Clark Presidential Inaugurations

When Clark opened in 1889, it was an all-graduate institution. The inauguration of G. Stanley Hall on Oct. 2, 1889, was the focal point of the opening ceremony of the new university.

The start of the undergraduate college was underscored in 1902 with the inauguration of Carroll Wright as the first president of the new "Collegiate Department." Eight years later Edmund Sanford was inaugurated as the second president of the college. Despite the dominance of the undergraduate college today, the University's origin as a graduate school is still evident in its unique learning environment.

In 1920, the University and the College were joined, and Wallace Atwood became the first president of the combined institution. President Atwood chose his inaugural address as the occasion to announce—to his audience's surprise—his intention to earmark the majority of the University's slender graduate resources for a new Graduate School of Geography. Clark has since awarded more doctoral degrees in geography than any other university. In 1941, Atwood became the first president of the Women's College of Clark University.

Clark's next president, Howard Jefferson, chose Feb. 1—Clark's Founder's Day—for his inauguration day in 1947. Founder's Day marked the birthdate of both the University's founder, Jonas G. Clark, and first president, G. Stanley Hall.

The inauguration of Frederick Jackson in 1967 had to vie with that year's World Series, to the planners' chagrin. Clark's next two presidents, Glenn Ferguson and Mortimer Appley, elected not to have formal inaugurations.

Richard P. Traina, the seventh president of Clark University, was inaugurated on March 2, 1985. During his 16-year tenure, he presided over the University's Centennial Celebration and two major capital campaigns.

John Bassett was inaugurated as Clark's eighth president on March 13, 2001. Under his leadership, the campus benefited from the construction of a new biosciences building, residence hall and field house, as well as a completely renovated library. Bassett's term was capped by the largest single gift ever made to the University for the enhancement of Clark's nationally recognized model for urban education.

On September 24, 2010, David P. Angel will be inaugurated as the ninth president of Clark University.