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About Us

students sitting with Professor Huang in classroom setting

Our Mission

Founded in 1986, the Higgins School of Humanities enhances the intellectual and cultural life of Clark University by fostering connections between the humanities disciplines—English; History; Language, Literature and Culture; Philosophy; and Visual and Performing Arts. We sponsor public programming and campus initiatives, fund curricular innovation and creative practice, and support teaching and research through our grant programs.

Our ongoing mission affirms the centrality of the arts and humanities to our lives and promotes the intrinsic values of a liberal arts education. In cultivating the ability to read great texts and artistic forms, to frame analyses and arguments on the most important questions, to speak and listen with open intensity, and to examine our own deepest assumptions, the humanities bring value and purpose to lived experience. Learning through the humanities and arts grounds our capacity to engage with societal complexities by developing historical, cultural, literary, linguistic, and philosophical consciousness.

Thanks to Alice

Alice Higgins

Alice Coonley Higgins was the first woman to join Clark’s Board of Trustees in 1962; she went on to be come the first woman chair of a board of trustees at an American research university, serving Clark in that capacity from 1967 to 1974.

Working with the support of Milton P. Higgins, her lifelong husband and partner, Alice showed remarkable leadership by championing large-scale, innovative projects that dramatically changed Clark, including the funding and subsequent construction of the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library in 1969. Independent in thought and spirit, she never failed to show interest in Clark’s staff, students, and faculty, often through unobtrusive but important acts—tulips and geraniums to beautify the campus, travel money for faculty to attend conferences, book funds for the library, and seed money for numerous other projects.

In 1986, Alice founded the Higgins School of Humanities through an endowment that continues to support our activities and initiatives today.

Contact Information

Higgins School of Humanities

Mailing Address
Location & Hours
  • Dana Commons, Second Floor
    36 Maywood Street
    Worcester, MA 01603
  • Tuesday through Friday
    9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    August to mid-June only