Bentley Leaders

Welcome to Bentley Leaders, the first of three Centennial year exhibits profiling the history of Bentley University. Our 100th anniversary is a momentous occasion, and provides an unprecedented opportunity for our community to join together in celebration. Over this year, we hope that members of the Bentley community will learn about how we have grown as an institution, and use that knowledge to develop our hopes for Bentley’s future.

Many know that our school began with a single individual – Mr. Harry C. Bentley, who started the Bentley School in a small rented classroom. He was buoyed in his ambitions by a natural entrepreneurial spirit and the enthusiasm of his students, who wanted a modern, comprehensive education in Accountancy. While his hard work and vision built our foundations, Mr. Bentley knew that he would need equally dedicated, innovative partners and successors to help his school realize its fullest potential.

Over the last 100 years, generations of leaders have devoted themselves to that very cause. For our innovative curriculum, our beautiful campus, and our wealth of educational opportunity, we have so many to thank. This exhibit profiles a selection of those leaders who helped the “Bentley School of Accounting and Finance” become Bentley University. We hope that learning about these individuals will inspire gratitude for their contributions, and ideas for how to help Bentley grow in our next 100 years.

1917: Harry C. Bentley

Founder and First President, 1917-1953

Harry Clark Bentley, a dynamic and visionary leader, led a life dedicated to learning and accounting. He first learned basic bookkeeping at age 16, and after graduating from Eastman Business College, he established his first school, the Winsted Business College. After further study and work as a public accountant, he taught at several institutions in Boston before devising his own theories on accounting education. Urged by a group of former students who wanted to continue studying with him, Harry Bentley founded the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in 1917.

The author of several important accounting texts and histories of accounting, Harry Bentley was also a man of varied interests.  He played baseball and wrestled as a youth and enjoyed tumbling — he was even known to do so on the Boston Common!  He was an avid Boston Braves fan and occasionally dismissed classes for Opening Day. He collected art and oriental rugs and owned several paintings by his friend Edward Hopper. Harry C. Bentley served as president of the school until his retirement in 1953. He died in North Carolina in 1967, at the age of 90.

Harry C. Bentley

1917: Jennie Belle Bentley

Administrator and Instructor

Jennie Belle Bentley

Jennie Belle Bentley played a foundational role in the creation and continued success of the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance. She had a mind for business and management, which she immediately put to work when she and her husband Harry Bentley owned the Winsted Business College in Connecticut. She served as that school’s Secretary, as well as a teacher of stenography, until the family relocated to New York and later Boston.

At the Bentley School, Mrs. Bentley had many administrative responsibilities. According to family members, her deft handling of the school’s finances, and the establishment of many policies and procedures, was what allowed Mr. Bentley to fully develop his successful curriculum. Mrs. Bentley also took charge of early marketing efforts at the school, placing advertisements and printing pamphlets that helped keep interest and enrollment high through the first years of the Depression.

1918: Henry Rauch

Trustee and Chairman of the Board, 1948-1977

A graduate of the evening class of 1924, Henry Rauch’s long association with Bentley began in 1918 while he was still attending the Boston High School of Commerce. He supported that early minimal staff by answering the phone, enrolling students, selling supplies, and collecting tuition — and doing his homework on the side! When the Board of Trustees was formed in 1948, Henry Rauch was a charter member and served for nearly 30 years, including seven years as chairman. Notably, Rauch was chairman during the Golden Anniversary Campaign that helped finance Bentley’s relocation to Waltham.

Henry Rauch, and later his family, were magnanimous donors to the college. He made one of the first million dollar gifts to Bentley, creating a fund to advance faculty research, which today supports doctoral students. Bentley granted its first honorary degree to him in 1980, and the Rauch Administration Center building, dedicated in 1987, still honors his legacy today.

Henry Rauch

1940: Rae Anderson

Professor and Vice President


Rae Anderson

Rae Anderson was a major contributor to Bentley’s transformation from a vocationally-focused, urban, accounting school into a residential, suburban college with a strong liberal arts program.  Rae Anderson taught accounting on and off at Bentley from 1940 to 1983, and he was Dean of Faculty from 1949 to 1969. He also served as Senior Vice President and was instrumental in planning and executing the move to Waltham. He worked closely with Presidents Lindsay and Morison to earn degree-granting authority from the state in 1961 and played an important part in Bentley receiving accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in 1966.

