The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics will mark the 50th anniversary of its Master of Science in Industrial Relations program this weekend.

The celebration will begin with an anniversary banquet and MSIR Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown.

The two-day event will feature nearly a dozen speakers from across the country, including representatives from General Motors, Bayer Material Sciences, Marathon Oil and Westinghouse. About 100 human resources professionals are expected to attend.

The MSIR program began in 1958, seven years after the business college was established. It is one of the nations earliest human resources programs and is among only 35 human resources/industrial relations full-time day programs in the country.

Students find jobs in positions ranging from human resource management to labor relations, mediation and conflict resolution, among others.

Since its inception more than five decades ago, the Master of Science in Industrial Relations program has grown from a relatively small degree program with only a handful of students to one of the College of Business and Economicsflagship graduate programs with a national reputation in the fields of human resources and industrial relations,said Jeff Houghton , associate professor and director of the program.

Today, more than 1,500 MSIR alumni hold important leadership positions in major organizations around the globe, and the program is stronger than ever,Houghton added.

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