Lewis & Clark History

Lewis & Clark College was founded as Albany Collegiate Institute in the Oregon Willamette Valley in 1867. The school transitioned to Portland beginning in 1934, completing this process in 1939. In 1942 the college trustees acquired the Lloyd and Edna Levy Frank Fir Acres estate southwest of the city, establishing a permanent campus in Portland. To mark the transformation, the trustees changed the name to Lewis & Clark College.

The Lewis & Clark College Archive holds documents of historical significance to the history of the institution. This includes administrative office records, publications, faculty meeting minutes, college photographs, and registrar documents such as course catalogs. Student transcripts are not held in the college archives and should be requested from the registrar’s office. 

Staff in the college archive provide access to these records to researchers and administrators on campus. If you are interested in depositing records, archives staff can give guidance as to what is appropriate for retention following the college’s records policy.

Collection guides are available on Archives West.

All digitized material relating to the College’s history can be found through this website.

More information can be found in the Lewis & Clark at 150: The "Cinderella College" guide.  

Lewis & Clark College Timeline

February 2, 1867 Albany Collegiate Institute was founded in Albany, Oregon on property donated by Thomas and Christine Monteith.
1867-68 Rev. William J. Monteith named as Albany’s first president.
1868-69 Rev. Henry Bushnell, president.
1869-71 Rev. Edward R. Geary, president.
1871-76 Royal K. Warren, president.
1873 Albany honored its first graduates, four women: Maria Irvine, Cora Irvine, Weltha Young, and Mary Hannon.
1876-78 Rev. Howard W. Stratton, president.
1878-79 David B. Rice, president.
1879-85, 1887-94 Rev. Elbert Neal Condit, president.
1885-86 Joseph C. Wyckoff, president.
April-June, 1886 Earl T. Lockhard, president.
1891 Black and Orange are selected as the school colors.
1892 “The Orange and the Black” is designated as the official school song.
1894-95 Frederic George Young, president.
1895-1905, 1915-20 Wallace Howe Lee, president.
1905 Albany Collegiate Institute is officially renamed Albany College.
1905-15 Harry Means Crooks, president.
1920-22 Alfred Melvin Williams, president.
1922-23 Raymond J. Bake, term as president.
1923-28, 1938-41 Clarence W. Greene, president.
1924 Lloyd and Edna Frank and their children moved into the newly built Fir Acres estate, which later became the campus for Lewis & Clark College. This estate was designed by architect Herman Brookman, and soon after its construction was considered one of the most beautiful estates in the western United States.
1927 Albany College moved to a larger piece of property in Albany, Oregon, which was called the Monteith campus.
1929-38 Thomas William Bibb, president.
1934 Albany College attempted to improve its attendance by establishing a Portland satellite campus in Portland, Oregon.
1938 Albany College lost its accreditation with the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools. Although accreditation was not regained until 1944, the college remained open, and students continued to attend.
June 1938 The Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to close the Albany campus permanently, and focus on developing a campus in Portland.
1940 College Board of Trustees recommended the purchase of Weatherly Heights, on Mount Tabor, Portland, Oregon, for the new campus. The Weatherly Heights plan was abandoned in 1941 because of a lack of funds.
1941-42 Benjamin A. Thaxter, president.
1942 The Fir Acres estate was purchased from the Frank family for $46,000, and the College was renamed Lewis & Clark College.
1942-60 Morgan S. Odell, president.
1946 The name “Pioneers” was adopted by the student body.
1960-81 John R. Howard, president.
1965 Northwest College of Law merged with Lewis & Clark College.
1966 The college gymnasium burned down.
1966 Lewis & Clark College severed official ties with the Presbyterian Church.
1981-89 James Gardner, president.
1989-2003 Michael Mooney, president.
2004 Paul Bragdon, interim president.
2005-2009 Thomas J. Hochstettler, president.
2010-2017 Barry Glassner, president.
2017 David Ellis, interim president.
2017-2022 Wim Wiewel, president.
2022- Robin Holmes-Sullivan, president.