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Lewis & Clark College

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  • Statistics

    Portland, OR
    Acceptance Rate:
    66 %
    Tuition and Fees:
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  • Summary

    Named for two American trailblazers, it’s fitting that Lewis and Clark College encourages its adventurous student to explore their own worlds.

    LC’s unique educational philosophy attracts a certain kind of student: unapologetically left-leaning, environmentally aware, modern day hippie-types. From its location in ultra-liberal Portland, OR, it’s not hard to see why these students are drawn here. Programs like College Outdoors turn hiking trips into teaching opportunities. Students can live in alternative lifestyles dorms and sit in on student-taught ear candling classes at the “Free University”.

    Classes at Lewis and Clark are hardly laid-back, though, and students say they work hard despite the unorthodox academic environment. For instance, LC invites students to create their own majors or apply with a portfolio if they feel their transcripts don’t accurately reflect their talents. Students report the school’s small size (fewer than 2,000 undergrads) and the homogenously liberal nature of their classmates helps build a real sense of community at LC.

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  • Student Reviews

    I have experienced two different kinds of schools. I transferred to Lewis & Clark from American University and can say without a doubt that I like Lewis & Clark academics more than AU's. Lewis & Clark is small school (about 2,000 undergrad) which makes the classes very small. In my experience, most professors prefer to be called by their first name. This gives the classroom a more relaxed feeling, and makes student more comfortable engaging in conversations and debates with the professors. In the International Affairs department there are so many students that are extremely engaged in the subject, and do a fair amount of their own researching outside of class. This has made conversations in and out of class illuminating. I am on the steering committee for the International Affairs symposium and this means that I spend some time with the faculty advisor, who happens to be my academic advisor. All of the faculty members are extremely helpful and encourage you to come to their office any time to discuss your interests and topics from the class. This invitation is not intimidating, because the professors make a huge effort to learn your name. You are not just a number on their roster, you are more like a partner in the learning environment. We are encouraged to develop our own opinions and ideas, not just absorb what the professor's is. My favorite class thus far, has been "Studies of Diplomacy". The professor that teaches that class was a diplomat, which made the class even more interesting because he could connect readings to anecdotes from his career. This is how most classes are. The professors are able to connect theory and boring readings, to exciting real work experiences.
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  • Additional Info

    As reported by Sanne Stienstra ‘09, "Lewis & Clark College began as the Albany Collegiate Institute in 1867 and moved to its current location in the southwest hills of Portland in 1942. The Lloyd Frank (of the Portland department store Meier & Frank) Fir Acres estate became the site of the new campus and Morgan Odell was chosen as the first president Lewis & Clark College, a name chosen for the institution as a ‘symbol of the pioneering spirit that had made and maintained the College.’

    Lewis & Clark now consists of three schools (College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Education and Counseling, and Northwestern School of Law) on a green campus of 137 acres. The Pioneers became the college’s mascot and the freshman course, 'Exploration & Discovery,' maintains the spirit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, as well as the college’s motto: Explorare, Discere, Sociare (to explore, to learn, to work together).

    The Lewis & Clark campus is most notable for its woodsy feel, wide open spaces, and relative isolation. The buildings on campus sometimes look more like fancy cabins than classrooms, and trees are abundant, as are freshly manicured lawns on the campus itself. The campus is also famous for its roses, with many of campus events being held outside in the Rose Garden.

    The Law School anchors the campus to the north, the Graduate School of Education and Counseling to the south. The center of campus features the Frank Manor house, Flanagan Chapel, and Templeton Student Center. Housing is south of this central area, while the Pamplin Sports Center, Griswold Stadium, and Zehntbauer Swimming Pavilion are just north of the center.

    Lewis & Clark is surrounded by the small suburban towns of Hillsboro and Hillsdale and is just 15 minutes from downtown Portland. The school runs a free, daily bus to Pioneer Square in the heart of downtown, and also to Sellwood, which is just across the river from Lewis & Clark and where many students move after their sophomore year. From Pioneer Square, students can get to most of Portland proper, taking one or two buses to the Hawthorne district, the Hollywood district, Sellwood, or Northwest Portland. Directly down the hill from the college are small shopping centers, including the Burlingame Fred Meyer, that students shop at daily (the bus makes a stop there on its way downtown). Tryon State Park is even closer to campus, and students enjoy bike riding, hiking, and picnicking there.

    Every year the Hawaii Club throws a Lu’au, featuring the dance, costumes, and food of Polynesian and Hawaiian culture. The Lu’au is always a popular event, attracting hundreds of students to the lawn where they join in the festivities or hang out along the sides, eating and enjoying the sights and sounds. Also once a year, the school transforms the cafeteria into a swank casino for Casino Night, where students dress up in 20s outfits and bet using fake money.

    And of course there’s the Naked Mile, which finds students streaking around campus sometime in April.

    Earl Blumenauer (1970) is a US congressman representing Oregon’s third district.

    Ever Carradine (1996) is a film and television actress.

    Percy R. Kelly (1887) was chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.

    Peter Ward is a former major league baseball player and member of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.

    The men’s varsity teams at Lewis & Clark are baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, rowing, swimming, tennis, and track and field. Women’s teams are basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

    Swimming and cross country are popular sports at Lewis & Clark, and men’s and women’s basketball have also done well in past years. Men’s basketball ended this past season in a four-way tie for third place in its division, while the women had a 14-12 record, with one player, Crystal Castle, named for the second season in a row to the All-Northwest Conference First Team.

    The Akin Hall Ghost, the story goes, is a friendly ghost who is rumored to clean up after students. However, she’s apparently none too fond of men - maybe because they’re less tidy?

    There’s a less friendly ghost who is supposed to haunt the whole campus. A nurse, bereft after the death of her husband, comes back to vent her wrath on students. Those who hear her squeaky shoes in the night might want to hide under their covers. As the stories go she’s been responsible for several deaths over the years. Spooky.

    As reported by Sanne Stienstra ‘09, “All of the major dorms on campus are coed and most also have coed bathrooms. Juniper, one of the buildings in Forest, has an all-girls floor with single-sex restrooms. Students who feel uncomfortable with coed restrooms may request to make the two restrooms on their floor single-sex however, students generally become accustomed to the coed toilets and shower stalls. For the most part, people respect each other’s privacy and there is not a lot of tearing off of towels or peeking over shower partitions.

    Forest is made up of five smaller dorms, each with two floors housing about 60 students. Forest is a very open dorm, with students hanging out in hallways and in between buildings.

    Copeland is the largest dorm on campus, with wings A through F. It is primarily for freshmen and has also developed a reputation for being the athletic hall on campus. Copeland has some social halls but, because it is so large, it is difficult to get to know everyone in the building.

    Stewart, Odell, and Akin are three smaller dorms together outside Templeton that house international and clean-living students. They benefit from such a central location outside the main student center and are in general pretty social.

    Hartzfeld Hall contains the student suites, meant to house mostly sophomores. Hartzfeld is comprised of four buildings, each with two floors and about 35 students in each building. Each suite has two double rooms connected by one shared bathroom and shower. Hartzfeld is sometimes dark, with rather poor lighting, but students like to congregate there because of the larger rooms and privacy.

    Platt West is the arts dorm and students must apply to live there. These students have access to the Platteau, a student art space where they can play music, dance, or use the photography dark room. All of Platt is pretty social, with excited first-years roaming the halls at all hours of the night.