1860's
1865
Union Business College accepts its first female students
Three women enroll in Union Business College on September 21, making the College one of the first higher education institutions in the United States to accept women. This helps spark the movement of women earning college degrees and making their careers a priority.
1866
Union Business College marks its first year of operation and graduates its first student
After the first year, 569 students, including 68 women, attend Union Business College. Over 500 of these students find lucrative positions as bookkeepers, salesmen, clerks, bank officers, teachers and assistants. On February 9, C.B. Allaire becomes the school's first graduate.
1870's
1876
Union Business College is nationally recognized.
Union Business College gains national attention through its prize-winning exhibit at the Philadelphia Centennial. The College receives a gold medal in the category of commercial education.
1880's
1881
Union Business College is renamed Peirce College of Business.
The College adopts a new namesake to honor its founder.
1882
Peirce College of Business holds its first public commencement at the Academy of Music.
J.M. Buckley, the editor of the Christian Advocate, is the College's first commencement speaker, beginning the tradition of bringing the finest local and national personalities to Peirce's commencement stage, including governors, senators and cabinet members. Some of the most notable guests that will speak at Commencement include Andrew Carnegie; former Presidents Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison and William Howard Taft; and the police Commissioner of New York and future President, Theodore Roosevelt.
1883
Peirce College of Business introduces shorthand, stenography and typewriting courses.
These courses let the College keep pace with advancing technology in business. The College would officially adopt the Pitman system of shorthand, the most popular shorthand system of the time, in 1890. The institution requires shorthand students pass a strict examination in order to graduate.
1890's
1893
Peirce College of Business is renamed Peirce School of Business and Shorthand.
The institution is often referred to simply as "Peirce School".
1899
Peirce School receives high honors at home.
The College takes the silver medal for business training at the National Export Exposition in Philadelphia.
1900's
1900
Peirce School is nationally and internationally recognized.

Paris Universal Exhibition. Russian Director of Commerce, Antoine Siniavsky, is so impressed with Peirce's methods of teaching that he requests the loan of the Peirce exhibit at the Paris Universal Exhibition in France to introduce these methods in Russian schools. Peirce School is awarded a gold medal for its exhibit in “recognition of its pioneer work in business education and its influence among business leaders at the turn of the century.”

Pan-American Exposition. Peirce School is awarded a medal for its stellar business program at the Buffalo, N.Y. exposition. Inter-State and West Indian Exposition.

Peirce School is also awarded a medal and diploma at the Charleston, S.C. event.

1901
Peirce School introduces advertising courses.
N. W. Ayer & Son, the country's first advertising agency, is located in Philadelphia, and by 1900, the advertising industry is firmly established. In response, Peirce School introduces its first courses.
1907
The number of Philadelphia business executives to graduate from Peirce School tops 1,000.
Peirce completes its first comprehensive survey of its alumni, finding that of 1,452 male respondents who had been in the business world 10 or more years, over 1,000 were sole proprietors of a business or held top executive positions with banking, manufacturing or commercial firms.
1908
Peirce School establishes its Information Bureau.
The Peirce School Information Bureau is run by Peirce faculty and staff members who serve as an academic resource for the community. Anyone can call or send a letter to Peirce School, asking for information about topics ranging from spelling and word usage, to questions about accounting and business strategies.
1910's
1910
Peirce School introduces its first secretarial course.
Peirce creates its first secretarial course by combining its existing shorthand course with elements of its business course. This includes such topics as commercial law, accounting and business forms and customs.
1917
Peirce School launches a series of initiatives in reaction to the United States entering World War I.

Peirce School of Business and Shorthand is renamed the Peirce School of Business Administration.

Mary B. Peirce, a member of the founding Peirce family, organizes the Comfort Kit Club.The participating female alumni and students assemble over 250 comfort kits, which include a sweater, socks, handkerchiefs, writing materials, washcloths, soap, candles, combs, mirrors, games, postcards, and candy. The club distributes them to soldiers in need, including those who were attending Peirce before the war.

The institution introduces a special series of war courses to help meet the demand for clerical workers in the public and draft-depleted private sectors. Peirce School extends the courses free of charge to local branches of the armed services to train war-time recruiters in typewriting and other modern military bureaucracy. Women are encouraged to attend Peirce to help them get a job while many men are at war.

Peirce School offers the Red Cross and Women's Liberty Loan Committee full use of the school's facilities for providing aid to soldiers.

More than 1,000 Peirce graduates and students serve during the war, with over 23 giving their lives.

