to teach the Pace Method of Accounting. He opens the Walsh Institute in Detroit’s Capitol Theater on September 18.
  • Twenty-three students enroll. Tuition is $60 a semester.
  • Enrollment reaches 286 students.
  • Seven graduates organize the Walsh Institute Alumni Association.
  • Alumna Grace Dimmer becomes Michigan’s first woman to earn the CPA designation.
  • Walsh Institute marks its 25th anniversary.
  • Enrollment reaches 1,508, in part due to the GI Bill of Rights.
  • William C. Stewart becomes the Institute’s president on the retirement of Mervyn Walsh.
  • Walsh trustees determine that the Walsh Institute will change its educational charter by having its own building, offering an accounting curriculum approved by the State Board of Accountancy, and receiving State Board of Education approval.
  • Walsh Institute is renamed Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration, an upper-division college offering coursework for juniors and seniors who have finished two years at community colleges and four-year institutions.
  • Walsh purchases 20 acres of farmland from Morris Wattles for a new location in Troy.
  • Ground is broken for a new 10,000-square-foot location in Troy.
  • Walsh names Jeffery W. Barry as its third president.
  • The Troy location opens.
  • The State of Michigan authorizes Walsh to grant degrees.
  • Walsh adds a Bachelor of Business Administrations degree.
  • Walsh offers its first graduate degree: a Master of Science in Taxation.
  • A 7,400–square-foot addition to the Troy location triples the size of the library and adds two lecture halls, a bookstore, and a student lounge.
  • The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) accredits Walsh.
  • Walsh opens a Port Huron location and expands the Troy location.
  • The Master of Science in Professional Accountancy (now the Master of Science in Accountancy) is offered.
  • Walsh adds the Computer-based Information Systems major to the BBA program.
  • Walsh marks its 60th anniversary.
  • Mervyn B. Walsh, the Walsh Institute founder, dies at the age of 93.
  • Walsh offers extension courses at Macomb Community College, Royal Oak Shrine High School, and Detroit’s Renaissance Center.
  • Walsh offers a Master of Science in Finance degree.
  • Marketing is offered as a new major in the BBA program.
  • A Master of Science degree in Management is offered for the first time.
  • A capital campaign is launched to increase the scholarship program and the size of the facility.
  • A 4.2 million addition to the Troy location is completed. It includes a cafeteria, a computer lab, and faculty and administrative space, among others.
  • Walsh names David A. Spencer the fourth president upon the retirement of Jeffery Barry.
  • Walsh begins offering courses at the Macomb Community College University Center in Clinton Township.
  • Four Walsh women are among the top 100 scorers on the CPA exam in the United States.
  • Eija Roulson, MSPA ’93, earns the highest score on the Michigan CPA exam and the second highest score in the United States.
  • After surveying students, faculty, community leaders, and business owners, Walsh administrators decide to build a new location in Novi.
  • In response to changing workplace needs, Walsh offers a Master of Science in Information Management and Communication degree
  • Walsh observes its 75th anniversary with business discussions and speakers, a book entitled “The History of Walsh College,” a dinner, and a homecoming at the Troy location coinciding with the day of the first Walsh Institute lecture.
  • Walsh opens the location in Novi, launches an MBA degree, and offers its first online courses.
  • Keith A. Pretty becomes Walsh’s fifth president.
  • Walsh launches a long-range strategic action plan to see it through the next century.
  • A Master of Arts in Economics and a Master of Science in Business Information Technology are offered.
  • The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association reaffirms Walsh’s accreditation and allows Walsh to offer fully online degree programs.
  • Walsh revises the Accounting program to fulfill the 150 hours of instruction required by the State Board of Certified Public Accountants and allows accounting students to receive both bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • The Michigan Association of CPAs names Accounting Department Chair Richard D. Berschback “Educator of the Year.”
  • The National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security designate Walsh as a Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance Education for mapping curriculum to government standards.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology and the Master of Science in Managing Manufacturing Operations degrees are offered.
  • The Walsh College Foundation is officially formed for the acceptance of charitable gifts.
  • The Master of Science in Information Assurance degree is offered entirely online.
  • Stephanie W. Bergeron, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, is named interim president of Walsh.
  • A Doctor of Management in Executive Leadership, the first doctoral degree, is offered.
  • Ground is broken for a 36,000-square-foot, two-story addition named for Walsh President Emeritus Jeffery Barry, who died July 8.
  • Stephanie W. Bergeron is named the sixth president of Walsh.
  • A team of Walsh graduate students win the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Detroit Cup MBA Business Case Competition.
