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From DeForest Training School to DeVry University

By Ed Sharpe CouryGraph Productions Glendale AZ


In 1931, the Empire State Building was completed, "The Star Spangled Banner" became the national anthem and DeForest Training School -- now DeVry University -- opened.

Seventy-five years ago, it was courses in electronics, radio and motion pictures that launched a new era in post-secondary education. Today, DeVry University offers high-tech degree programs such as biomedical engineering technology, computer engineering technology and game and simulation programming.

Founded by Herman DeVry, a pioneer and inventor in the electronics and motion picture industries, DeForest Training School quickly established a reputation of providing career-oriented, technology-driven educational programs.

DeForest Training School's technology programs were so cutting-edge, during World War II the United States military called upon the institution to train troops in electronics.

In 1953 the school changed its name to DeVry Technical Institute, and four years later it was granted accreditation to bestow associate's degrees in electronics. DeVry eventually branched out into computers and accounting, and built more campuses in the Chicago and Toronto areas. 

In 1967, the Bell & Howell Company, best known perhaps for its role in inventing movie cameras, completed its acquisition of the school, and a fast-paced, nationwide expansion program ensued. The following year, the school underwent another name change, to DeVry Institute of Technology. In 1969 DeVry was authorized to award bachelor's degrees in electronics.

Throughout the 1970s Bell & Howell developed a technology-based curriculum which focused on preparing students for careers in the burgeoning engineering and computer industry. By 1983 DeVry had an enrollment of 30,000 students nationwide.

In the 1980s, DeVry University, then called the DeVry Institute of Technology, added degree programs in business. The institution's name was changed in 2002 to DeVry University to reflect the university's expanded course offerings.

"Virtually every business today relies on technology to remain competitive in the increasingly global economy," said David Pauldine, president of DeVry University during the 75th anniversary in 2006.. "As technology and business converged, DeVry University realized the need for technology-driven business degree programs. Programs such as our bachelor's degree programs in business administration and technical management have quickly become popular with students looking to succeed in corporate America or start their own business ventures."

In 1987, the growing institution merged with the Keller Graduate School of Management and began offering master's degree programs in business, technology and management to working adult students. Today, DeVry University is one of North America's largest degree-granting higher education systems.


This certificate prepared my father   to embrace the  new electronics invention... RADAR.  Just prior to the war breaking out,  he completed electronics training in March 1941.


H. A. Sharpe







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