Saturday, December 14, 2013

Edward Payson Heald (1843-1925) - Founder of Heald Business College

Edward Payson Heald
Receiving Vault (Behind Main Mausoleum)
Section 15 Tier 2

Edward Payson Heald was one of ten children born to Abel Heald and Mary A. Sterns on February 5th in Lovell, Maine. Heald spent his youth in Maine where he took advantage of the educational opportunities afforded him, eventually becoming an instructor at the Portland Business College in Portland, Maine. Although young, Edward was highly regarded among both the faculty and students. Eventually he decided to leave his native state of Maine and travel to the West Coast. In 1863, at the age of twenty, he traveled to San Francisco, California.  

Upon his arrival to California, Heald set to work establishing Heald Business College in San Francisco, the first institution of its kind in the western part of the United States. Edward’s ability as a teacher and executive helped Heald Business College soon become a leader in the   educational and business activities of the west.   

The original Heald College and a contemporary school in Concord, CA
Edward Heald was an educational pioneer in many ways, especially when it came to women’s education. Heald Business College was one of the first schools that afforded women the   opportunity to gain practical business training and played a major role in paving the way for women to enter into the business world. Also, as the industries of the world changed, Heald Business College changed along with them, introducing the study of the various branches of engineering, mining and even automotive repair to the course catalog. Heald College’s mission was, and continues to be, to prepare students for successful careers by providing them with career education that focuses on practical, hands-on learning.  

Heald College has persevered since 1863, weathering two major earthquakes and two World Wars, always remaining true to its original mission. As the needs of the workplace have changed, the Heald College curriculum has evolved from business courses to include technology, healthcare and legal degrees.   

In addition to the establishment of the college that bears his name, Heald was also heavily   involved in many philanthropic and benevolent organizations and lent his influence and co- operation in support of efforts promoting the general good of the community. He was also involved in agriculture throughout the state including the operation of a large raisin vineyard near Fresno and a fine stock farm in Napa County, where he made a specialty of breeding high- grade roadsters, trotters and carriage horses. He also served as president of the Pacific Coast Trotting Horse Breeders' Association. 

Edward Heald passed away in 1925 and is still regarded as a pioneer of education in the state of California. Heald College continues today with twelve campuses throughout California, Oregon and Hawaii and celebrated its 150th anniversary this year.

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