About Clark

Jonas Clark Hall

Historical Timeline

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


1920 - 1929


Clark College and University are united as Clark University, and Wallace W. Atwood, professor of physical geography at Harvard, becomes the first president of the merged Clark University.

Community radio station 1XZ is launched in 1920 by Clark physics Professor Robert Goddard. 1XZ was one of fewer than 20 radio stations in the country at that time.

African-American E. Franklin Frazier earns an M.A. in sociology from Clark. He would go on to direct the Atlanta School of Social Work, earn a Ph.D. from University of Chicago, and chair the department of sociology at Howard University. He wrote extensively on African American family life and in 1955 authored the controversial book "Black Bourgeoisie."

African-American Francis Cecil Sumner earns a Ph.D. in psychology at Clark, the first black person in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in that field. He would go on to found the department of psychology at Howard University.


The School of Geography is founded and is now the oldest sustained graduate program of geography in the U.S. It now also offers undergraduate majors.

Geography professor Ellen Churchill Semple becomes the first woman on Clark's faculty.


A new professional journal, Economic Geography, is established. Economic Geography, the only journal in English that specializes in this field of study, is still published at Clark University.


Clark physics professor Robert H. Goddard ushers in the Space Age with his launch of the first liquid-fuel rocket on March 16 in Auburn, Mass.

Fun Facts


Intercollegiate athletics, specifically basketball, baseball, track and tennis, are introduced on a trial basis. Today, Clark is a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, with 17 men's and women's varsity athletic teams. Currently, 65 percent of Clark undergraduates participate in intercollegiate, intramural, club, wellness and recreational athletic programs.


Alumni raise money to buy seven acres of land on the corner of Beaver Street and Park Avenue for an athletic field, currently the Russ Granger Athletic Field.


Clark News is established as the student newspaper. In 1939, it became the Scarlet, which is currently published weekly during the academic year.