Remembering a legendary era of Manchester basketball

Manchester University is naming its College of Business to honor Art Gilbert ’53, professor emeritus of accounting. On the faculty at Manchester from 1958 until his retirement in 1998, Gilbert led the growth of accounting at MU and elevated its stature to one of the most respected programs in the Midwest.

Currently housed on the first floor of the Academic Center, the College of Business will move to the second floor of the Chinworth Center when the building is completed in Fall 2019. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is planned for this May.

“It’s pretty safe to say that most alumni of a certain age know who Art is,” says President Dave McFadden. “Art led the growth of accounting at MU and, with his colleagues, made it one of the most respected accounting programs in the Midwest. That reputation was a point of pride for all of us, whether or not we majored in accounting.”

Gilbert launched the accounting major at Manchester in 1971. Before then, accounting students typically majored in business and economics. “Many of Art’s accounting students went on to become entrepreneurs or leaders in business and industry,” says McFadden. “Our graduates long have been in demand by public accounting firms not only because of their skills but because of their work ethic and integrity.”

MU’s accounting graduates still are highly sought after and some students are accepting job offers as much as 18 months before they graduate. Adds McFadden, “Art and his colleagues set the standard for that and it continues today.”

Gilbert and his wife, Ellen, still live in North Manchester – at Timbercrest Senior Living Community. When her husband taught, Mrs. Gilbert helped accounting students, too, hosting meals in the Gilbert home where accounting students learned proper etiquette and social skills they would need in the business world.

In the classroom, Gilbert encouraged his students to think critically and ask good questions. He also expected students to do their homework, attend classes and conduct themselves in a professional manner. The caliber of Manchester accountants made the University a big name among prospective employers.

The Chinworth Center is named for Lockie and Augustus Chinworth, parents of alumnus Herb Chinworth ’42, who gave the University more than $5 million for the project. The building will be connected to and immediately north of the Jo Young Switzer Center.

Manchester still has some naming opportunities for spaces in the new building if you’d like to honor the Gilbert legacy. Click here for the giving page.