The Eller Story

Karl Eller in McClelland Hall

“Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you.”
— Karl Eller
    BSBA Marketing '52

The Program

The Eller College of Management began as a 1913 bachelor’s degree program in commerce before becoming the UA School of Business and Public Administration in 1944. In 1998, it was renamed the Eller College of Business and Public Administration, which was condensed to Eller College of Management in 2004.


Karl Eller

The school is named for alumnus and entrepreneur Karl Eller (BSBA Marketing ’52), the founder of Eller Outdoor Advertising, Combined Communications Corporation, and Eller Media Company. He is also past CEO of Columbia Pictures Communications and Circle K Corporation, and was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2004, the first Arizonan to have that honor.


The McClelland Family

Since 1992, the Eller College of Management has been housed in the four-story, 180,000-square foot McClelland Hall. The $19-million building is named for the McClelland family, which founded Shamrock Foods Corporation. Shamrock chairman Norman P. McClelland (’49) and his sister Francis Helen (’44) are both alumni of the College.

The McClellands are first-generation Americans whose Irish immigrant parents founded a small dairy farm in Tucson that, under Norm’s leadership, became Shamrock Farms and Shamrock Foods. Now celebrating over 90 years and still family-owned, Shamrock is the largest dairy in the Southwest and the seventh-largest foodservice distributor in the U.S.

In 1987, the McClellands pledged a $2.5 million leadership gift toward the construction of the business school. “The University is a land grant institution,” Norm said. “It offered critical assistance as my parents were starting the business. Appreciation for that help was emphasized in my family, and in our business, we’ve always stayed close to the University.”

At the dedication ceremony, Frances, who passed away in 2005, added, “Our parents believed that education was important. They saw that both of their children had the advantage of attending the University of Arizona. My family also believes that you should return some of what you are fortunate to get. I believe in gifts that go on working through the years, that aren’t ‘consumed’ right away. This building will be a setting for future students for many years to come.”

McClelland Hall is built around an open-air, sunlit courtyard, and houses classrooms, student activity areas, computer laboratories, centers for corporate research, public and community spaces, and faculty and administrative offices for the entire college.


Eller in Tucson and Phoenix

In 2007, the College opened a Scottsdale campus, and in 2014 the College moved its Phoenix programs — including the Executive MBA, Evening MBA, and some Eller Executive Education programs — to the University of Arizona's medical campus in downtown Phoenix.


Visit Eller College for more information.