Gordon Establishes School of Business, Names Dean Steven Nelson and Launches Four New Majors for High-Demand Fields  

Gordon College announces the establishment of the School of Business, and with it, four new majors. Steven Nelson, former senior director of external relations and MBA executive director at Harvard Business School, has been named inaugural dean of Gordon’s School of Business, which builds on more than five decades of strength in the Economics and Business Department, home to the College’s historically largest (and growing) majors. The School of Business, which has received $8 million in start-up capital, will bring together dedicated resources and industry practitioners to prepare students with maximum relevance for today’s marketplace.  

Four new majors in business analytics, digital marketing and communications, entrepreneurship and innovation and sport management join existing majors in business management, marketing, economics, accounting and finance within the School of Business. These new majors integrate strengths from business, computer science and communication arts for practical application in business. The School of Business will also be home to Gordon’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and possible new graduate programs, such as an MBA.  Gordon College will launch a nationwide search for new faculty members to support the expansion of academic offerings.  

Introducing Inaugural Dean Steven Nelson, MBA 

Steven Nelson joins Gordon as the inaugural dean of the School of Business after a lengthy tenure at Harvard Business School, where he most recently served as senior director of external relations and executive director of the MBA Program, leading the delivery of educational programs and services to 1,800 full-time graduate students and playing an instrumental role in the record-setting $1.4B Campaign for HBS. Nelson previously served as senior director of external relations and executive director of Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, a major strategic center funded by the late John C. Whitehead that encourages the role of business in society. Other positions at Harvard included associate director of MBA Admissions, associate director of development at HBS and director of leadership giving at Harvard Law School. Nelson currently serves on the board of directors of the Harvard/MIT Cooperative Society (The COOP) and Ardent Mentoring.   

“We are thrilled to welcome Steven Nelson to the helm of the new School of Business. Steve comes to Gordon on the heels of leading the top MBA program in the country and brings with him a wealth of experience from his 35 years of leadership in higher education,” says President Michael Hammond. “Steve shares Gordon’s commitment to preparing students to affect the world for Christ through business. His entrepreneurial spirit, faithful leadership and deep experience will propel the School of Business into an innovative future.” 

Four New Majors for High-Demand Fields  

 According to a World Economic Forum survey, employers anticipate a 23 percent rate of “labor market churn” in the next five years, “constituting a mixture of emerging jobs added and declining jobs eliminated,” especially in the realm of business and economics. With the establishment of the new School of Business, Gordon is now offering four new majors to prepare students for successful careers in emerging business fields:   

Business Analytics: The role of data in business strategy is increasing, as is the demand for data-driven solutions to support proficient decision-making. Businesses need people who know how to use data to make the right decisions. This major will help students apply data analysis skills to real-world business problems to become analysts and leaders who can use algorithms and advanced computing tools to improve business performance. Along with skills in data analysis, they will gain critical thinking and communication skills, as well as a Christian perspective for working in the business world.   

Digital Marketing and Communications: Successful marketing projects bring together two distinct skillsets: business strategy and content creation. In a business environment a strategy is only as good as its creative implementation. This major allows students to master both skillsets, with an interwoven understanding of market development, messaging and branding, digital channels, web design, video, search and social media marketing. Graduates from this major will learn to think critically as Christians as they develop marketing strategies and create deliverables for executing such strategies, preparing them for careers in the rapidly evolving field of digital marketing.    

Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Businesses should solve problems in people’s lives, and new needs are always evolving. Sustaining innovation requires assembling people, financial resources, space and things in ways that adapt to marketplace realities. Research suggests that university graduates who have completed an entrepreneurship curriculum are more likely to succeed with a new business venture than students who have not. This new major will develop leaders who use their God-given talents to help solve our world’s problems by starting and sustaining new ventures that create value for people. Their courses will teach them to apply design thinking to different issues, to think entrepreneurially about the strategic and operational aspects of a business and to understand the implications of Christian principles and faith for vocational practice in this field.   

Sport Management: As one of the fastest-growing academic programs at many higher education institutions, this major is available to student athletes and to non-athletes who wish to work in the sports industry in areas such as professional, international, intercollegiate, high school, community and youth sports. This new major embraces the potential of sports to effect social change through sport-for-development; addressing societal challenges through conflict resolution; and peacebuilding at local, regional, national and international levels. With a focus on the management and governance of sports organizations, students will gain skills in sports finance, marketing, management, law, communications and media, governance, facility and event management and more. 

 About the Gordon College School of Business  

 Gordon’s School of Business equips future business professionals and leaders to effect positive social change through business—to make a positive impact while making a profit. Faculty bring decades of industry experience at companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, General Electric, UKG and three Fortune 200 firms to the classroom. Students glean from faculty experience, opportunities for practical learning through internships and nationwide competitions and access to a strong network of Christians in business. Gordon’s dense community of more than 2,300 business alumni, many in New England and specifically the Boston area, are employed at places like Fidelity Investments, HubSpot, Bank of America, State Street and Accenture. Graduates have a track record of successful placement in careers in financial services, accounting, information technology, marketing and advertising.