Aerial view of BIF exterior

21st Paul D. Converse
Marketing Symposium and Awards

May 2 - 4, 2024

The 21st Paul D. Converse Marketing Symposium will recognize and celebrate the contributions of recipients of the 2024 Paul D. Converse Awards. 

Gies College of Business was a founding member of the American Marketing Association and housed the Association as it grew into the premier professional organization for marketers.

It is for this reason that the Converse Symposium is hosted every four years by the Department of Business Administration at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business in conjunction with the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Marketing Association. 

The symposium will feature presentations by award recipients and a discussion of the recipient’s contributions led by a discussant of the recipient’s choice.

About the Award

Established in 1946, the Paul D. Converse Award honors scholars who have contributed significantly to the theory of marketing and toward the advancement of science in marketing. 

This award is considered by many to be the highest honor in the discipline. Fortune Magazine described the recipients of these awards as being part of a “Marketing Hall of Fame.”  


  1. A national panel drawn from universities, business, government, and the editorial boards of all the major academic marketing journals, nominate works for consideration.
  2. The panel then votes for the most deserving contributions. The co-chairs of the Paul D. Converse Symposium then tabulate the votes and announce the results.


  1. Contributions are considered eligible no earlier than five years after it is generally available to marketing academics or students. (Unpublished or confidential reports are not eligible.)
  2. Winners may not be current members of the University of Illinois faculty or staff.

About Paul D. Converse

Paul D. Converse, a longtime professor of business organization and operation at the University of Illinois, was one of the founding fathers in the field of marketing. He started teaching marketing in 1915 at the University of Pittsburgh and published one of the first widely distributed textbooks in the field in 1921. He joined the University of Illinois in 1924. Converse was general program chairman of the 1946 Pittsburgh convention, where – for the first time – a full meeting was devoted to the theory of marketing. His famous Journal of Marketing article titled “The Development of The Science of Marketing – An Exploratory Study” used the methodology that was to become the blueprint for selecting the Converse award recipients.

Picture of Paul D. Converse from University Archives

Symposium Co-Chairs

Ravi Mehta

Ravi Mehta
Professor of Business Administration

Maria Rodas

Maria Rodas
Assistant Professor of Business Administration

For additional symposium information, please contact our Symposium Coordinator, Maria Dorofeeva at