Clarke College President Joanne M. Burrows, SC, Ph.D. announced today that the college’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted for the institution to become Clarke University effective August 1, 2010.
“By becoming Clarke University, we are publicly and proudly claiming the scope of who we are as an institution,” said Burrows. “The name change speaks to the Clarke of today and the Clarke of the future.”
Clarke’s student body of over 1,200 students evidences the diverse nature of a university with significant populations of traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate and graduate students. “We will maintain the small, personal experience that has become one of the hallmarks of a Clarke education,” said Burrows. “Being a university is about the composition of our enrollment and the many benefits students get from an institution that serves a broad base of learners.”
Undergraduate programs at the College include the traditional liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional programs. Clarke’s graduate offerings also align with the university designation. The college currently has four graduate programs with master’s degrees in nursing, business and education, as well as a doctoral program in physical therapy. A new doctor of nursing practice degree program is currently in the planning stages with an accreditation visit anticipated in 2010. Clarke also serves the area’s adult undergraduate population with the area’s most recognized adult degree program, the TimeSaver Program.
“Mary Frances Clarke began her ministry by meeting the needs of her day,” said Clarke Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joan Lingen, BVM, Ph.D. “This initiative honors her spirit as we strive to meet the needs of our day and plan for the future. We are already a university in practice and, as a graduate of Clarke myself, I could not be more excited to see us become a university in name as well.”
Burrows reiterated that becoming a university will not change the direction of the institution. “The college’s priorities into the future are clear and we have much work ahead of us,” she said. “Today, we reaffirm the work we do – serving students across the spectrum of adult learning – and we commit with new gumption to moving Clarke University forward with renewed spirit.”
Clarke was founded in 1843 as St. Mary’s Female Academy, later becoming St. Joseph’s Female Academy on the Prairie, Academy of the Sacred Heart, St. Joseph Academy and Mount St. Joseph Academy. In 1901, the institution became Mount St. Joseph College and in 1928, was named Clarke College in honor of foundress Mary Frances Clarke.
“Regardless of the term we use to describe this great institution, first and foremost, we are Clarke,” said Burrows. “It is in that distinction that we find our success.”