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 six courses in business and economic history, a regular lecture series, 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.

The Seventeenth Dale E. Benson Lecture

On Thursday October 19, 2023, the PLU community welcomed Glory M. Liu of Johns Hopkins University to present the 17th Dale E. Benson Lecture in Business and Economic History. To view a recording of the lecture with slides and a fascinating Q&A session with Dr. Liu, click More Information.

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. 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 popular Innovation Studies minor, see our website dedicated to the program. Innovation Studies is housed in the College of Professional Studies.