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Spencerian Business College Celebrates its 150th Anniversary

April 22, 2013

The Spencerian Business College opened its doors in 1863 in downtown Milwaukee. More than a hundred years later, in 1974, Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) took over the school; a merger that is the foundation for today’s School of Business Administration at CUW, the second largest private business school in Wisconsin. On Satruday, May 4, Spencerian alumni and friends are gathering to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

“This event is a great opportunity for old friends and classmates to reunite,” says Director of Corporate & Community Relations at CUW, Lisa Liljegren. “In many cases the attendees will not have seen each other in decades,” Liljegren adds.

This milestone gathering will give alumni of Spencerian College of Business a chance to reunite and reminisce. Those taking part in the morning portion of the celebration will take a bus tour of the old neighborhood in downtown Milwaukee and visit the sites where the campus once stood. The first location was on East Wisconsin Ave. (years 1863-1923), then 2800 W. Wright St. (years 1923-72), and finally at N. 35th St. and Kilbourn Ave.

Later in the day, on May 4, the celebration will continue on CUW’s campus in Mequon with a walking tour, a presentation titled “Then & Now,” a wine reception in the Center for Environmental Stewardship, and a dinner & dancing reception.

John Sorensen, Class of ’63, is on the organizing committee for the upcoming celebration. He believes that an event like this validates the important role that the Spencerian College of Business has played in lives of the graduates.

“I’m going to reunite with someone who was in my wedding party more than fifty years ago,” say Sorensen. “I’ve enjoyed immensely helping organize this 150th anniversary event,” he adds.
The acquisition of Spencerian College of Business has been an important part of CUW’s expansion over the last 35 years. It has also brought to light many of the accomplishments and contributions that Robert C. Spencer, founder of the College, brought to Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

“He served six terms on the Milwaukee School Board, worked with Alexander Graham Bell in developing the first schools for the deaf in Wisconsin, and is said to have been a strong proponent that UW-Madison establish a Department of Commerce in the 1870’s,” says Special Project Coordinator at CUW, Dr. Lawrence Sohn.

The College is always looking to reconnect with alumni. Please contact Lisa Liljegren, director of Corporate & Community Relations at CUW, at or 262-243-4474. For more information on the upcoming 150th anniversary event, visit

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