School of Business History

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Established in 1961 by founder Henry Trione to meet the needs of local companies, Empire College has been part of the fabric of the community from its inception. Fostering community outreach with his philanthropy in the North Bay and throughout the state of California, Henry Trione created a legacy of giving back that has become part of Empire College’s culture.  


Empire College was named to President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in 2012-2015 and was among the nation’s top finalists in 2013. The national award recognizes colleges that inspire lifelong civic engagement among their students and achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve. In addition to free assistance ranging from health screenings to income tax preparation to legal advice, Empire’s community outreach program involves raising thousands of dollars and donating facility space to local nonprofits each year.


The Empire College Board of Directors was recognized in 2015 by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors as one of five Jefferson Award recipients. A national recognition system designed to highlight public service, the program was adopted by the County to highlight the value of non-profit organizations, boards, commissions and advisory bodies, as well as individual efforts in community leadership and civic engagement.


In 2011, Empire College celebrated its Golden Jubilee and was commended for 50 years of providing high-quality business and legal educational opportunities in Sonoma County. Supervisor Shirlee Zane presented a Gold Resolution on behalf of Sonoma County, noting the achievements of Empire College graduates, faculty and staff. This honor followed recognition from the California State Assembly and Senate, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives which entered a commendation into the Congressional Record on November 1, 2011.


Since it opened, Empire College School of Business has been helping students reach their full potential and achieve employment in the career fields of their choice. We have dedicated our resources to providing quality career education that incorporates service-based learning, gives graduates an advantage in the job market and provides them with the skills employers require. This is not only our goal, but our legacy.


My boyfriend went to Empire College and majored in I.T. He told me to check out the college, and when I did, I knew that Empire was the school for me.

Haley Cleveland

Business Graduate, A/P Accounting Clerk, Dasco Inc.

One of the things that I appreciate about going to Empire College was that the training was so hands-on.

Yesenia Avalos

Medical Assistant Coordinator, West County Health Centers

Walking across the graduation stage already employed with a full-time job was very gratifying.

Nancy Clark

Paralegal, Galanti & Copenhaver, Inc.

I had a lot of friends go through Empire who had a great experience. If you want a solid IT foundation to get out in the workforce, it’s the place to be.

Blake Buchanan

Service Desk Analyst, Davita Medical Group