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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

Olin Business SchoolOlin Business School
Home > About Olin > Mission, Values, and History

Mission, Values, and History

Our mission, which has guided the business school since its founding in 1917, is to Create knowledge…Inspire individuals…Transform business.

Core Values

  • Excellence: We have an unwavering commitment to excellence in all that we do, continually striving to provide the highest level of educational experience, learning opportunities and research.
  • Leadership: Olin cultivates a leadership mind-set, infusing students with both the value of acting responsibly and the desire to make an impact in whatever path they pursue.
  • Integrity: Our Midwestern heritage is the cornerstone of our character – we are honest, hard working, authentic, loyal and supportive.
  • Collaboration: Our culture fosters a collaborative community that creates innovative ideas, unique opportunities, and strong personal bonds.
  • Diversity: We embrace the diversity of individuals, cultures, ideas, and opinions for the richness it brings to our school.


Washington University in St. Louis, founded in 1853, has maintained a business school since 1917 and awarded its first undergraduate business degree in 1919. The school added an MBA program in 1950, a doctoral program in 1958, an executive MBA in 1983, and in 2002 a Shanghai-based Executive MBA offered in partnership with Fudan University.

In 1988, the business school was named in honor of John M. Olin, chairman of the Olin Corp and a major benefactor of Washington University, in recognition of a gift from the John M. Olin Foundation.

Mahendra Gupta, PhD, became dean of Olin Business School on July 1, 2005, succeeding Stuart I. Greenbaum, PhD, who served as dean from 1995 to 2005.