Business and Economic History Program at PLU

Business and economic history involves the study of business organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, workers, products, and consumers, as well as the economic forces that have shaped culture and society. PLU offers four courses in business and economic history, an annual lecture in October, summer research fellowships for students and faculty, and an endowed chair to coordinate activities, teach courses, and conduct original research.

The Business and Economic History Program at PLU is supported by a generous endowment provided by Dale and Jolita Benson in 2004.

Explore resources and materials related to PLU Business and Economic History on this website, including our Blog. Students interested in the Benson Family Summer Research Fellowship for Summer 2020 are encouraged to apply by the April 1, 2020 deadline.

Benson Family Chair

The current Benson Family Chair in Business and Economic History is Michael J. Halvorson, Professor of History and Director of Innovation Studies. Halvorson’s newest book, Code Nation: Personal Computing and the Learn to Program Movement in America, is scheduled for publication in February, 2020. During the Spring 2020 term, Halvorson will be teaching students at the University of Oxford in PLU’s IHON/Oxford program. You can reach him via email at

Professor Halvorson welcomes students for academic advising and conversations about business and economic history.

Innovation Studies Program

For information about the new Innovation Studies minor, see our website dedicated to the program. Innovation Studies is housed in the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs.