Clarke University has moved into the 21st century with an impressive tradition of excellence in education. Clarke was established in 1843 and is named for an Irish woman, Mary Frances Clarke, who founded a congregation of religious women, the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs). When the community arrived in the river town of Dubuque in 1843, it was pioneer territory. The city has changed radically over the years, while its vibrancy and Mississippi River beauty remain.
Clarke University has remained “progressive with the times” throughout its growth and change. As new programs have developed, Clarke has continued to challenge and support students, who are the heart of the institution, in their intellectual and personal growth. Clarke is known for its long tradition of excellence in education, and its students, faculty, and staff work together to maintain and strengthen that heritage.