About Clarkson University
Welcome to Clarkson University, New York State’s highest ranked small research institution. We are the institution of choice for 3,000 enterprising, high-ability students pursuing degrees in 50+ rigorous academic programs of study. Our faculty are on the leading edge of research of international relevance and we offer focused graduate programs in select disciplines, however, our primary mission is undergraduate education. Across the institution, faculty and students develop close, mentoring relationships and make lifelong connections that guide career success.
Clarkson University was founded in 1896 as a memorial to Thomas S. Clarkson, successful entrepreneur and Northern New York businessman who was also distinguished by a deep and abiding concern for humanity.
When Thomas Clarkson died as a result of an accident in his sandstone quarry, his sisters, Elizabeth, Frederica, and Lavinia established a memorial to his name by building and endowing an institution that would embody his philosophy. Clarkson's original motto, "A Workman That Needeth Not to be Ashamed," is taken from Thomas S. Clarkson's favorite biblical verse. Clarkson's colors, green and gold, were selected because the goldenrod was Thomas S. Clarkson's favorite flower.
The first classes at the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial School of Technology were held on September 2, 1896, for 17 young men and women. In 1913, the charter was amended, and the name was changed to the Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial College of Technology.
Steady growth and development resulted in the New York State Board of Regents designating Clarkson a University on February 24, 1984.
Today, Clarkson is a nationally ranked research university offering more than 50 comprehensive programs in business, engineering, science, liberal arts, health sciences, and physical therapy. With 190 full-time teacher-scholars engaged in world-class research, Clarkson has developed an international reputation in the fields of Advanced Materials Science, Biotechnology, Environment & Energy, Entrepreneurship and Global Supply Chain Management.
Yet the University remains true to Thomas Clarkson’s enduring legacy. Our primary mission is to educate talented and motivated men and women to become successful professionals through quality precollegiate, undergraduate, graduate, and professional continuing education programs, with particular emphasis on the undergraduate experience.
At Clarkson, we value the diversity of our University community, and we strive to attune ourselves and our programs to our global, pluralistic society.
We share the belief that humane economic and social development derive from the expansion, diffusion, and application of knowledge.