Lewis & Clark College

This article is about the private college in Oregon. For the public college in Idaho, see Lewis–Clark State College. For the public community college in Illinois, see Lewis and Clark Community College.
Lewis & Clark College
Motto Explorare, Discere, Sociare (Latin)
Motto in English
To explore, to learn, to work together
Type Private
Established 1867
Endowment $227.7 million (2015)[1]
President Barry Glassner
Administrative staff
745 (All three schools)
Students 3,504 (fall 2014)
Undergraduates 2,179 (fall 2014)[2]
Postgraduates 1,325 (fall 2014)[2]
Location Portland, Oregon, U.S.
45°27′03″N 122°40′12″W / 45.450891°N 122.670117°W / 45.450891; -122.670117Coordinates: 45°27′03″N 122°40′12″W / 45.450891°N 122.670117°W / 45.450891; -122.670117
Campus Residential, 137 acres
Colors Orange and Black          
Nickname Pioneers
Mascot "Pio" the Newfoundland
Website lclark.edu

Lewis & Clark College is a private liberal arts college located in Portland, Oregon. It has an undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences, a School of Law, and a Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Lewis & Clark is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges with athletic programs competing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III Northwest Conference. Just over 2,000 students attend the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences,[3] with a student body from more than 50 countries across six continents as well as most U.S. states.[4] The School of Law is best known for its environmental law program,[5] while the Graduate School of Education & Counseling is active in community engagement and social justice.

Originally chartered as the Albany Collegiate Institute in 1867 in the town of Albany, the school moved to the Portland campus in 1938 and in 1942 adopted the name Lewis & Clark College after the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Today, the three schools and their supporting offices occupy a campus of 137 acres (554,000 m²), centered on the M. Lloyd Frank Estate on Palatine Hill in the Collins View neighborhood of Southwest Portland.


Albany College Administration Building.

Like many modern universities, the institution that would eventually become Lewis & Clark was initially intended to provide secondary as well as higher education for a specific religious community, in this case Presbyterian pioneers in Oregon's Willamette Valley. To this end the Presbyterian church incorporated Albany Academy in 1858,[6] making Lewis & Clark one of four Oregon colleges with foundations predating Oregon's statehood (along with Willamette University, Pacific University, and Linfield College). Within a decade of its founding, Albany Academy began to focus more exclusively on higher education, changing its official name to the Albany Collegiate Institution in 1866. Lewis & Clark's official founding date comes from the current charter, which has been legally valid since the Presbyterian church reincorporated the Albany Collegiate Institution as Albany College in 1867.[6] Unlike most Oregon colleges of the pioneer-era, the college has been coeducational since the first class, which graduated in 1873. The early campus of 7 acres (28,000 m2) in Albany was situated on land donated by the Monteith family. In 1892, the original school building was enlarged, and in 1925 the school relocated south of Albany where it remained until 1937.[6]

Albany College established a junior college to the north in Portland in 1934, with the entire school moving to Portland in 1939.[6] The campus grounds later became home to the federal government's Albany Research Center.[7] In 1942 the college trustees acquired the Lloyd Frank (of the historic Portland department store Meier & Frank) “Fir Acres” estate in southwest Portland, and the school name was changed to Lewis & Clark College.[6] The original school mascot, the Pirates, was changed to the Pioneers in 1946.


President Order Beginning Term Year
Barry Glassner 24 2010
Thomas J. Hochstettler 23 2004
Michael Mooney[8] 22 1989
James A. Gardner 21 1981
John R. Howard 20 1960
Morgan Odell 19 1942
Elbert Condit 1879
William Monteith 1 1867


The three schools of the college include the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the Law School, and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

CAS departments include Art, Art History, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Classics, Computer Science, Dance, East Asian Studies, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Ethnic Studies, Foreign Languages, French Studies, Gender Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, History, International Affairs, Japanese, Latin American Studies, Mathematics, Music, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Economy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Rhetoric and Media Studies, Russian, Sociology and Anthropology, and Theatre.[9]

Lewis & Clark has nationally regarded programs in Biology, International Affairs, Psychology, Foreign Languages and Environmental Studies. The college has held two worldwide symphonic festivals in the past five years with professional-level performances in Dublin and the Greek islands.

Lewis & Clark is also known for its active and diverse overseas study program.[10] The college offers approximately 36 programs in various countries, and since the 1960s, more than 60% of all Lewis & Clark undergraduates have studied abroad.[11] For a small liberal arts college, Lewis & Clark's overseas offerings are impressive in both breadth and scope; there are, for example seven discrete programs in Spanish-speaking countries. Lewis & Clark is also one of the few U.S. institutions with an overseas program in Cuba. This international component is integrated into the college's academics, especially in departments such as International Affairs and Foreign Languages, and is also part of Lewis & Clark College's identity and reputation as an international institution.

Admissions Profile

For the Class of 2018 (enrolled fall 2014), Lewis & Clark received 6,244 applications, accepted 4,160 (66.6%) and enrolled 564 (13.6% of those accepted).[12] In terms of class rank, of the 41% of high school seniors who submitted it, 38% of enrolled freshmen were in the top tenth of their high school classes, and 79% were in the top quarter.[12] The middle 50% range of SAT scores for the enrolled freshmen was 610-710 for critical reading, 580-670 for math, and 590-680 for writing, while the ACT Composite range was 27–31.[12] The average high school Grade Point Average GPA of enrolled freshmen was 3.91.[12]


University rankings
Forbes[13] 156
Liberal arts colleges
U.S. News & World Report[14] 87
Washington Monthly[15] 86

The 2017 annual ranking of U.S. News & World Report categorizes Lewis & Clark as 'more selective' and ranks it tied for the 87th best liberal arts college in the nation.[16] Forbes in 2016 rated it 156th in its America's Top Colleges ranking, which includes military academies, national universities, and liberal arts colleges, and 123rd among private colleges.[17] Kiplinger's Personal Finance placed it 75th in its 2015 ranking of best value liberal arts colleges in the United States.[18] The Daily Beast ranked Lewis & Clark 239th in the country out of the nearly 2000 schools it evaluated for its 2014 Best Colleges ranking.[19] Money magazine ranked Lewis & Clark 681st in the country out of the nearly 1500 schools it evaluated for its 2015 The Best Colleges for Your Money ranking.[20]


Campus overview

Frank Manor House.