  • The Jeffery W. Barry Center addition opens for classes at the Troy location and is later certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Walsh offers a dual MBA/MSF degree.
  • More than 3,000 people attend 102 skill-building workshops in a free “Take Charge” program developed for displaced workers.
  • Walsh offers courses at St. Clair County Community College and Wayne County Community College District.
  • The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredits specific degree programs.
  • Walsh adds its LaunchPad program with the help of a grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. LaunchPad is designed to help entrepreneurs with their business ideas.
  • The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirms Walsh’s accreditation.
  • Walsh observes its 90th anniversary with homecoming celebrations at the Troy and Novi locations.
  • Walsh grants its first doctoral degree.
  • An award-winning, 1,400-square-foot Finance Lab opens for students, with 12 Bloomberg terminals, large flat-screen televisions tuned to market and financial reports, and breakout rooms where students can examine current market conditions, trends, and discuss future projections.
  • Walsh holds its 100th Commencement Ceremony in January.
  • The Board of Trustees approves a 55,000-square-foot renovation of the Troy location to enhance student learning experiences, including an expanded business-communication focused success center, student lounge, and “one-stop” student services center.
  • Walsh launches a Master of Science in Marketing, the only one of its kind in Michigan. Walsh also begins to offer dual MBA degrees in Management, Marketing, and Information Technology Leadership.
  • Walsh students capture ACG Cup for the fourth time (2008, 2011, 2013).
  • For the second consecutive year, Walsh is one of 75 select national institutions ranked as a “Best for Vets Business College” that provide high-level assistance for service members, veterans and their families by The Military Times.
  • A grand opening is held for the Troy location addition and renovation.
  • A Decision Science Department is formed.
  • A Cyber Lab opens for students.
  • Walsh offers a new Cybersecurity concentration in its highly regarded Master of Science in Information Technology degree program to meet the increased demand for advanced education.
  • The Walsh Master of Science in Taxation program is ranked fifth in the nation and the Walsh Master of Science in Accountancy program is tied for sixth in the nation by the on the Top in Tax Educational Survey of employers.
  • The Walsh undergraduate degree program in accounting earns endorsement by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).
  • Walsh receives ACBSP accreditation for its Master of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Management degrees.
  • Walsh President and CEO Stephanie W. Bergeron retires and receives the title of President Emerita.
  • Marsha Kelliher becomes Walsh’s seventh president and CEO.
  • Walsh offers a Master of Arts in Business program.
  • The Troy location addition receives LEED Silver Certification.
  • The Inauguration of President Kelliher is celebrated at the Detroit Opera House.
  • Cutting edge IT curriculum introduced.
  • Walsh launches the FastTrack program.
  • The Walsh Now program is introduced.
  • Walsh offers year-round registration.
  • Walsh celebrates 20 years of Online Education.
  • Walsh offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resource Management degree.
  • Walsh offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management degree.
  • Walsh offers a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership degree.
  • The Doctor of Management is reinstated.
  • Walsh’s Online MBA is internationally recognized as a Tier One Global Online MBA by CEO Magazine.
  • Walsh marks over 50 years of Community College Partnerships.
  • Walsh joins Detroit Promise as first bridge partner.
  • Walsh’s online MBA retains Tier One ranking from CEO Magazine.
  • Walsh’s BBA in Management is ranked number five in the nation by Online Schools Report.
  • Walsh pivots all classes to 100% remote delivery in less than a week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Walsh earns Gold Collegiate Advertising Award for 2019 campaign.
  • Walsh honored for transfer pathways and student support and named to the 2020 Transfer Honor Roll by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
  • Walsh online Master’s in Cybersecurity receives national ranking by Student Training in Education and Public Service (STEPS).
  • Walsh retains Gold status as Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
  • Gerald Schafer, Walsh trustee, is named interim president.
  • The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute grants Walsh Affiliate Status.
  • Walsh introduces Master of Science in Data Analytics degree.
  • Walsh earns 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Michael Levens, Ph.D., is named the eighth president and CEO.
  • Walsh College and Kettering University introduce the Tech Master of Business Administration degree.
  • Walsh earns 10-year reaffirmation of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
  • A Cybersecurity Master of Business Administration degree is introduced.
  • Walsh College and the International School of Engineering (INSOFE) introduce an International Tech Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Data Science degree.
  • Walsh announces the Doctor of Business Administration degree.
  • Suzy Siegle, J.D., Ed.D is named the 9th President and CEO
  • Walsh College celebrates 100 years as a higher education institution.

Last Updated: July 2023