150th Anniversary

Johnston Hall Office Building

For 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts has played a central and enduring role in shaping lives, for the good of Minnesota and the world. We celebrated our sesquicentennial during the 2018-2019 academic year with a series of events and activities for the entire CLA community, past and present.


A Brief History

The College of Liberal Arts was founded in 1868, just 18 years after the University as a whole was founded. CLA was created with the intention of distinguishing the arts and sciences, primarily for the purpose of creating future leaders in these disciplines. CLA began under the name of the College of Science, Literature and the Arts, or SLA, and has gone through many changes since its founding, but the overall mission remains the same. In the summer of 1963 the sciences were moved to their collegiate units and SLA became the CLA we know today. From its beginning with 9 professors and around 300 students, CLA now has more than 520 professors and 15,000 students continuing its mission of furthering higher education and shattering expectations of what a liberal arts college can be.