On August 2, 1934, three innovative gentlemen got together and filed a Certificate of Incorporation on behalf of a new organization to be named the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service.

George Frank, Manager of Purchases at Cornell University, Charles Wilmot, Purchasing Agent at Colgate University, and E.E. Thompson, Purchasing Agent at Syracuse University had no idea that they were creating what would one day become the premier purchasing organization for education.

Amazingly, 80 years later, the legacy of these three thought leaders remains at the core of everything we do. E&I’s member-driven approach has always been the core of our success. We’ve come a long way since 1934, thanks, in part, to the visionary leaders who have advanced the Cooperative’s mission through the decades. We look forward to what the future holds.

the evolution of

E&I Cooperative


George Frank, Charles Wilmot, and E.E. Thompson filed a Certificate of Incorporation on behalf of a new organization to be known as the Educational and Institutional Cooperative Service. The cooperative purchasing concept was first tested within a small group called the Educational Buyers Association (EBA).


First members of E&I paid $5 each for a share of stock. Our headquarters were established at 239 Mercer Street in New York City. In 1939, a monthly publication was initiated, Educo News.


The first Field Representatives were appointed — and served without pay. In 1944, total member purchases for the Cooperative's entire ten year history were $2,940,000. E&I had contracts in wood office supplies, electric lamp bulbs, carbon paper, typewriter ribbons, letterhead and mimeo­graph paper, floor wax, laboratory and filing supplies, and food and other commodities.


Business was booming at the end of WWII, and member purchases totaled $1,000,000. With about 600 members, EBA opened its membership to the entire country and changed its name to National Association of Educational Buyers (NAEB).


By this time, E&I staff had grown to 15 people, the Board was increased from five to nine members, and the Coop hired its first Contract Representative. A new buliding was erected in Garden City, NY, and the first issue of our Annual Report was released.


The Membership Service Dept. was set up in the National Office. In 1968, E&I had 58 employees, and by 1969, member purchases reached $19,600,000.


An agreement was reached on a common set of criteria for membership eligibility, and a joint statement on membership was issued by E&I and NAEB — broadening the E&I concept of eligibility. In 1978, offices were moved to Woodbury, NY.


Member purchases quickly climb­ed during this time, coming close to $50,000,000. In 1989, the Cooperative relocated to Hauppauge, NY.


Member purchases had reached $135,000,000, and E&I staff grew to more than 200 employees. A new Mission Statement was formed.


Member purchases reached $366 million, and a total of $866 thousand was re­turned to members in the form of patronage, with more than $1 million returned to members in the form of Certificates of Equity.


E&I revamped its website with full contract information, as well as supplier and Cooperative news. Around this same time, E&I and NAEB published the first Purchasing Link newsletter, a joint online newsletter. Not soon after, E&I launched its Competitive Bid Program.


E&I introduced a new division to address procurement changes; E&I Consulting Group.


In 2016, E&I expanded into the K-12 industry, a move that complemented E&I’s deep relationships within higher education and strengthened our position as the premier member-owned cooperative serving the education marketplace


As of 2017, E&I has more than 4,100 members saving over $200 million annually, and is located in Jericho, NY.