Kneller Athletic Center

Worcester, Massachusetts | C.1995

Photo Credit: Clark University

Within the campus of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, the Kneller Athletic Center is home to the University’s fitness center, various playing courts, and its six-lane, 25-yard competition-sized pool. Founded in 1887, Clark University was one of the first modern research universities in the United States.

Established by prominent businessman Jonas Gilman Clark, by 1902, the institution introduced undergraduate admissions and forty years later, welcomed its first female students. Not a decade later, the University would award the first female Ph.D. in psychology. This was just the beginning of the University’s contributions to in the early 20th century.

The University’s first president, G. Stanley Hall would establish the American Psychological Association. In 1909, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung visited the campus – their only lectures outside of Europe 1 introducing psychoanalysis to the American audience. In 1920, Charles Sumner would became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in psychology from Clark. And alumnus Robert Goddard would conduct pioneering rocketry research at the university, to earn the monicker “Father of Modern Rocketry”.

Throughout the late 1960’s, the university hosted numerous musicians from Jimi Hendrix to Janis Joplin and Bruce Springsteen. The Grateful Dead even performed in Atwood Hall – resulting in blowing out the sound system…which has since been fixed.

Beyond its academic accolades and musical performance history, the University also holds a robust athletics program based in the Kneller Athletic Center. The pool is home to Clark’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Recreational swimming is also available to students, faculty, and staff.

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