History

1883

Patrick Roger Cleary founds The Cleary School of Penmanship—a vital business skill in the late 19th century commercial workplace. Cleary is Washtenaw County's first independent college.

1885

Cleary becomes Michigan's first college to train and place a graduate as a teacher of commercial subjects in the public school system.

1886

Cleary holds Michigan's first summer school session for teachers of commercial subjects.

1891

Cleary Business College is incorporated under state law.

1913

Cleary and Michigan State Normal College launch first joint college program approved by the state board of education. Public school business teachers study education at the Normal College and business subjects at Cleary.

1922

Patrick Roger Cleary receives honorary Master of Education degree from Michigan State Normal College (Eastern Michigan University).

1933

Cleary family turns over all physical assets of the institution to new Board of Trustees.

1968

The Association of Independent Colleges accredits Cleary as a junior college of business.

1970

The Association of Independent Colleges and Schools accredits Cleary as a senior college of business.

1979

Cleary offers first classes in Livingston County at Brighton High School.

1983

Cleary celebrates centennial and breaks ground for its Livingston Campus.

1988

Cleary is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

1989

Cleary launches intensive and continuing focus on quality management.

1990

A new accelerated, 13-month Direct Degree program is launched for mid-career adults.

1994

For the first time, Cleary is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the top 20 specialty colleges in the nation.

1994

Cleary begins offering online courses.

1997

Corporate partnership and employee training opportunities are expanded as well as extension sites and programs.

1999

BusinessTrack, an innovative three-year BBA degree program for first-time college students is introduced.

2000

Cleary announces its Executive MBA. The NCA grants accreditation for Cleary's MBA program.

2002

Cleary's change to university status is approved by the Michigan State Department of Education and the North Central Association.

2006

On May 18, Cleary officials break ground on the Lloyd and Mabel Johnson Center for Business and Community Excellence in Howell.

2007

The Lloyd and Mabel Johnson Center for Business and Community Excellence was officially opened on the Livingston Campus with such features as low-volume, high-pressure toilets that use very little water; waterless urinals which, on average, save 40,000 gallons of water a year each; motion-sensitive lighting systems in addition to T5 and T8 indirect lights in the classrooms; and an individually-zoned and computer-programmed HVAC system—making it one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly campus buildings in southeastern Michigan.

2009

President Tom Sullivan celebrates his 20th anniversary as head of the university.

2010

The Cleary University Micro-Business Incubator (CUMBI) opens, housed in the new Livingston Campus Welcome Center. Providing business support and guidance for start-ups, the CUMBI is the first of its kind in Livingston County.

2012

Cleary reintroduces its collegiate athletic program with men's and women's cross country and golf teams.

2013

Cleary introduces men and women's soccer to it's collegiate athletic programs.

2013

Elaine Lowe is the first Cougar athlete to win a National Championship (women's cross country).

2014

Cleary introduces men and women's baseball and softball to it's collegiate athletic programs.