About Clark

Jonas Clark Hall

Historical Timeline

By decade
1880 | 1890 | 1900 | 1910 |1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000 | 2010


1900 - 1909


The Clark University Board of Trustees votes to confer doctoral degrees to men and women, or, as the Board put it, "without regard to the distinction of sex."

The University's founder Jonas Clark dies, leaving an endowment for the founding of Clark College, with a separate administration from the University. He ultimately gives $850,000 from his will and initial endowment for the University Library. This is estimated to be the largest independent endowment for any library in America at that time.


Clark College opens on October 1 with a class of 79 male undergraduates taught by 11 faculty members. Carroll D. Wright, U.S. Commissioner of Labor, is selected as the first president of Clark College.


The campus' first separate library building, now Jefferson Academic Center, is completed.

George Hubbard Blakeslee is appointed to the history department. He would go on to found what would become the Journal of International Relations (later Foreign Affairs Quarterly); to organize in 1909 a major scholarly conference on China and the Far East; and to serve President Wilson as an expert on the Far East in the aftermath of World War I.



President Theodore Roosevelt delivers the commencement address for Clark College's first public commencement ceremonies. Degrees are conferred on Clark's first class of 43 men.

New graduate departments are added in economics, sociology and history.

Lewis M. Terman receives a Ph.D. in psychology from Clark. Later, while at Stanford University, he would publish a revised and perfected Binet-Simon scale of intelligence for American populations. This "Stanford Revision of the Binet-Simon Scale," soon became known as the famous "Stanford-Binet" intelligence test.

The Clark Alumni Association is established. Today, the Clark University Alumni Association includes more than 25,000 members. Among its current activities, the Alumni Association runs an alumni mentor program with the University Park Campus School, helps new students move in to the residence halls each fall, and coordinates the Outstanding Secondary Educator Award presented at Reunion each year.


Arnold Lucius Gesell earns a Ph.D. in psychology from Clark. He would go on to earn an M.D. at Yale medical School and found the clinic which eventually became the Gesell Institute of Human Development. He pioneered twin studies, popularized his findings on child development, and was the first to use film to study children's behavior.


Obadiah Hadwen dies and leaves to Clark a 40-acre arboretum, located at the corner of Lovell and May Streets. Hadwen, a horticulturalist and one-time Commissioner of Public Parks in Worcester, had worked with Jonas Clark on city park and tree planting projects.


Caroline Osborne becomes the first woman to be awarded a Clark Ph.D.


To observe the University's twentieth anniversary, President G. Stanley Hall scheduled a series of conferences. Topics included child welfare, psychology and pedagogy (education), physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology and history/international relations (a conference on China and the Far East). Among the eminent scholars attending were Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. It was Freud's only visit to America.

Margaret Morse Nice (M.A. 1915) launches her career as an animal behavior specialist when she arrives at Clark as a graduate student. In her distinguished career, she became a renowned ornithologist who published seven books and more than 250 scholarly articles. Until her death at the age of 91, she led the fight to preserve animal populations and other natural treasures across the United States.

Indianapolis-born Louis Clarkson Tyree, the first African American student to attend Clark, enters his first year. He will graduate in 1912 and go on to receive a law degree from Boston University.

Edmund C. Sanford is selected as the second president of Clark College.

Fun Facts


Intramural football and basketball are established.


The first Spring Festival-currently known as Spree Day-is held in connection with St. Patrick's Day.


Scarlet and white are adopted as the official colors of Clark College.


The yearbook, called the Pioneer, is published. It is later renamed Pasticcio.


The Gryphon Honor Society is established.


Clark's alma mater "Fiat Lux," with words by E. L. Clark '08 and music by R. Fletcher '10, is copyrighted.