Heider 100: the 1960s

Heider 100: the 1960s Highlights

Heider College of Business Celebrating 100 Years


COBA Eppley 1960The 1960s kicked off with a bang at Creighton University’s College of Business Administration, with the dedication of the Eugene C. Eppley building on October 14, 1961. At that event, three CoBA faculty members were honored for their distinguished service to Creighton: John Begley, PhD, Charles Courtney, PhD, and Dean Floyd Walsh, PhD. The decade, in many ways, would be a transitional one for Creighton, as Dean Walsh passed the torch of leadership on to Irvin Heckmann, PhD.

Construction of the Eppley building was emblematic of Creighton’s campus-wide modernization. Along with Eppley, Creighton added a new library, residence hall, and central air conditioning plant to campus facilities. Besides physical modernizations, CoBA expanded its views on continuing education. Dean Heckmann’s administration placed new emphasis on helping business professionals and administrators stay current on best practices and overall economic, political and social climate.

  • In the spring of 1960, the Creighton College of Business Administration achieved full membership in the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. Creighton was one of 99 universities in the country that held such membership.
  • In the fall semester of 1962, students could enroll in the new Master of Business Administration (MBA) program. Dean Walsh and his faculty first began working diligently to meet the academic requirements of the MBA program as early as the late 1950s. By taking six credit hours per semester, a student could complete the graduate course in roughly two-and-a-half years.
  • 116 students registered for classes in the MBA program’s first semester (fall 1962). These students included employees from some of Omaha’s largest businesses.
  • Dean Floyd Walsh resigned in June 1963, having completed 37 years as dean. Bearing the title Dean Emeritus, he remained as a faculty member at the college for several semesters and taught a course in auditing.
  • Walsh approved of successor, Omaha born and bred Irvin L. Heckmann, PhD, who was an alumnus of Creighton Preparatory School and Creighton University’s College of Business Administration.
  • Dean Heckmann believed that business schools should make curriculum adjustments to keep pace with the ever-changing business environment. This belief led him to establish the Center for Continuing Education for Business.
  • In 1965, the 26 students are granted the first ever MBA degrees to ever be conferred in Nebraska
  • In 1968, Dean Heckmann resigned to become dean of the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle campus.

Notable Alumni


Joseph Freimuth came to Creighton from tiny Crawford, Nebraska, at the urging of his dentist father, Frank Freimuth, DDS’36, with dreams of becoming a CPA and lawyer. With a business degree from Creighton and a law degree from Georgetown, Freimuth joined a large accounting firm in Washington, D.C., and later transferred to Denver.

In 1973, at the urging of some former Creighton classmates, Freimuth returned to Nebraska for a “ground floor” opportunity to build the new Omaha office of Touche Ross & Company. Build it they did. Today, Deloitte & Touche operates one of the biggest tax consulting practices in the Midwest. Freimuth taught an accounting course at Creighton’s School of Law, until transferring in 1983 to Washington, D.C. There, he became Touche & Ross’ national director of tax, responsible for the firm’s entire U.S. tax operations.

He later was named a partner in charge of tax services for the Philedelphia office of the merged Deloitte & Touche, and ended his career as a managing partner at the firm’s headquarters in Wilton, Connecticut. Freimuth credits Creighton for building a solid foundation for success and helping a “small-town boy” reach his dreams.

See our entire 100 year timeline