Cleary University

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Cleary University
The Cleary University Crest
Former names
Cleary Business College (1891)
The Cleary School of Penmanship (1883)
Type Private
Established 1883
Endowment US $813,882[1]
President Jayson Boyers
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 852 (Spring 2009)[2]
Undergraduates 697
Postgraduates 116
Other students
Location Genoa Twp, MI, U.S.
Campus Multiple Campuses
Alt. Campus Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.
Colors Red & Blue:         
Affiliations Higher Learning Commission, NCA
Mascot Clancy The Cougar
Cleary University logo.png

Cleary University is a Michigan-based business university with two campuses; the Washtenaw Campus is located in Ann Arbor and the Livingston Campus is located in Genoa Charter Township, near Howell. Both campus offer certificate, BBA, and MBA programs.


Cleary Business College, circa 1905
Cleary University, Ann Arbor Campus

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]


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.
1940 - P. R. Cleary retires as President of Cleary College. Owen J. Cleary appointed president.
1948 - Cleary College founder P. R. Cleary dies at age 90.
1950 - Donald M. Silkworth commences fundraising for a new Cleary College building.
1952 - Owen J. Cleary elected Michigan Secretary of State. He remains President of Cleary College.
1960 - New Cleary College building dedicated by Owen J. Cleary and Donald M. Silkworth.
1960 - Owen J. Cleary dies at age 60. Donald M. Silkworth appointed president.
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
  • 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 Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) opens. Providing business support and guidance for start-ups, the CIE 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 its collegiate athletic programs.
2013 - Elaine Lowe is the first Cleary athlete to win a National Championship (women’s cross country).
2014 - Cleary introduces baseball and softball to its collegiate athletic programs.
Elaine Lowe wins back-to-back National Championships (women’s cross country).
2015 - On January 15, Cleary University breaks ground for new student housing on campus.
On October 1, Jayson Boyers begins as the tenth president in university history.
The Men’s Golf Team wins the USCAA National Championship, and Devin Young earns Medalist honors as the top golfer.

  • The Cleary College building at 2170 Washtenaw Ave, designed by Ypsilanti architect R. S. Gerganoff was awarded a Michigan Historical Marker (site S0553) in 1983.[4] It was torn down in 2000.
  • In 2015 Bridge magazine named Cleary #2 out of all michigan colleges for "Best Bang for Your Buck" [5][6]
  • in 2015 The Street ranked Cleary 11th in the country for small schools that "cost the least but reap the most earnings" [7]

2016 - osted first Vehicle to a Better Future fundraising event in May.
Announced opening of Detroit Education Center in September.
The Women’s Cross Country Team wins the USCAA National Championship.
2017 - pened the Detroit Education Center.

Livingston Campus[edit]

The Livingston Campus of Cleary University is in Genoa Charter Township, Michigan, in Howell.[8][9]

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.

Washtenaw Campus[edit]

The Washtenaw Campus is home to Cleary's only current building in Ann Arbor, the Lyons' building. In late 2013, Cleary was reported to be considering a sale of the Washtenaw Campus because of low usage.[10]

Graduate programs[edit]

Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in the following degrees:

Cleary also offers a graduate certificate in Financial Planning.

Undergraduate programs[edit]

Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Associate in Business Administration (A.B.A.), Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S) in the following degrees:

Johnson Center, Cleary Livingston Campus


Cleary University has a growing athletics program. Currently the university has men's and women's cross country, soccer, lacrosse and golf, women's softball, men's baseball.The teams currently compete in the USCAA. 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. 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. Further more a wrestling will be added in 2017 with Scott Lucas being named the head Coach.



  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. ^ a b "S0553". Michigan Markers web site. Retrieved 2008-01-16. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Official Zoning Map of Genoa Charter Township." (Archive) Genoa Charter Township, Michigan. As of September 2008. Retrieved on November 8, 2013.
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Cleary University. Retrieved on November 8, 2013. "Livingston Campus 3750 Cleary Drive Howell, MI 48843"
  10. ^ Cleary may sell Ann Arbor site, Livingston Daily, December 21, 2013
  11. ^ "BUCHANAN, Vernon G. - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  12. ^ "Northwood University". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  13. ^ "Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees". Retrieved 2016-12-02. 

External links[edit]