Despite his significant administrative achievements, Anderson preferred teaching to administration and he was a brilliant and humorous professor revered by generations of Bentley students. He received the first Adamian Award for Teaching Excellence in 1980, an honorary degree in 1994, and the Rae D. Anderson Professorship of Accountancy honors his contributions as a teacher today.

1948: Albert Brown

Chairman of the Board, 1948-1960

Albert Brown


1949: E. William Dandes

Professor and Vice President

E. William Dandes

E. William (Bill) Dandes was a senior administrator during the presidencies of Thomas Morison and Gregory Adamian.  After graduating from Bentley in 1947, Dandes joined the faculty in 1949 as an accounting professor, and later assisted in moving the institution from Boston to Waltham.  He founded the Falcon Society, Bentley’s most prestigious honor society, in 1964.  Dandes also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs in the late 1960s and, perhaps most significantly, was the founding director of the Graduate School in 1974. The Dandes Award, conferred each year at Commencement, recognizes academic excellence by a graduate student.

1953: Maurice Lindsay

Second President, 1953-1961


Maurice Lindsay

Maurice Monroe Lindsay was a graduate of Bentley in the Class of 1924, studied at several other business schools, held a law degree, and was a CPA. An expert in tax law, he was first appointed to the Bentley faculty in 1920 and taught for more than 40 years. Lindsay served in a variety of administrative posts, including Dean of Faculty, Treasurer, and Vice President, before becoming Bentley’s second president in 1953.

Under his leadership as president, the groundwork was laid for the expansion to a four-year, degree-granting institution, residence halls were added, and student life opportunities enhanced. In his retirement he pursued painting in a studio on the new Waltham campus, and the proceeds from his artwork supported the Lindsay Scholarship Fund.

1960: G. Frank Smith

Chairman of the Board, 1960-1970


G. Smith


1961: Marion Graham Willis


Educated at Radcliffe, Tufts, and B.U., Marion Graham Willis was a trailblazer for women at Bentley. She joined the faculty as a part-time instructor in 1961, and in 1962 became the first woman to teach full-time at Bentley. She was one of only a few female faculty members who taught on the original Boston campus, before Bentley began active recruitment of female students and staff.

In 1974, Willis became the first female professor to receive tenure. She is known to have felt great satisfaction in teaching courses at Bentley and watching the English department evolve. Willis retired from the faculty in 1994.

Marion Graham Willis

1961: Thomas Morison

Third President, 1961-1970

Thomas Morison

A 1938 graduate of Bentley and a CPA, Thomas Morison joined the Bentley faculty in 1946 as a professor of accounting and management. He also served as Corporate Secretary, Secretary-Treasurer, and Executive Vice President before becoming Bentley’s third president in 1961.

During his presidency, Bentley conferred its first degrees and earned its initial accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Morison’s most important achievement as President was the enormous task of planning and constructing the new campus and moving to Waltham. A prominent member of the National Association of Accountants, President Morison also served as national president, vice president, and national executive committee member.

1962: Al Shields

Athletic Director


Elwood (Al) N. Shields first came to Bentley in 1962 to coach basketball, the school’s first varsity sport after skiing, and was such a successful coach that he was named “Coach of the Year” by several athletic organizations. A year later, he established Bentley’s Athletic Department and served as its first director until his retirement in 1991. He was instrumental in the change of Bentley’s mascot from the Beaver to the Falcon in 1963, and he was a strong voice in choosing blue and gold as the institution’s colors in the same year.  Al Shields was inducted into the Bentley Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

Al Shields

1971: Gregory Adamian

Fourth President, 1970-1991

Gregory Adamian

Gregory Adamian first joined Bentley as a part-time professor of law in 1955.  He became president in 1970 and under his leadership, Bentley built a regional and national reputation as an innovator in business education. Accomplishments reached during Adamian’s tenure include: full and part-time enrollment doubled; academic offerings grew significantly from a single program in accounting to undergraduate degrees in eleven business and arts & sciences disciplines; the Graduate School was established in 1974; the endowment jumped from $385,000 to $60 million; Bentley’s Waltham campus grew from the original 16 to 40 buildings, including new residence, academic, administrative, and athletic facilities.

