September 21, 2017

Lewis & Clark at 150: The “Cinderella College”

Explore college history in the Lewis & Clark at 150: The “Cinderella College” exhibition on display in the Aubrey R. Watzek Library atrium.

Founded as Albany Collegiate Institute on February 2, 1867, Lewis & Clark College built a legacy of learning in Oregon as it developed from a small rural school in the mid-Willamette Valley to its home on Palatine Hill. Lewis & Clark at 150: The “Cinderella College” brings together images, stories, and artifacts collected by the college since its beginnings.

The exhibit focuses on the student experience and explores 150 years of life, scholarship, and achievement on campus. From the first graduating class of five women in 1873 to contemporary students’ art, the exhibit features photographs, print publications, and manuscripts to illustrate the history of Lewis & Clark College.

On the title: Local press reflected on the college’s transition from the campus in Albany to the Fir Acres estate in Portland as a “Cinderella” story. In 1942, the Oregonian ran the headline “Cinderella College – That’s Albany” lauding the new educational resources the college brought to Portland. Fifteen years later, this narrative still held sway; in 1957, the Portland Journal used the same metaphor to describe Lewis & Clark’s campaign to attract more students and raise academic standards.

The exhibit was researched, written, and designed by Sam Bussan ’18, Amanda Douglas ’17, Drew Matlovsky ’18, and Zachariah Selley, Associate Head of Special Collections and College Archivist. It will be on display in Watzek Library August 2017-June 2018.

Lewis & Clark College Aubrey R. Watzek Library
0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Rd., Portland, OR. 97219


Digital exhibit and interactive timeline: Lewis & Clark at 150: The “Cinderella College,” 
Sesquicentennial website:
“Oregon’s ‘Cinderella College’” is an article in preparation for the Oregon Historical Quarterly, 2018, by Jean Ward, Professor Emerita of Communication.
Lewis & Clark College©, 1991, by Stephen Dow Beckham, Pamplin Professor Emeritus of History.
Lewis & Clark College 1867–1967©, 1968, by Martha Frances Montague, a 1910 Albany College graduate and college archivist.