Lewis & Clark's 137-acre (0.55 km2) forested campus sits atop Palatine Hill in the Collins View neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, and is contiguous with the 645 acre (2.61 km2) Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Campus buildings include an award-winning environmentally sustainable academic building,[21] as well as notable historic architecture such as the Frank Manor House (designed by Herman Brookman) and Rogers Hall (formerly Our Lady of Angels convent of The Sisters of St. Francis).[22]

Due in large part to the college's natural environment, Lewis & Clark was named one of America's top ten "Most Beautiful Campuses" by the Princeton Review,[23] Travel+Leisure[24] as well as an independent architecture blog.[25]

Residence halls

Stewart Residence Hall.

All students are required to live on campus for the first two years, unless already a Portland resident.[26] Residence halls include SOA (Stewart-Odell-Akin), Forest (Alder, Manzanita, Juniper, Spruce, and Ponderosa), Hartzfeld, Holmes, Platt-Howard, Copeland and also include East, Roberts, and West, the on-campus apartments.

Several of the student residence halls have themes. Stewart is "Health and Wellness", providing a home for those who wish to live in a drug and alcohol-free environment. Akin is known as the "Multicultural Dorm", hosting a majority of students from outside of the United States as well as some U.S. students with international experience. Platt West houses the Platteau student-run arts center, and the "Visual and Performing Arts" (or VAPA) while Platt East is known as the "Global Village". Spruce, in the Forest complex, offers all-female housing. Manzanita, also in Forest, is home to the "Outdoor Pursuits" floor as well as the "Environmental Action" floor. Juniper, a third Forest building, was recently remodeled to house students with junior class standing or higher in all single rooms with double beds. Hartzfeld and Holmes also house upperclassmen, requiring sophomore standing or higher to live in. East Hall, Roberts Hall and West Hall are a series of on-campus apartments completed in 2003 and require junior class standing or higher to live in.

Lewis & Clark College residence halls are co-ed. While individual rooms generally house one gender, students may opt otherwise under the college's gender-neutral housing policy.[27]

Student life


Roses are abundant at Lewis & Clark College

Sustainability is an important issue for many students, faculty, and college administrators. Currently, wind power provides 100% of the college's total electricity,[28] and LEED-"certified" level must be met for all of the college's projects.[29] Reuters recently listed Lewis & Clark as one of the ten best universities in the United States for studying cleantech.[30]


Lewis & Clark maintains 9 male and 10 female varsity sports teams, and athletic facilities including Pamplin Sports Center and Griswold Stadium.[31] Lewis & Clark athletic teams are called the Pioneers, and team colors are orange and black. The Pioneers compete mainly in the Northwest Conference against eight other NCAA Division III institutions in the Pacific Northwest. One in five undergraduates are officially designated student athletes.[32] Recent accomplishments in varsity athletics include the men's rowing team winning its conference, women's swim team winning third in conference, and men's and women's basketball both earning third in conference.[33] In the 2011 season, the women's cross-country team placed seventh at West regionals, with the men's team placing 13th.[34] The 2011-2012 men's basketball team lost in the NWC semifinals putting them in 4th place in the conference.[35] Additionally, the women's team of that same year placed second in the NWC[36] and made an appearance in the NCAA DIII National tournament.[37] The volleyball and basketball teams play in Pamplin Sports Center. The football, soccer and track and field events take place at Griswold Stadium.

A large number of smaller club and intramural sports such as Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee,[38] and Boffing[39] enjoy broad participation. Lewis & Clark students have invented several intramural competitive sports, including Ninja[40] and Wolvetch,[41] which are popular at Lewis & Clark but seldom played elsewhere. While some varsity athletic events are well attended, there has long been tension between varsity athletes and non-athletes regarding perceived social and cultural differences, as well as the substantial financial support varsity sports teams enjoy.[42][43]


Pioneer Express shuttle bus starting a trip to downtown Portland, in 2016

Throughout the year the college operates a shuttle bus between campus and downtown Portland, the Pioneer Express (also referred to as the "Pio Express"). TriMet line 39 operates between the college and the Hillsdale neighborhood, where students can transfer to buses to downtown Portland. First-year students are not permitted to have cars on campus.

Notable faculty, staff, and trustees

Miller Center for the Humanities.

Notable alumni

Flanagan Chapel, site of on-campus religious services and weddings.


  1. As of June 30, 2015. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Lewis & Clark College Common Data Set 2014-2015, Part B". Lewis & Clark College.
  3. Admissions: Facts & Figures Lewis & Clark official website
  4. International Students and Scholars: Admissions Lewis & Clark official website
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  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Corning, Howard M. Dictionary of Oregon History. Binfords & Mort Publishing, 1956.
  7. Friedman, Ralph (1990). In Search of Western Oregon. Caxton Press. p. 499. ISBN 978-0-87004-332-1.
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