Brief Description:

Clarion University 150 Anniversary

At Clarion University, located among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, you’ll find 5,200 students who are courageous and confident. These students are building a bright future through challenging academics and diverse interests. Clarion prepares its students in business, education, health, science and the arts, with a small student-to-faculty ratio and nationally and internationally accredited programs. Students embrace learning at our scenic Clarion campus, which has evolved since its beginnings in 1867; at our growing Venango campus located in Oil City; and through Clarion Online, which offers education from the comfort of one’s home. In addition to more than 150 academic programs, students have access to more than 144 student organizations. Through these academic and student life opportunities, our students interact with other students from 45 states and 16 countries.


Mission Statement:

Clarion University 150 logoClarion University provides transformative, lifelong learning opportunities through innovative, nationally recognized programs delivered in inclusive, student-centered environments.

President's Quote:

“Serving as the 16th president of Clarion University has truly been an honor and a privilege. Clarion's rich history and enduring commitment to its students is something that we all can take great pride in during our 150th anniversary year,” says Dr. Karen Whitney, president of Clarion University. “Clarion, even at 150, continues to be a forward-acting institution of higher learning, first offering professional degrees in teaching then in business and now in health and human services. Clarion has been, and always will be, here for our students and the community. Go Eagles!”

Major Accomplishments:

  • Former Clarion diver Kristin Day was named the 2015 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Woman of the Year. She is the first winner of the award from any Pennsylvania university.
  • Only 10 percent of business schools earn Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International accreditation. Clarion is one of them.
  • Clarion has a 100 percent placement rate for speech pathology students completing the graduate program, and a 95 percent acceptance rate for Clarion graduates applying to professional school.
  • Seventeen Clarion students experienced the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions through the National Political Convention Experience. Clarion had more students at the conventions than any other college or university in the United States.
  • Clarion was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll as a result of 3,250 students logging 408,924 service hours in a one-year timespan.
  • Since 2003, Clarion students have had the opportunity to work with established professional writers at the four-day Chautauqua Writers’ Festival. No other school within the state system offers this opportunity.
  • Clarion’s master’s programs are consistently singled out by as “Best Buy” opportunities. These include the Master of Science in Rehabilitative Science, the Master of Business Administration and the Master of Science in Library Science programs.
  • During the past 20 years, Clarion’s Theatre Department has been the recipient of over 50 Kennedy Center awards.
  • Clarion has been designated a Military Friendly® School for eight consecutive years. The distinction, awarded by Victory Media, goes to the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools. 


Fun Facts:

  • A 40-foot dome makes Peirce Planetarium one of the largest in Pennsylvania—and a star attraction.
  • As a result of a partnership between Clarion’s anthropology program and Allegheny National Forest, eight Clarion students pieced together the history of the people who once lived in what is now the national forest.
  • Poems by faculty member Dr. Phil Terman frequently appear in Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”
  • In 2016, the Clarion Chamber Singers placed third in the world in the Youth Choir Division at the 2016 Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales.
  • 2012 Clarion graduate Bekzod Abdurakhmanov represented Clarion and his home country of Uzbekistan at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.
  • In 2016, SafeWise Report ranked the town of Clarion as the 20th safest town in the country as part of its Top 30 listing.
  • Pennsylvania by Affordable Colleges Online ranked Clarion’s online programming number one.
  • Twelve Pennsylvania high school students made an exciting discovery while taking part in Clarion’s 2013 Summer Academy. A portion of a creek that had shown no evidence of fish population for more than 50 years due to acid mine drainage is now inhabited by minnows.
  • The Mary L. Seifert Cultural Series has brought Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Cornel West and many others to the Clarion campus.
  • 1982 Clarion graduate, John Calipari, consistently leads his team, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, to Final Four distinction. 


Notable Alumni:

  • Joan Marie Engel, Rear Admiral with the Navy Nurse Corps (1994-1998)
  • Peter Talleri, Major General, United States Marine Corps (1979-2013)
  • Donna Oberlander, Pennsylvania state representative (R-63)
  • Kurt Angle, 1996 Summer Olympics wrestling gold medalist, professional wrestler and member of the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame
  • John Calipari, National Basketball Association and college basketball coach, at University of Kentucky beginning in 2009
  • Frank Edgar, four-time Division 1 NCAA Wrestling qualifier and Collegiate Freestyle All-American in 2004, professional mixed martial artist/Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and former UFC Lightweight Champion
  • Evan John Jones (1872–1952), U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania (1919-1923)
  • Mike Miller, Arizona Cardinals Offensive Coordinator
  • Larry Richert, host of the KDKA-AM Morning News
  • Pete Vuckovich, former professional baseball player and 1982 A.L. Cy Young Award winner Reggie Wells, San Diego Chargers offensive lineman
  • Guy Conti, New York Mets pitching rehab coordinator
  • Wade Schalles, all-time record holder for most pins and most wins in amateur wrestling, inventor of the spladle and cement mixer wrestling techniques
  • Rad Martinez, mixed martial arts fighter for Bellator Fighting Championships and featured on ESPN’s Outside the Lines
  • Joe Kapp, radio producer Cook and Poni Show, KDKA-FM
  • Randall Silvis, author
  • Vince Sands, retired CEO of BNY Mellon Pennsylvania
  • Kim Lemon, news anchor for WGAL in Harrisburg
  • Michael Chapaloney, executive director of Tourism, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
  • Jim Thornton, past president, National Athletic Trainer’s Association 



  • “My education in biology, chemistry and foreign language helped me be successful in dental school and my career. I completed four years of dental school at Temple and was placed in a pediatric dental residency. It all started at Clarion.” — Kimberly Jacobs, D.M.D ’11
  • “Overseeing my college education was Jim Thornton—then president of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Having a person like that guide my efforts was invaluable.” — Adam Annaccone ’06, athletic trainer/performance and recovery specialist, Phoenix Suns
  • “From hands-on field experience in local school districts to singing under the direction of the late Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Clarion prepared me for the teaching field and molded me into the teacher I am today.” — Michalee (Lopuh) Christy ’99, 2014-15 VFW Citizenship Education Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year
  • “It was just like the real world: Our professor handed us an environmental-impact problem, and we had to collaborate to solve it—on deadline and on budget.” — Hannah Keck, student, Environmental Geoscience
  • “Clarion provided me with unique opportunities to become a leader early in my college career. Everyone was committed to helping me become the best I could be.” — Andrew Bostjancic ’11, senior communications associate, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
  • “I made deep connections with my professors and know that I can always contact them for advice and guidance.” — Rachel Lohr ’14, domestic violence counselor advocate, SafeNet
  • “The experiences at Clarion helped me land internships that led to the job I have today.” — Maggie Abrams ’15, promotion coordinator, Big Loud Records
  • “Clarion gave me the working knowledge and confidence to propel my career to the highest level.” — Sergio S. Lo Presti ’08, real estate appraiser for Sammartino, Stout & Lo Presti
  • “Clarion’s orientation toward providing computer sciences education within a business context established the ideal foundation for me and it contributed to my various companies’ successes.” — Scott Belmont ’83, Take-Two Interactive Software and former Chief Information Officer, Universal Music Group
  • “Clarion provided me with a great education and prepared me athletically for this journey.” — Julian Howsare ’14, outside linebacker/fullback, New York Jets