The Portland MBA Celebrates 50 Years of Redefining Business
Author: Melinda Crouchley
Posted: October 22, 2018

On Friday, October 12, the Karl Miller Center was filled with the voices of 200 members of The School of Business community, including alumni, faculty, staff, and current students. Some were on guided tours, taking in the splendor of the new building for the first time. Some were posing with classmates in front of a Portland State backdrop. Others were surveying materials for the wide array of class offerings and certificate programs, thinking about possible professional development opportunities.

But one thing was ever-present: networking. Alumni throughout the decades engaged in lively conversation as they reconnected with former classmates and met new alumni.

The School of Business provided a richly stocked panel of alumni speaking to their industries and areas of expertise. The panelists represented multiple decades of PSU’s 50-year MBA history, from ‘72 - ‘13, and carried an impressive assortment of titles including Manager, Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer. The panel was moderated by Portland Business Journal Editor Suzanne Stevens.

“This celebration was intended to bring together alumni spanning the five decades of our MBA program,” said MBA Program Director Tichelle Sorensen. “We explored how business and business education has evolved over the years, and what’s anticipated for the future.”

Back to School
Four mini classes took place at staggered times following the panel, and alumni were invited to sample popular courses at The School of Business covering trending topics in current business practice. For some, it was brand new material; for others, it was a brief refresher of recent content.

“After graduating last spring, I didn't expect to return to a full classroom with Brian McCarthy so soon. In just 20 short minutes he reminded us all why we chose The Portland MBA and invested in our education at Portland State,” said MBA ‘18 graduate, Kyle Huck. 

Class topics included: selling and sales leadership, retailing and consumer behavior, alliances and acquisitions, and cultivating personal and professional resilience.

The Future of The Portland MBA
Mingling of the past and present naturally led to discussions of how alumni can shape the future of The Portland MBA.

This fall, the MBA program will launch a new quarterly newsletter to stay in touch with alumni, to share stories of our current students, and celebrate alumni successes.The program will also support the founding of a new MBA alumni group, and is seeking alumni who are interested in organizing and leading the initiative.

MBA alumni interested in receiving newsletter content or joining an alumni group should contact MBA Program Director Tichelle Sorensen at