Sir John Cass

About Sir John Cass

Sir John Cass was a man of singular ambition. Born near the Tower of London in 1661, he was the only son of a successful entrepreneur. In 1665, the family moved to a rural estate in Hackney and thus escaped London's Great Plague. The family business was, however, well placed to take advantage of the demands for the rebuilding of the City following the Great Fire of 1666.

John Cass began to emerge into public and political life only after the death of his father in 1699. Some of his most treasured ambitions were realised in three years of success for the Tory party at the end of the reign of Queen Anne: a successful business career, terms as Alderman, Sheriff, then City MP before being knighted in 1713.

But like so many modern-day Cass alumni, he found that material success was not enough and, in 1710, he founded a school and dedicated the rest of his life and his wealth to nurturing the minds of future generations.

In 2001 a donation from Sir John Cass's Foundation led the City University Business School to rename itself the Sir John Cass Business School (usually abbreviated to Cass Business School). We have since maintained the spirit of Sir John, nurturing the talents of 35,000 students - the next generation of global business leaders.

School's ethos

Cass people are marked out by their ethical approach. It underpins the way we educate and the way we do business: it is one of the reasons people choose Cass. Ethical business practice is on everyone's lips, and we are ahead of the game - we have integrated ethics and sustainability into every course.

Any Cass student will tell you that we expect them not only to learn but also to challenge, to look critically at the world in which they live and work. We constantly question the ethical underpinning of their assumptions and decisions, and that ethical, questioning approach is woven through every element of a Cass education. In addition Cass runs a series of workshops by Roger Steare, Visiting Professor of Organisational Ethics, and has produced a series of video interviews with academics and leading practitioners called Cass Ethics about the ethical approach to business.

Our staff and students play an active role in their local and wider communities, fundraising, working with community leaders and local young people and taking part in projects such as helping children with learning difficulties and improving literacy among women who have suffered domestic violence.