FBLA History~ Connect With Our Past

1937: Hamden L. Forkner of Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, proposed that a national organization is needed for thousands of business clubs in the nation's high schools and colleges. 

1940: The National Council for Business Education (currently known as the National Business Education Association) sponsored the proposed student organization, which is named "Future Business Leaders of America."

1942: An experimental chapter is chartered in Johnson City, Tennessee, on February 3. A second chapter is started two days later in St. Albans, West Virginia. By the end of the year, 39 chapters are added; and over the next three and one-half years, another 38 chapters join.

1946: The United Business Education Association assumes sponsorship of FBLA. Headquarters office for FBLA is established at the National Education Association Center in Washington, D.C.

1947: Iowa becomes the first FBLA state chapter. Indiana and Ohio follow. Within the next three years FBLA has a total of ten state chapters.

1958: The Phi Beta Lambda is created. The University of Northern Iowa is the first PBL chapter.

1969: FBLA-PBL is granted independent status as a nonprofit educational student association under Internal Revenue Code 501. FBLA-PBL acquires its own board of directors and full-time staff.

1973: FBLA-PBL appoints Edward D. Miller as the association's first full-time executive director.

1979: The board of directors approves establishment of the FBLA-PBL Alumni Division.

1981: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation purchases 1.6 acres of land in the Center for Educational Associations, Reston, Virginia, as the site for the future FBLA-PBL National Center.

1987: FBLA annual membership tops 200,000 for the first time.

1989: The Professional Division is formed to include alumni and professional businesspersons.

1990: The groundbreaking ceremony is held for the FBLA-PBL National Center.

1991: The grand opening of the FBLA-PBL National Center is held.

1994: The FBLA-Middle Level division is formed for students in grades 5-9.

1997: Edward D. Miller retires as president and chief executive officer of the national association. Jean Buckley is appointed president and chief executive officer.

2001: National center mortgage is retired.

All information was gathered from the FBLA-PBL Website.