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The Cleary Archives: A look at our Past, Present, and Future

With a long history since our founding in 1883, Cleary University has documents, photographs, recordings, and more that detail the leaps and bounds in our university’s 140 years of existence. All of this lives in the Cleary Archives, a digital repository managed by our very own Institutional Librarian, Jane Scales. 

And, the Cleary Archives are available for anyone to visit.

Everyone has a story to tell, and the one about Cleary University spans nearly 140 years and counting! In the Cleary University Repository, the community and the public can see some of that history and the direction the university is going.  

The repository currently holds two distinct collections: 

  1. Archival material (pictures, documents, and video inventories)
  2. A new collection of student capstones from the Culture, Change, and Leadership graduate program

“The result is a visual representation of the school’s past and a look at the topics new graduates are carrying into their professional futures,” Jane says.

The idea behind the student capstone collection is that it gives the program more prominence, she notes. It’s a great way to invite students who might be interested in applying for this master’s degree.

The Master of Science in Culture, Change, and Leadership is a program for people who want to learn about organizational culture and how to develop cultural change. Students learn how to evaluate and implement change as leaders of organizations, and they also study the role of leaders in establishing group dynamics and culture.

Cleary University sign Livingston campus

We often ask what the culture of an organization is like before we decide to take a position and work there. Well, this master’s program digs into the nitty-gritty of what exactly culture is and how we can guide it as we develop our leadership skills.

As part of the master’s program, students complete and defend an applied research project or paper. It’s a required element of the program because graduates of this program will be our future leaders in a variety of industries.

But that’s just ONE feature of our university archives!

The more expansive part of the archives is our immense collection of historical material that shows the origin and growth of Cleary University. One of our celebrated trustees, Pat Cleary, who is also the grandson of our founder, P.R. Cleary, is sponsoring an upcoming impressive exhibit about the History of Cleary University.

So much of the material for this exhibit came from our archives!

Here is a brief recap of some of the highlights of our illustrious history, featured in the upcoming exhibit:

  • Cleary University was founded by Patrick Roger Cleary, an Irish
P.R. Cleary, age 25

immigrant who came to America at the age of 10.

  • He started Cleary as a school of penmanship in 1883, first located in Ypsilanti.
  • Our first 2 students were women! They enrolled at Cleary as a way to gain their independence at a time when that was unusual (and often unheard of!) for women.
  • P.R. Cleary believed higher education should be available and accessible to ALL people – men and women, immigrants, and native-born alike.
  • He had 3 principles of education:
    • Students should learn in the same environment where they will be working.
    • A grounded education should include English, math, and civics.
    • Students should be afforded a social environment.
  • There are so many more milestones celebrated in this exhibit and the details of which can be found in the Cleary archives

    We will begin collecting the publications of our faculty and staff to expand our collections, Jane says. Check out the depth of material that we have now, and keep coming back to see what’s newly added!