Cleary University

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Cleary University
Former names
Cleary Business College (1891)
The Cleary School of Penmanship (1883)
EndowmentUS $813,882[1]
PresidentEmily Barnes (interim)
Students852 (Spring 2009)[2]
Other students
Location, ,
United States
CampusMultiple Campuses
ColorsRed & Blue:   
AffiliationsHigher Learning Commission, NCA
MascotClancy The Cougar

Cleary University is a private business university in Michigan. The main campus is located in Livingston County, in Howell, Michigan. There is also an education center located in Detroit. Cleary University offers certificate, ABA, BBA, MS, and MBA programs.


Cleary Business College, circa 1905

Founded in 1883, by Patrick Roger Cleary as the "Cleary School of Penmanship",[3] it was incorporated in 1891 as "Cleary Business College".[3] In 1933, the Cleary family turned the physical assets of the college over to a Board of Trustees, establishing Cleary College as an independent non-profit institution. In 1938 Patrick Roger Cleary retired and his son, Owen Cleary, became president. The college moved to the 2170 Washtenaw Avenue site in 1960. A branch college was opened in Livingston County in 1979. By 1982, the combined campuses served over one thousand students. "[4] In 2002, Cleary introduced a graduate program and changed its name to Cleary University.[3]

Livingston Campus[edit]

The Livingston Campus of Cleary University is in Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, in Howell.[5][6]

Johnson Center[edit]

The LLoyd & Mabel Johnson Center for Business & Community Excellence is the focus of the Livingston Campus. The Johnson Center is equipped to serve as the University's conference center. It is divided into 8 classrooms, an internet café, commercial kitchen, and a few offices.

Chrysler Building[edit]

The Chrysler Building was Cleary's first building on the Livingston Campus. It is home to a majority of classes on the Livingston campus, on campus recording studio, the student run campus store, student cafeteria "Clancy's cafe" and the home of the Arthur Secunda art museum which houses the largest collection of works by American artist Arthur Secunda

Lyons Building[edit]

The newly renovated Lyons building is home to Cleary university administrative staff, financial aid department and president office. The Lyons building offers students a "one-stop-shop" for students to handle everything from financial aid to scheduling classes.

Wellness Center[edit]

Previously the administration building the Wellness Center now houses Cleary's athletic offices. The building offers students 2 basketball courts, weight room, locker rooms, athletic training, student lounge and demonstration kitchen.

Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE)[edit]

Previously the administration building, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cleary University serves a community of students, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, managers, corporations and small business owners. CIE is staffed with individuals who are ready to help individuals nurture idea, fuel growth, turn around companies, innovate IP and develop employees.

Residence hall[edit]

The residence hall on campus was opened in January 2016. This three floor building hosts apartment-style living, with common areas on each floor. This space allows many incoming students to get a traditional on-campus experience at Cleary.

In August 2018, Cleary University added a second residence hall, intended to house primarily first-year students. This three floor building features suite-style rooms and has a common area on each floor. Additionally, there are 15 study rooms in the building where students can collaborate on group projects or utilize them as quiet places to concentrate.

Detroit campus[edit]

Located at the Considine Little Rock Family Center at 8904 Woodward Avenue, this new center is designed to prepare Detroit residents for job opportunities, providing a full range of programs from one-year certificates to bachelor's degree programs. Programs are available online or in-center.


Cleary University's athletic teams are known as the Cougars. The university participates at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level as member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC).[7] In addition, the men's wrestling program competes in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC).[8] The university's teams include men's and women's, cross country, soccer, lacrosse, and golf, women's softball, men's baseball and wrestling, a co-ed competitive dance team, and a new men's and women's hockey team starting in the fall of 2019.[9]

Cleary University sponsored both football and basketball in the early years of the university's history but dropped athletics at some point. The current athletic department was created in 2012 and joined the United States Collegiate Athletic Association(USCAA).[10] Starting in 2012 with men's and women's cross country in the fall and men's and women's golf in the spring, the university rapidly expanded the athletics program in the years following.[10][9] The university was awarded the 2017 USCAA's Director's Cup, which is awarded annually to the athletic program that achieves the most cumulative success in the 80-member association. Standings are based on a points system and algorithm, with points awarded on the basis of sports offered and results of national championship events. In 2014 and again in 2015 the woman's cross country team placed 2nd at the National Championships. In 2016, the woman's cross country team placed 1st at the National Championships.[9] The men's cross country team was able to compete for its first time at the National Championships and ended up placing 3rd. 2015 marked the universities first National Champion team in Men's Golf. The university also had the individual National Champion in woman's cross country in 2013 and 2014, as well as the individual National Champion in men's golf in 2015.[9] In 2017, the university announced that the athletics program had been accepted into the NAIA and the university competed as an independent member of the NAIA for the 2017–18 academic year. In the 2018–19 academic year Cleary University became a full member of the NAIA Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference.[9]



  1. ^ "US News and World Report - Best Colleges 2010". Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "Affiliated institutions". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b c "Cleary History". Cleary University web site. Cleary University. Archived from the original on 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  4. ^ "S0553". Michigan Markers web site. Retrieved 2008-01-16.
  5. ^ "Official Zoning Map of Genoa Charter Township." () Genoa Charter Township, Michigan. As of September 2008. Retrieved on November 8, 2013.
  6. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2013-11-09 at the Wayback Machine." Cleary University. Retrieved on November 8, 2013. "Livingston Campus 3750 Cleary Drive Howell, MI 48843"
  7. ^ "CLEARY JOINS WHAC AS A FULL-TIME MEMBER". Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. July 12, 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  8. ^ "MEMBERS: CLEARY UNIVERSITY". Sooner Athletic Conference. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Cleary University Athletics Move Up to NAIA". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  10. ^ a b Shea, Bill (2017-04-17). "Cleary University athletics program joins United States Collegiate Athletic Association". CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
  11. ^ "BUCHANAN, Vernon G. - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2007-12-09.
  12. ^ Canemaker 2005, p. 28.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°35′14.8″N 83°52′49.8″W / 42.587444°N 83.880500°W / 42.587444; -83.880500