1919
World War I veterans study at Peirce School of Business Administration to transition to civilian jobs.
The U.S. Veterans Bureau places over 800 war veterans at Peirce School to study business and accounting, continuing Peirce's founding mission of educating veterans. Attendance grows to a record 3,000 students in 1920.
1920's
1920
Peirce School introduces a two-year option in Business Administration.
Peirce School offers students the opportunity to accelerate their Business Administration education with a two-year option, keeping pace with society's need for professionals in bookkeeping, accounting, business and finance.
1924
Peirce School's commencement ceremony is one of the first to be radio broadcast.
Radio station WDAR broadcasts the Honorable James Beck's address to the 58th graduating class from the Academy of Music. The event is one of the first broadcasts of its kind.
1930's
1939
Peirce School acquires Furness house.
Peirce purchases 1426 Pine Street, the property directly adjoining the main school building. The townhouse was the family home of the Furness family and Frank Furness, the noted Philadelphia architect who designed Broad Street Station, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Library of the University of Pennsylvania, was born there.
1940's
1946
Thomas May Peirce III, grandson of the school's founder, joins Peirce School as Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer.
Peirce worked in banking before serving in the Supply Corps of the U.S. Navy Reserve throughout World War II. After the war, he joins Peirce School and vows to revamp the image of the American businessman after it was tarnished by public distrust during the Great Depression.
1950's
1951
Peirce School reacts to business developments arising from World War II.
Peirce meets new industry demands by offering a number of specialized certificates required for growing positions, such as medical and airline secretaries and receptionists.
1953
Peirce School is accredited as a Junior College of Business.
Peirce becomes one of the first schools to be accredited as a “Junior College of Business” by the newly organized Accrediting Commission in Washington, D.C. The change allows students greater freedom in transferring credits for course work to and from other institutions. Peirce School also adopts a formalized credit system for the first time.
1959
Peirce School introduces courses in computer operation and data processing.
Peirce's Automation Division opens to help students stay relevant in the changing business market. The organization's Business Data Processing educational program is one of the first of its kind in the Eastern United States.
1960's
1960
Peirce attendance tops 150,000.
Over 150,000 students have enrolled at Peirce School since 1865. Roughly two-third of students are women.
1963
Peirce School becomes a non-profit.
Peirce petitions the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to change the status of the school from a for-profit to a non-profit corporation and have it be operated by a nine-member board of trustees.
1964
Peirce School of Business Administration receives approval to grant associate degrees as Peirce Junior College.
Peirce receives approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to grant associate degrees in arts and sciences and operate as a junior college. In addition to its Business Administration and Secretarial divisions, a Liberal Arts division is created that enables graduates to transfer credits to four-year colleges and universities.
1965
Peirce celebrates its centennial.
The College celebrates 100 years of education in Philadelphia.
1970's
1971
The independent Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools grants accreditation to Peirce.
This accreditation permits students full transfer of credits to four-year colleges and universities.
1975
Peirce establishes a court reporting program.
At its inception, it is the only program in the eastern United States to be approved by the National Shorthand Reporters Association.
1980's
1981
Dr. Raymond C. Lewin is named College President.
Dr. Lewin is the first College President in Peirce's 116-year history not to bear the Peirce name.
1985
Peirce creates its Paralegal Studies program.
Peirce is the first college in the Philadelphia region to offer a two-year Paralegal degree.
1990's
1994
The Peirce College Associate Degree cluster program is established.
The program offers the entire Business Administration degree and supports the College's commitment to non-traditional students, while maintaining its commitment to traditional students.
1996
Peirce enters the World Wide Web.
Peirce launches its first website.
1997
Peirce Junior College is granted four-year collegiate status and becomes Peirce College.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education formally grants Peirce four-year collegiate status and approves the institution to award Bachelor of Science degrees to students.
1998
Peirce College's campus is used as the backdrop for an Academy Award-nominated film.
“The Sixth Sense” is filmed on Peirce College's campus. Peirce faculty and students are witness to the magic of movie making with the transformation of College Hall into St. Anthony's Academy for Boys, the school in the film.
2000's
2000
Peirce College offers degree programs online.
Peirce College becomes a pioneer in online education by enabling students to earn their degree remotely – anytime, anywhere. The first degree programs offered online are Business Administration and Information Technology.
2003
Peirce establishes Protect and Serve® Grant.
The Protect and Serve® grant is established to help active and retired police, fire, corrections and emergency medical personnel; military members; and spouses and dependents complete their education by offering a 25 percent discount on Peirce tuition.
2009
Peirce launches Strategic Planning Process.
New Peirce College president, James J. Mergiotti, leads an aggressive strategic planning process to move the College forward, including reinstituting the Peirce Alumni Association and developing additional services to aid student success.
2010's
2010
Peirce introduces Healthcare programs to meet market demands.
Peirce introduces programs in Health Information Technology and Healthcare Administration in response to the demand for skilled healthcare employees in the region.
2011
Peirce launches additional programs in line with its strategic planning process.
After surveying the needs of Philadelphia area employers, Peirce introduces degree programs in Criminal Justice, Health Information Administration and Human Resource Management. The addition of these programs continues the mission established in 1865 to train Philadelphians for growing careers in the region.
2013
Peirce College begins offering master's degree programs.
Peirce College launches its first master's degree program in Organizational Leadership & Management, aligning with growing business needs in Philadelphia.
2015
Peirce College celebrate its sesquicentennial.
The College celebrates 150 years of education in Philadelphia.
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