Formation of the Pacific Northwest Banking School, predecessor to the Pacific Coast Banking School, was first championed by Cecil E. Jenks, Vice President of Peoples National Bank of Washington. Jenks had served as Supervisor of the Washington State Banking Department during the depression years of the early to mid-1930s and was concerned that the banking system, sorely tested during that time, might not survive another economic debacle. Jenks envisioned the need for a school for bank officers where they could become solidly grounded in the field of economics and sound banking principles and thus better be equipped to anticipate and respond to a changing environment.
With direction from four state banking associations, bank executives, and academicians from the University of Washington, Pacific Coast Banking School held its first session in August 1938. To this day, it follows the same principles and objectives established by the founders of the school:
A curriculum planned for training bank executives.
Classes taught throughout by one instructor rather than by different lecturers.
Teaching methods designed for an adult school.
Emphasis upon principles rather than techniques.
Preparation for responsible citizenship.
Utilization of evening sessions to supplement the day classes.
The requirement that students reside on the campus throughout the school session.
Development of fellowship among students and between students and faculty.
Provision, through extension courses, for study throughout the year.