Adamian retired as Bentley’s president in 1991 and became Chancellor and President Emeritus, serving as an ambassador and fundraiser for the institution. He also served on the Board of Trustees until 2002, when he was elected Trustee Emeritus. Dr. Adamian was also a leading member of the Armenian-American community and an articulate spokesman on the Armenian genocide.

1971: Dorothy Willard

Trustee and Honorary Alumna

Dorothy Willard was a pioneer for women in the accounting profession.  She was a graduate of Boston University and worked in public accounting and eventually became a partner at the Boston firms of Charles F. Rittenhouse & Company and Touche Ross.  Willard was the first woman to serve as president of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

She joined the Bentley Board of Trustees in 1971 as its first female member, and in the same year was awarded an Honorary Membership to the Bentley Alumni Association for her commitment to the school. Willard served on the Board until her death in 1983; the business school at B.U. today confers the Dorothy G. Willard Award to the top female MBA student.

Dorothy Willard

1976: W. Michael Hoffman

Professor and Founding Director

W. Michael Hoffman

Michael Hoffman first joined Bentley in the Philosophy Department in 1974. Two years later, recognizing an essential need that also fit perfectly with Bentley’s mission, he founded the Center for Business Ethics, one of the world’s first research and educational institutes in the field. Under Hoffman’s leadership, the Center’s innovative programs in teaching, research, and public discourse helped define business ethics as an important field of study and established Bentley’s international reputation in ethics and corporate social responsibility. He is a widely respected scholar with many publications and awards and has consulted with companies around the world.

In 2013, he won the Mee Family Prize, Bentley’s lifetime achievement award for research. Earlier in 2016, in recognition of his 40 years of distinguished leadership of the center and the international business ethics movement, the center was officially named the W. Michael Hoffman Center for Business Ethics.

1977: Hugh Dysart

Chairman of the Board, 1977-1982

Hugh Dysart, Jr.


1980: Barbara Paul-Emile

Professor and Distinguished Chair

Barbara H. Paul-Emile has shaped generations of Bentley students since joining the faculty in 1980.  She was appointed the Maurice E. Goldman Distinguished Chair in Arts and Sciences in 2001 and in 1984 became the first African-American professor to receive tenure.  Her expertise and enthusiasm in the classroom have won her numerous tributes, including the Adamian Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Massachusetts Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement of Education.

Dr. Paul-Emile’s innovative pedagogy has included many study tours to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. She is well known for her creative writing in several genres and for her scholarship on 19th-century English literature and Caribbean literature.

Barbara Paul-Emile

1982: George Phelan

Chairman of the Board, 1982-1985

George Phelan


1985: T.H. Bonaparte

Vice President and Provost

T.H. Bonaparte

T.H. (Tony) Bonaparte served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from 1985 to 1989.  A distinguished teacher, scholar and administrator, he was Bentley’s first black vice president and the first academic VP to hold the title of provost.  Born in Grenada and raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Dr. Bonaparte was a graduate of St. John’s University and earned a Ph.D. from NYU. Dr. Bonaparte led Bentley’s effort to earn accreditation from AACSB and he established the first Center for International Education.

1985: Richard Gnospelius

Chairman of the Board, 1985-1990

Richard Gnospelius

1987: Susan Schwab

Vice President


Susan Schwab became Bentley’s first female vice president when President Adamian appointed her VP of Information Systems in 1991, after holding several positions in the I.T. area. As VP, Schwab made essential contributions to Bentley’s preeminence in the use of technology in business education, especially true during the presidency of Joseph Morone, when Bentley was established as the Business School for the Information Age.

Susan Schwab

1990: Edward Zlotkowski

Professor and Founding Director

Edward Zlotkowski

Edward Zlotkowski was the founding director of what is today the Bentley Service Learning and Civic Engagement Center.  In 1992, he recognized that the real-world business skills that Bentley students possess would be of great value to non-profit and community organizations.  He envisioned students making substantive contributions to these organizations in such areas as accounting and financial systems, management, marketing and strategic planning, while enhancing their own educational experiences.

Today, service learning and civic engagement are essential components of Bentley’s commitment to social responsibility in business education, and Zlotkowski is a nationally recognized pioneer in the field.  The center is observing its 25th anniversary in this Centennial year.  On his retirement from Bentley in 2014, Edward Zlotkowski was elected Professor Emeritus of English and Media Studies.

