Celebrating 50 Years | University of Portland

Celebrating 50 Years

Celebrating 50 Years with three historical photos of teachers from the 1950s and 1960s

Celebrating 50 Years

Pre-1960s classroom with students at desks

Founder's Period (pre-1960s)

  • Education programs in the College of Liberal Arts receive accreditation by the Oregon State Board of Education
  • Department of Education established under Harold Morris (1953-1962)
  • Graduate programs and summer sessions for school leadership and career advancement launched
Male teacher in elementary classroom circa 1964


  • School of Teaching Arts (1962-1976) formalized as an independent academic unit under dean William Smith (1962-1965), an emergence described in University archives as "a momentous step forward, although in retrospect a painful birth"
  • Full state accreditation awarded to the School in 1967 under dean Ernest Hayes (1965-1979)
  • Education Hall lost to fire in the location of the future Franz Hall
Female teacher sitting at head of a circle circa 1970s


  • By the start of the 1970s, "nearly every public and private elementary and secondary school in the city employed University of Portland graduates," according to archives
  • Dean Leo Leonard (1979-1988) takes the helm of the School of Education (SOE)             
Teacher leading a PE class circa 1979


  • Secondary education program moved from the College of Arts & Sciences to the SOE
  • Special Education Program cited as top-five national program by the AACTE
  • One-year Master of Arts in Teaching program established as a pathway to teaching for non-education majors
  • M.Ed. programming in Edmonton, Canada and in Guam established
  • Vern Duncan serves as dean (1989-1996)
Student in a computer classroom circa 1985


  • Sr. Maria Ciriello serves as dean (1996-2009)
  • Franz Hall construction completed, home of the School of Education
  • SOE partners with University of Notre Dame to found ACE, leading to the establishment of the Pacific Alliance for Catholic Education (PACE) program at UP
  • The annual KDP Reading Fair in the Chiles Center launched
Two female education students reading to preschoolers circa 2011


  • SOE regains national accreditation with NCATE 
  • State licensure IAL and CAL programs in school leadership established
  • Graduate Certificate Program in Neuroeducation launched
  • Tom Greene, future University provost, serves as interim dean (2009)
Education student Hannah Fink teaching students about plants


  • Successful state and national NCATE accreditation, with commendations as a model program
  • Multiple anniversaries celebrated, including 15th of PACE program; 25th in Edmonton, Canada, 30th in Guam, 50th in Portland
  • John Watzke serves as dean (2010-present)
  • SOE enrolls its largest freshmen class in School history
  • First cohort of the doctor of education (EdD) in learning and leading commences