LDSBC History and Background

History and Background

In 1886, William B. Dougall gathered several local leaders from Salt Lake City together to make an important proposal: that the youth of Salt Lake City should have a school of their own. And so, what we know today as LDS Business College was born.

It was a meeting that almost didn’t take place.

The gathering was scheduled to occur in a bookstore owned by James Dwyer, but the night before the meeting a fire broke out in the building. The next morning, water that had been used to put out the fire was still dripping from the destroyed roof. That could have been the end of Dougall’s dream, but his group of determined, resourceful pioneers met anyway, sitting on boxes and crates in the charred, damp remains of the bookstore.

The symbolism of that first meeting cannot be ignored. Surrounded by the ashes of books, the gathered leaders made plans for a place of learning. The phoenix that rose from those ashes was the Salt Lake Stake Academy, now known as LDS Business College.

Since its founding, LDS Business College has moved eight times, and instruction has been provided in a total of 16 buildings. It stood on the location of the current Church Office Building for the longest span of time, from 1901 to 1961.

From 1962 to 2006, LDS Business College occupied the Wall Mansion in downtown Salt Lake City before moving to its current location at the Triad Center, just west of Temple Square.

The school’s purpose is to provide a spiritually grounded, career-based education. LDSBC provides programs in business, health professions, information technology, software development, interior design, paralegal studies, social media marketing and applied technology.

Through these in-demand professional certificates and associate degrees—with programs offered both on campus and online—students become job-ready in one to two years and are prepared to earn a working wage quickly after graduation.

Fun Facts

  • LDS Business College is an institution of higher education founded and sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The school’s mission is to develop capable and trusted disciples of Jesus Christ.

  • The College has had four names and five name changes: Salt Lake Stake Academy (1886-1890), LDS College (1890-1901), LDS University (1901-1927), LDS College (1927-1931), LDS Business College (1931-present).

  • Each year 2,200 students come to the Business College from all 50 U.S. states and more than 50 countries.

  • Nearly 45 percent of the students are returned missionaries.

  • International students comprise 25 percent of the student body.

  • Since it opened its door, nearly 100,000 students have attended LDS Business College.

  • The 2019 graduating class included 498 graduates; 263 females and 235 males. The College awarded 578 two-year degrees in 20 programs and 166 certificates in seven programs. U.S. graduates came from 31 states: 49 percent were Utah residents, 3 percent were from California, and 2 percent were from the states of Idaho and Arizona.