By Adam McCully

Clarion University was founded Sept. 10, 1867, as the Carrier Seminary of Western Pennsylvania. 16 years later it became the Clarion State Normal School. In 1915 the school become Clarion College and in the 1980’s the accreditation changed again, creating what is now known as Clarion University 

Despite the many changes in nomenclature, the spirit of Clarion University has remained the same over the years. That is, one of integrity, culture, and enlightenment.

This year marks the institution’s 150th birthday and the festivities will officially kick off on Sept. 10, 2017, and run through Sept. 10, 2018.  

150th Anniversary Celebration Activities

The university’s sesquicentennial will be integrated into more than 50 campus events over the course of the 12-month celebration. 

Kicking off the festivities, Clarion University Alumni Association’s Distinguished Awards will be held Sept. 9 in Gemmell multi-purpose room.

Ongoing events and on-campus activities will take place throughout the year, from a 150th-themed Alumni Weekend and a Soaring Science Symposium celebrating the 25th anniversary of the molecular biology/biotechnology degree, to a Clarion artifacts exhibit and an oral histories series.

Additionally, a group of students led by Dr. Susan Prezzano, professor of anthropology, has begun excavation of an on-campus site once home to a women’s dorm. Their findings will be revealed in honor of the sesquicentennial. 

The anniversary is also being embraced throughout the local Clarion community, including being the basis of the 2017 Autumn Leaf Festival theme, “Leaves of Blue and Gold – Celebrating Clarion University’s 150th Anniversary.” 

For information about Clarion University of Pennsylvania, please visit

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