• 1867

    Oregon Legislature grants charter to Albany Collegiate Institute. Founded by a group of Presbyterian pioneers, the institute is located in Albany,  60 miles south of Portland. William Monteith serves as first president with 40 students enrolled.

  • 1873

    Albany Collegiate Institute graduates its first class. All four students are women.

  • 1884

    Richard Hopwood Thornton begins teaching the first law students at Northwestern College of Law in Portland, then the state’s law school.

  • 1886

    Northwestern College of Law graduates its first two students.

  • 1891

    Albany students select orange and black as school colors to honor President Elbert Condit’s alma mater, Princeton.

  • 1905

    Albany Collegiate Institute officially becomes Albany College.

  • 1915

    The state of Oregon establishes a law school in Eugene, while the Northwestern College of Law remains in Portland and becomes an independent entity.

  • 1934

    College opens a lower-division extension campus in Portland.

  • 1938

    Albany campus closes with June graduation and the remaining students and faculty move to Portland.

  • 1942

    Trustees name Morgan Odell president and purchase Fir Acres Estate from the Lloyd Frank family for $46,000. Trustees vote to change the institution’s name to Lewis & Clark College. Classes start with 135 students and eight faculty members.

  • 1945

    The college establishes its first graduate program, a master’s degree in secondary education.

  • 1946

    Enrollment increases as veterans return from World War II. College begins importing military buildings to serve as classrooms, offices, a theatre, and dining commons. Students adopt the name “Pioneers.”

  • 1951

    The graduate program is expanded with the addition of Master of Music Education degrees.

  • 1960

    John R. Howard becomes Lewis & Clark’s 20th president.

  • 1962

    The college begins an overseas and off-campus program, which sends students abroad, immerses them in foreign cultures, and introduces them to contemporary world issues.

  • 1963

    William Stafford, professor of English, wins the National Book Award in Poetry for Traveling Through the Dark. Other finalists include Robert Frost, Anne Sexton, and William Carlos Williams.

  • 1965

    Northwestern College of Law merges with Lewis & Clark College.

  • 1967

    Two new buildings—Aubrey R. Watzek Library and Agnes Flanagan Chapel—open.

    Graduate education programs are given a home in the newly remodeled Albany Quadrangle. The education department was the largest at the college at the time, with both graduate and undergraduate students.

  • 1970

    New law school buildings open on a 20-acre site just west of the Fir Acres campus.

  • 1978

    Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame inducts 10 charter members.

  • 1981

    James A. Gardner becomes Lewis & Clark’s 21st president.

    The college issues the first Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degree; by 1983, master of science degrees were also offered.

  • 1982

    College adopts new student governance model, which includes the Student Academic Affairs Board. SAAB’s responsibilities include helping formulate student policy on academic issues and granting funds for student-motivated research.

  • 1984

    College consolidates postgraduate programs in education, counseling psychology, and public administration into the Graduate School of Professional Studies.

  • 1989

    Michael Mooney becomes the College’s 22nd president.

  • 1992

    Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. ’64, ’65, ’66, chair of the Board of Trustees, challenges Lewis & Clark community to a series of physical fitness events to earn $1 million toward expansion of Aubrey R. Watzek Library.

    Stephen Dow Beckham, professor of history, is is one of five finalists for U.S. Professor of the Year.

  • 1993

    Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. announces a $12 million gift commitment, the largest in the college’s history, to endow the Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Society of Fellows: four professorships in economics, government, history, and science, and scholarships and stipends to 21 students.

    Trustees approve awarding of a single degree, the bachelor of arts, to graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    Trustees approve new motto: Explorare, Discere, Sociare (to explore, to learn, to work together).

  • 1995

    Aubrey R. Watzek Library is renovated and expanded to nearly double its original size.

  • 1997

    Laura Provinzino BA ’98 from St. Cloud, Minnesota, is named Lewis & Clark’s first Rhodes Scholar.

    College dedicates new Fred W. Fields Center for the Visual Arts and James F. Miller Center for the Humanities.

  • 2000

    Lewis & Clark purchases from the Sisters of Saint Francis an 18-acre site immediately south of Fir Acres campus.

  • 2001

    Renamed Graduate School of Education moves into its new home on south campus. Rogers Hall is completely renovated thanks to a gift from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation.

    Sue D. Cooley donates her family home in Dunthorpe to Lewis & Clark for use as a presidential residence and gathering place.

  • 2002

    Lewis & Clark is one of only four colleges in the nation this year to receive a Truman Foundation Honor Institution Award recognizing commitment to encouraging outstanding young people to pursue careers in public service.

    Law school dedicates Louise and Erskine Wood Sr. Hall, part of the renovated Paul L. Boley Law Library complex.

  • 2003

    College’s traveling exhibition, “The Literature of the Lewis and Clark Expedition,” opens at the Jefferson Library, near Monticello, Virginia.

    Former Reed College President Paul E. Bragdon is named interim president.

  • 2004

    Graduate School of Education establishes a doctoral program in educational leadership.

