Dean College Founder's Day Logo

February 19 marks the 155-year anniversary of the founding of Dean College. Today we celebrate our founder, the more than 25,000 alumni, our current students and our faculty and staff.

In 1865 Dr. Oliver Dean, a native of Franklin, established Dean Academy, a residential school educating men and women from New England and beyond.

The Academy offered a well-rounded program of academics, athletics and student activities. In addition, the Academy provided students a personal atmosphere that identified and cultivated the strengths of its students, preparing them for admission to college.

The Academy thrived under the leadership of Arthur W. Peirce, affectionately known as “Awpie,” for whom the main campus walkway and science center are named.

During World War II, Dean transformed significantly by adding a Junior College, which ran alongside the Academy until 1957, when the Academy was phased out.

The 1950s-1960s was a period of great construction and growth. The College completed the construction of four new dormitories, a gymnasium, a library, a science center and a campus center

In the 1990s, our institution evolved once again, becoming Dean College.

Soon Dean was offering bachelor's as well as associate degrees and a new era of capital improvements was initiated – including new dormitories as well as dining and performance facilities.

The standards that were set during the early years have truly formed the strong tradition followed by Dean today.

Fittingly, our College motto, inspired by Dr. Dean’s family saying, is Forti et Fideli Nihil Difficile: “To the strong and faithful nothing is difficult.”

Learn more about the History & Mission of Dean College. Watch how we are celebrating Founder’s Day by following us on Facebook and Instagram.