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Marius Vibæk, MA in German, is the founder of Handelshøjskolen. He becomes the first director of the school in 1926. Photo: The Royal Library

Marius Vibæk

Director 1917-1938

Marius Vibæk was the first director of Handelshøjskolen and is, more than anyone else, the founder of the institution. He graduated from the University of Copenhagen as a Master of Arts in German in 1899, and in 1901, he took up teaching at the Copenhagen School of Commerce.

In a public debate in 1915, Marius Vibæk rejected the idea of establishing a faculty of commerce at the University of Copenhagen. Instead, he recommended a business school affiliated to the business community that not only enrolled upper secondary school leavers, but also business practitioners. Marius Vibæk took the initiative himself. In the autumn of 1917, the Danish Society for the Advancement of Business Education (FUHU) established Handelshøjskolen i København and offered the first academic lectures about economics and social science. Appointed director of the school, Marius Vibæk was driving the development of the school towards the position of a recognised institution of higher education until his death in 1938.

From the outset Marius Vibæk’s intention was that Handelshøjskolen should conduct research and provide teaching, and in the beginning of the 1930s, he initiated the establishment of the first departments. In addition, Vibæk pressed on to obtain a permission to appoint professors at Handelshøjskolen, with which he succeeded in 1935.