    Thomas J. Hochstettler becomes the College’s 23rd president.

  • 2005

    Lewis & Clark dedicates John R. Howard Hall, a 50,000-square-foot environmentally sustainable academic building on the Fir Acres campus.

    Graduate school changes its name to better reflect its programs of study: the Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

    Graduate School of Education and Counseling joins an elite group of national schools of education by earning accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, known as NCATE.

  • 2007

    Lewis & Clark Law School opens the Small Business Legal Clinic, providing legal advice to local small businesses and entrepreneurs.

  • 2008

    The family of William Stafford donates his papers to Lewis & Clark College. Stafford was a professor at Lewis & Clark for more than thirty years and Oregon’s poet laureate from 1975 to 1990.

    Scott Fletcher is named dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

    Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell, associate professor of psychology, is named Outstanding Baccalaureate Colleges Professor of the Year, aka U.S. Professor of the Year.

  • 2009

    Provost Jane Atkinson serves as interim president.

  • 2010

    Barry Glassner becomes the College’s 24th president.

    Tamma Carleton BA ’09 from Elk, California, is named a Rhodes Scholar.

    The graduate school’s teacher education program is one of 27 programs in the nation selected to partner with the Woodrow Wilson-Rockefeller Brothers Fund in its fellowship program for aspiring teachers of color.

  • 2011

    The Diane Gregg Memorial Pavilion is dedicated in April, completing architect Paul Thiry’s original vision for Agnes Flanagan Chapel.

  • 2012

    The Graduate School of Education and Counseling opens the Lewis & Clark Community Counseling Center near downtown Portland. Offering a wide range of low-cost and no-cost counseling and therapy services for underserved Oregonians, the center is also a teaching clinic for graduate students.

    Matt Wuerker BA ’79 wins the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning.

    Lewis & Clark receives a $10 million bequest from Fred Fields, a renowned business and community leader, life trustee, and former board chair. The second largest gift in the college’s history, the bequest supports endowed scholarships.

  • 2013

    Mary Szybist, associate professor of English, wins the 2013 National Book Award in Poetry for Incarnadine.

    The Center for Entrepreneurship offers its first for-credit course. As part of an emerging curriculum, the course complements a host of cocurricular opportunities.

    The Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts Jr., visits campus and inaugurates a moot court competition that determines the law school’s best environmental law advocate of the year.

    Isaac Holeman BA ’09 receives a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, the college’s first since the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the program in 2000. 

  • 2014

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s visit to campus marks the fifth by a Justice of the Supreme Court since 2008.

    Jennifer Johnson, Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law, is named dean of Lewis & Clark Law School.

    The Graduate School of Education and Counseling marks its 30th anniversary.

  • 2015

    The Princeton Review names Lewis & Clark number one among the nation’s 353 environmentally responsible colleges and universities.

    Katie Keith BA ’15 and Angie Epifano BA ’16 are both named as double finalists for the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

    Lewis & Clark is one of only 12 colleges and universities in the nation to earn recognition as a top producer of both Fulbright student and Fulbright faculty scholars.

    Lewis & Clark Law School observes the 100th anniversary of its establishment as an independent school of law.

  • 2016

    Tamily Weissman-Unni, assistant professor of biology, wins an $823,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and is named a CAREER award recipient, the NSF’s most prestigious award for junior faculty.

    Carl “C.J.” Appleton CAS ’17 is named one of five recipients of the national Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award. He is the only honoree from an NCAA Division III school, and the first student-athlete from the Northwest Conference to receive the award.

    Kristina Dill BA ’16 is a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.

  • 2017

    In January, David Ellis is named interim president.

    The college launches its Sesquicentennial Year on February 2—Founders Day—commemorating its incorporation on February 2, 1867.

    Matt Utterback MAT ’95, Educational Leadership ’05 is named National Superintendent of the Year.

    In October, Wim Wiewel becomes Lewis & Clark’s 25th president.

  • 2018

    Board of Trustees votes unanimously to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment.

    Board of Trustees unanimously endorses the institutional strategic plan, “Exploring for the Global Good,” which includes undertaking a comprehensive fundraising campaign.

    Kim Stafford, associate professor and founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute, is chosen to serve as Oregon’s ninth poet laureate.

    Katie Kowal BA ’17, a double major in physics and political science, is named a Rhodes Scholar.

    The Graduate School of Education and Counseling adopts the art therapy program from Marylhurst University after the university announces its impending closure.

    Bruce Suttmeier, associate professor of Japanese, is named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    On October 5, Wim Wiewel is inaugurated as president of Lewis & Clark.

  • 2019

    Ally Knighton BA ’21 and Aaron Lutz BA ’22 win national forensics championships in Informative Speaking and Extemporaneous Speaking, respectively.

  • 2022

    On July 1, 2022, Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan took the helm as Lewis & Clark’s 26th president. Holmes-Sullivan is the first woman and the first person of color to serve as Lewis & Clark’s president in the institution’s 155-year history.