Ashford University Campus

The History of Ashford University®

  • In 1918, Mount St. Clare College was founded as a junior college by the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa.
  • Originally an outgrowth of Mount St. Clare Academy (which was founded in 1893), the College was designed to meet a higher education need in Clinton and the surrounding area. MSC held its first formal commencement in 1930 and from 1932 to 1954 the College's teacher education program prepared 62 percent of all teachers who worked in the schools of Clinton County.
  • In 1950 the College was first accredited by the North Central Association Colleges and Schools, and has since maintained that accreditation.
  • The year 1958 was a year of building for the College -- Construction of a spacious two-story library building was completed. Also being erected at this time were St. Francis Auditorium-Gymnasium and the Mount St. Clare Speech and Hearing Center.
  • Expansion continued in the early 1960s - construction of Durham Hall, a residence hall, in 1962 and the Science Building in 1965.
  • In April 1979, MSC received approval to award baccalaureate degrees. The first degree offered was Business Administration.
  • The Durgin Educational Center was completed in April 1998. The first graduation ceremony was held there in May. Dedication ceremonies were held in September.
  • In December 2002, MSC became The Franciscan University and in May 2004 it conferred its first Master's degrees.
  • Bridgepoint Education, Inc., a higher education organization, acquired the institution in 2005, and its name was changed to Ashford University.