|Established||1927 (94 years ago)|
|President||Steven A. Weiner|
|Provost||Grande H. Lum|
|Colors||Blue and White|
|Athletics||NAIA - GSAC|
Menlo College is a private college specializing in business and located in Atherton, California.
Menlo College was founded in 1927 when the Menlo School for Boys grew to include a junior college. The institution, under the leadership of Dr. Lowry Howard, changed its name to Menlo School and Junior College. The college admitted 27 students that year. Enrollment in the school and college rose to 112 the following year, with 80 of those students attending the college.
The effects of the 1929 stock market crash and subsequent depression reached Menlo in 1931, and the institution faced the possibility of having to close its doors. Deliverance came in the form of two generous acts. First, Board Chairman C. F. Michaels made a series of substantial loans to Menlo to help sustain its operations. That same year, the Town of Atherton voted to deed a strip of land to Menlo, allowing the institution to expand its campus. The property was originally the site for a proposed new road, but the town decided that the new road would not be necessary.
From the founding of the junior college through 1932, Howard and Michaels had been meeting with Dr. Ray Lyman Wilbur, president of Stanford University, to discuss the possibility of having Menlo serve as Stanford's lower division institution. The three developed a detailed plan wherein Stanford would drop its freshman and sophomore classes and Menlo would move its operations to the Stanford campus. The Stanford Board of Trustees reviewed the plans and turned down the proposal. Stanford would maintain its four-year undergraduate program. Wilbur remained interested in Menlo nonetheless, and in 1933, he appointed six members of the Stanford faculty to educational advisory roles at Menlo.
The start of World War II brought to Menlo the challenge of reduced enrollment. To balance the student body, Howard instated a four-four plan wherein grades 7 through 10 were designated to the School while grades 11 through 14 constituted the College.
As World War II was coming to an end in 1944, President Howard suffered severe heart trouble, and his physician advised that he retire from the presidency of Menlo. The Board of Trustees chose Dr. William E. Kratt, former college dean and soon-to-be Navy veteran, as Howard's successor.
The former estate of the Leon F. Douglass family, which was adjacent to Menlo, housed a rehabilitation center for World War II veterans until 1946. The Douglass family supported Menlo in acquiring the newly vacant property, and plans were made to move the school (grades 7 to 10, and later, 11 and 12) to that area.
The School of Business Administration (SBA) was established in 1949 as the college's first four-year program. This was a timely move, as Stanford had just dropped its undergraduate business courses to focus more on the Graduate School of Business. The institution again changed its name, this time to Menlo School and Menlo College.
The founding of the SBA made Menlo School and Menlo College eligible for complete tax exemption as a four-year, nonprofit educational institution. The savings in taxes were put into expanding and polishing Menlo. In 1953 the institution purchased property across the street from the campus to move the track and athletic fields to their current home.
1954 saw the development of two new dormitories for Menlo: Howard Hall and Michaels Hall, named after Dr. Lowry Howard and C. F. Michaels. In addition to student rooms, each building included four faculty apartments.
John D. Russell became the director of the college in 1955. An SBA professor and World War II veteran, Russell used his experience as a legal scholar to focus his courses on the legal aspects of business, earning him the affectionate nickname "Judge". He took deep interest in developing his students into business leaders and is considered by many to have epitomized the spirit of Menlo.
In 1956 Florence Moore made a historic gift to Menlo in financing the construction of the Florence Moore Science and Engineering Building, housing math and science facilities as well as an auditorium.
Construction of a new student union, post office and dormitory was completed in 1958, and Menlo opened a new dining commons in 1962. The old dining commons was converted to the Bowman Library.
1969 brought to Menlo a new building for the School of Business Administration and the two-year school that included classrooms, faculty and staff offices, a theater and a computer center. This building, now called Brawner Hall, holds most of the business courses at Menlo. That same year, Menlo completed construction of its largest college dormitory, holding 150 students. President William E. Kratt retired in 1970, and in 1971 the dormitory was dedicated to him. William E. Kratt Hall currently serves as the primary housing facility for freshman students.
Richard F. O'Brien succeeded Kratt as President of Menlo. In the fall of 1971, Menlo became a co-educational institution and admitted its first female students.
The institution initiated its first major fund-raising campaign in 1976. The "Campaign for Menlo" set a $5 million goal to cover the costs of new athletic facilities, expand the library's collection, acquire new instructional equipment and increase the school's endowment.
James Waddell was the President of Menlo College from 1994 to 2004. The presidency was then given to Carlos López, who held that seat until 2007.
In 2007, Menlo College appointed Dr. G. Timothy Haight, former Dean of Business at California State University, Los Angeles, as its President.
In 2008, Menlo College and Menlo School finalized plans to become completely separate institutions. These plans included a land separation agreement. Under the agreement, the single parcel shared by the College and School was subdivided into two separate parcels. A third parcel, the Menlo Athletic Fields, will still be jointly owned and managed.
Menlo College received its largest gift to date, a $21.3 million bequest from the Hope Bartnett Belloc Trust, in 2008. Belloc named Menlo as one of three beneficiaries of the total trust amount--around $60 million--in response to the college's mentorship of her son, Martin, during the 1962-63 academic year when he was a student. The other two recipients were United Cerebral Palsy North Bay in Petaluma, California and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In 2009, Menlo College was reaccredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. That same year, the college approved new degrees in Accounting, Finance, and Marketing. Menlo College has been named a 2014 "Best in the West" college by The Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report has named Menlo College a "Best Regional College" in its 2014 edition of "America's Best Colleges." In 2014, Menlo College earned Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation, a distinction earned by less than five percent of the world's business schools.
A complete history of Menlo College, Through the Gates: Eighty-five Years of Menlo College and its Times was published in September 2014. This 164-page hardcover book includes a narrative that places each decade of the college in the context of national events, brings those eras alive with reminiscences from over 100 alumni, and includes archival photographs documenting the ways that students, faculty, and administrators adapted to a changing society.
In 2016, Menlo College inaugurated Steven A. Weiner as its 11th President.
Menlo College offers bachelor's degrees in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Human Resources Management, International Management, Management, Marketing, Psychology, Real Estate, Sports Management, and an individually-designed major.
Bowman Library serves as a center for research, instruction, study, group work, and community events. The print collection includes more than 60,000 volumes, and the Library maintains subscriptions to 40,000 journals and magazines in print and online formats. The Library also provides on- and off-campus access to a variety of reference resources and databases in business and the liberal arts.
The library is named for Timothy Dillon Bowman, a former student. In 1962, Bowman's parents provided the funding necessary to convert the Menlo College Dining Commons into the present-day library (Curtis 1984, p. 28).
The Princeton Review named Menlo College a "Best in the West" college in their "2019 Best Colleges: Region by Region." U.S. News & World Report has also named Menlo College a "Best Regional College." Menlo College was also recognized as one of the "US News & World Report Best Colleges for Veterans." In 2014, Menlo College earned Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation.
Menlo College teams participate as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Oaks are a member of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC). Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, track & field, volleyball, and wrestling; women's varsity sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, track & field, volleyball and wrestling. Club sports include dance, eSports, rowing, and weightlifting.