The Commercial Real Estate Network

commercial real estate article


Focus on Wade College
and Miss Sue Wade, Founder
The Commercial Real Estate News, Issue 4, Dec 09

A college specializing in fashion design, interior design, graphic design and merchandise marketing right here in Dallas? You bet!

Wade College is a small, private college located in the heart of the Dallas Market Center, Decorative Center, and Design District. The college offers an Associate of Arts degree in Merchandising and Design and full time students can complete this program in as few as 16 months of intensive study.

Students benefit enormously from the college's location within the Market Center complex which offers the ideal professional environment for those seeking industry experience and early exposure to the merchandising and design industries. While in school, students have the opportunity to network with professionals, work daily in showrooms, and participate in numerous markets each year, thereby gaining priceless industry experience. Many students make connections that allow them to travel to other markets around the country as well as find permanent employment once they graduate. The instructors have diverse backgrounds and outstanding professional experience, and together with the college's curriculum, and location contribute to the goal of nurturing each student's intellectual and professional development.

Sue Wade is the Executive Director and founder. Founded in 1962, Wade College (then known as Miss Wade's School of Fashion Merchandising) began as a professional modeling and fashion merchandising college offering day and evening classes. She began the school with the goal of helping individuals who wanted to join the fashion and merchandising industries immediately, and she started it all with $1500.00 and 10 students!

In 1965, the college moved from the Turtle Creek area to within the Market Center complex, and in 1971, the professional modeling and evening classes were discontinued in favor of a total emphasis on full-time enrollment in merchandising. The educational process evolved beyond that offered by a traditional trade or technical school. In fact, graduates of the associate degree program in merchandising advanced rapidly in their careers, moving up to management positions. Significant changes were made in the college's educational program, particularly in regard to faculty credentials and library holdings. In 1985, Wade College was granted accreditation by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Today, as Wade College celebrates its 47th anniversary, the college boasts a solid educational curriculum with degrees in merchandising and design and specializations in graphic design, fashion design, interior design, and merchandise marketing.

Sue Wade believes Wade College maintains a competitive edge by simply "being the best". She and the school start on day 1 to prepare students for their first job in the fashion field and encourage each individual to be honest with him/her self and not to turn down a position before experiencing it. Many of her students start their careers by working at the Dallas Market Center during market week or helping with a fashion show extravaganza. Ms. Wade knows that job placement is based on three key principles (which are taught during the 16-month term): a perfect resume, a breathtaking portfolio and a professional attitude.

Students learn early that there are choices and Wade strives to encourage students to make the right ones. She stresses that one can choose to be happy and successful.

Along with Sue's successful career is her love of family. She is proud of her 2 daughters and 5 (ages 2-8) grandchildren. She gets to baby-sit often and still spends time at the college reviewing resumes, portfolios and nurturing each student's intellectual and professional development.

She worked hard to get here, doesn't plan on getting old, and plans to keep working all of her life. She lives the philosophy, "love what you do" and will continue to spread that message to her students, family and community.

To find out more about Wade College, go to or call 1.800.624.4850.

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