Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Friday, January 9, 1959.
A Washburn alumnus, Dale Elbert Sharp, recently became president of the fourth largest bank in the United States. The position was open as the result of the merger of the J.P. Morgan & Co., and the Guaranty Trust Company in New York city.
Sharp, 55, attended Washburn in the ’20s, and studied first in the field of engineering. However, the professor of economics, Bill (Cocky) Irwin, encouraging Sharp to include a course in labor economics, in which he became fascinated.
After graduation from WU, Sharp attended the Graduate School of Business at New York University. He took his courses at night, and worked with the National Bank of Commerce in New York in the daytime. He was graduated from New York University in 1928.
He first joined the Guaranty Trust Co. in 1931, which by that time had executed an earlier merger with Sharp’s former employers, the National Bank of Commerce.
He was soon in charge of Guaranty’s Middle West affairs and was awarded a vice-president’s desk. He became president of the firm last year.
Sharp is the son of a Topeka barber, and was born on a farm about five miles from town. His public school education was received in Van Buren, Polk, and Seabrook schools in Topeka. He entered WU on a scholarship.
Bill Irwin, former professor of economics, had a strong influence on Sharp. Irwin revealed for him a world os economics that was as strange as it was fascinating. Irwin’s ideas of economics struck Sharp as being so basically sound that he switched from his dreams of engineering to the study of money management.
Sharp has three hobbies – skating, sailing, and listening to chamber music. However, the world of finance interests him most. “Banking,” he said, “is never dull.” He finds a constant interest in the wide variety of bank customers and experiences.”