Spencerian College

From Ohio History Central

In 1848, E.G. Folsom established Folsom's Business College, the predecessor of the Spencerian College, in Cleveland, Ohio. Only two students enrolled in the school's first academic term, but the institution grew quickly. With Cleveland gaining increasing importance as an industrial and transportation center, local businesses needed skilled workers. Folsom's Business College helped provide Cleveland businesses with qualified employees. Among the college's graduates during the nineteenth century was John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

In 1852, Folsom's Business College's first two students, a Mr. Bryant and a Mr. Stratton, purchased the school and implemented the Bryant & Stratton Chain of Business Schools. These business schools existed in most major United States cities. By 1864, almost fifty such schools existed. Cleveland's Folsom's Business College, now known as Bryant & Stratton Chain School, remained the preeminent member of the chain schools. Eventually, the Cleveland school became known as Bryant, Lusk and Stratton Business College, when James Lusk joined the original proprietors as a partner. The chain schools followed strict guidelines to maintain consistency. Tuition was forty dollars for an entire program of study at each school. The schools used the exact same textbooks, most of which were authored by the school's proprietors. Most study programs lasted either three or four months, and students could transfer to another chain school at any time. Graduated students also could return to one of the chain schools for free refresher courses.

In 1867, Mr. Stratton died, prompting the demise of the chain schools. While many of these institutions still survived, they no longer were under the governance of the Bryant & Stratton Chain of Business Schools. The Cleveland college became known as the Spencerian College, named after Platt Spencer, a former professor at the institution and developer of Spencerian script. In 1894, Frank Dyke purchased the institution, renaming it the Dyke School of Commerce. Eventually the school was renamed Dyke College. Throughout the twentieth century, Dyke College continued to grow. While emphasizing business training, Dyke College eventually offered degrees in other fields. In 1995, the institution became known as David N. Myers College, in honor of David N. Myers, an alumnus and substantial financial contributor to the institution. In 2005, David N. Myers College had four campuses, including the main campus in Cleveland, as well as branches at Rocky River, Ohio, Eastlake, Ohio, and Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

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