1990: Robert F. Smith

Chairman of the Board, 1990-1994

Robert F. Smith

1991: Joseph M. Cronin

Fifth President, 1991-1997

Bentley’s fifth president was a distinguished academic leader with experience as a teacher, advocate, author, administrator and chief executive.  After graduating from Harvard with a BA and MA, he taught in public schools before earning an EdD from Stanford.  Dr. Cronin served as Massachusetts’ first secretary of Educational Affairs, and then as head of the Illinois State Board of Education.

An acknowledged expert in educational financing, he returned to Massachusetts to lead the Massachusetts Higher Education Assistance Corporation and became Bentley’s president in 1991.  Dr. Cronin was a tireless champion of internationalism and student advising, and The Cronin International Center and the Cronin Advising Award recognize his contributions to Bentley today.

Joseph M. Cronin

1992: Pat Flynn

Professor and Dean

Patricia Flynn

For more than 30 years, Pat Flynn has made myriad contributions to Bentley.   In 1992 she became Bentley’s first female academic dean, serving as Dean of the McCallum Graduate School of Business (then one of only a handful of female business deans in the country) until 2002.

Flynn was a successful grant writer in the years when Bentley was beginning to emphasize research, receiving grants from the NSF, the US Departments of Labor and Education and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others.  This success led to her appointment as Executive Director of the Institute for Research and Faculty Development in 1988, which supported and encouraged faculty research and grant writing.  Dr. Flynn’s research and commentary on technology based-economic development, corporate governance and women in business has won international recognition.   

1994: Gary Jennison

Chairman of the Board, 1994-1998

Gary A. Jennison

1997: Joseph Morone

Sixth President, 1997-2005

Joseph Morone became Bentley’s president in 1997 following a varied career in government, industry, and higher education.  A graduate of Hamilton College, he earned a PhD in political science from Yale University.  He served as a White House science advisor and as an executive at General Electric before coming to Bentley from RPI, where he had been dean of the Lally School of Management and Technology.

Dr. Morone positioned Bentley as the Business School for the Information Age by establishing high-tech teaching and learning centers like the CMT, expanding the Trading Room, and infusing technology into the curriculum more deeply.   He also oversaw significant physical growth, acquiring 53 acres by adding the DeVincent Farm and the Army Corps of Engineers property. New construction under Morone’s tenure included the Student Center and the Smith Academic Technology Center, and the doctoral program was established in 2005.

Joseph G. Morone

1998: John T. Collins

Chairman of the Board, 1998-2002

John T. Collins

2002: Elkin B. McCallum

Chairman of the Board, 2002-2005

Elkin B. McCallum

2005: J. Terence Carleton

Chairman of the Board, 2005-2012

J. Terence Carleton

2007: Gloria Cordes Larson

Seventh President, 2007-

Gloria Cordes Larsen

Gloria Larson’s long record of achievement in law, government and public policy made her the perfect choice to lead Bentley into its second century.  The first female president, she joined Bentley from the prestigious Boston law firm Foley Hoag, where she led the Government Strategies Group.  A nationally recognized public policy expert in education, economic affairs and job creation, her career includes positions in Washington DC and several in Massachusetts state government in the administrations of both Democrats and Republicans. Following her career in public service, President Larson served as the first woman Chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, as well as Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority.

Gloria Larson’s leadership of Bentley reflects her experiences and passions.  She has championed the university’s innovative curriculum in business and the arts and sciences as effective career preparation for Millennials and brought this fusion model to graduate education with the launch of the 11-month MBA program in 2013.  She established the Center for Women and Business in 2011, which quickly earned a national reputation for innovative research, pedagogy and professional programs aimed at advancing women’s career goals.   And she has emphasized even more strongly the university’s long-standing commitment to business ethics and corporate social responsibility.  Facilities initiatives under her leadership include additions to the main faculty building and the Student Center, a comprehensive renovation of an important classroom building, and the planned construction of a much needed-multipurpose arena.   In 2008, Bentley officially became a university, reflecting a new level of international prominence and prestige.

2012: Steven Manfredi

Chairman of the Board, 2012-

Steven Manfredi

Click here to see more Bentley Leaders, including many notable “firsts.”