Timeline:  A Look Back

  • 1784

    1784

    Leicester Academy is founded.

  • 1784

    1784

    June 7, becoming the first nonsectarian academy in New England to accept female students.

  • 1788

    1788

    Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin, graduates.

  • 1791

    1791

    The earliest documented presence of female students at the Academy is found in the diaries of student Ruth Henshaw, who would become early 19th century portrait artist Ruth Henshaw Miles Bascom.

  • 1834

    1834

    John Barton of Nova Scotia, Canada and Horace Dickenson of Montreal, Canada become the first known international students at Leicester Academy.

  • 1836

    1836

    William Morton, the “Father of Modern Anesthesiology,” graduates.

  • 1840

    1840

    Elizabeth Holmes joined the Academy faculty.

  • 1880

    1880

    First perfect game in major league baseball is pitched at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds--now the Weller Academic Center quad on the Worcester Campus.

  • 1844

    1844

    The first known female international student, Susan A. King of Barnston, Canada, enrolls at Leicester Academy.

  • 1880

    1880

    First perfect game in major league baseball was pitched at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds, which is now Weller Academic Center's quad.

  • 1886

    1886

    Elliott P. Joslin, the first doctor in the United States to specialize in diabetes and the founder of today’s Joslin Diabetes Center, graduates.

  • 1887

    1887

    Becker’s Business College is founded at 492 Main St., Worcester, Mass.

  • 1893

    1893

    Harry G. Stoddard, Worcester industrialist, graduates.

  • 1898

    1898

    Robert Goddard, the "Father of Modern Rocketry," studied at Becker.

  • 1926

    1926

    Becker’s Business College changes its name to Becker College of Business Administration and Secretarial Science.

  • 1936

    1936

    Colton House on Cedar St. in Worcester opens as the College's first dormitory for women.

  • 1937

    1937

    Becker initiates a major in journalism--the first to be offered in the East.

  • 1937

    1937

    Becker establishes its student newspaper, The Becker Journal.

  • 1941

    1941

    Leicester Junior College is established.

  • 1943

    1943

    Becker School of Business Administration and Secretarial Science changes its name to Becker Junior College of Business Administration and Secretarial Science, and receives the authority to grant associate in science degrees.

  • 1946

    1946

    Harry E. Brown, B.A., M.A., was named president of Leicester Junior College.

  • 1950

    1950

    Becker introduces its retail merchandising program, the first in Massachusetts.

  • 1951

    1951

    Edward Fendell, NASA head of the Communications Systems Section, Flight Control Division, and instrumentation and communications officer for the Apollo 11 moon landing, graduates.

  • 1954

    1954

    Leicester Junior College was established.

  • 1958

    1958

    Senator John F. Kennedy visits campus to address a Becker assembly.

  • 1963

    1963

    The Paul R. Swan Library is dedicated on the Leicester Campus.

  • 1968

    1968

    The Borger Academic Center is dedicated on the Leicester Campus.

  • 1974

    1974

    Cooperative Education is first offered.

  • 1977

    1977

    Becker Junior College of Business Administration and Secretarial Science and Leicester Junior College merge.

  • 1978

    1978

    The associate in science in veterinary technology, the first in Massachusetts, is accredited.

  • 1980

    1980

    Becker College properties in Worcester are added to the National Register of Historic Places.

  • 1982

    1982

    The Animal Health Care Center opens on the Leicester Campus.

  • 1986

    1986

    The Gilbert R. Boutin Student Center is dedicated on the Worcester Campus.

  • 1987

    1987

    Nursing graduate Kathleen A. Flesher ’87 achieves a perfect score of 3,200 on the Massachusetts registered-nurse licensing examination in July, a one in 10,000 probability.

  • 1990

    1990

    Becker Junior College received approval from the state to become c on July 17, 1990.

  • 1990

    1990

    Becker Junior College of Business Administration and Secretarial Science changes its name to Becker College, with continued authority to grant associate in science degrees.

  • 1990

    1990

    The William F. Ruska Library is dedicated on the Worcester Campus.

  • 1991

    1991

    Becker College receives authority to grant bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees.

  • 1992

    1992

    A student center is constructed on the Leicester Campus.

  • 1997

    1997

    The Lenfest Family Animal Health Clinic is dedicated.

  • 1999

    1999

    Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams presents “Medicine for Fun, Not Funds” on March 1 in the Presidential Speaker Series.

  • 2000

    2000

    The Arnold C. Weller, Jr. Academic Center is dedicated on the Worcester Campus.

  • 2006

    2006

    Becker College properties in Leicester are added to the National Register of Historic Places.

  • 2008

    2008

    Barrett Hall, a residence hall on the Leicester Campus, is dedicated in honor of Colleen Barrett ’64.

  • 2008

    2008

    Rev. Samuel May, Jr. House is authenticated as an official National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service.

  • 2008

    2008

    Becker College marks 20 years of criminal justice education.

  • 2009

    2009

    Becker College initiates the Franklin M. Loew Lecture Series in honor of the College’s eighth president.

  • 2009

    2009

    The Becker College nursing program celebrates “25 Years of Caring.”

  • 2010

    2010

    The Princeton Review ranks the Becker College undergraduate video game design program #1 in New England and #4 in the United States and Canada.

  • 2010

    2010

    Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., is named tenth president of Becker College.

  • 2011

    2011

    Gov. Deval Patrick and Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray approve the designation of Becker College as host of the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (Mass DiGI).

  • 2011

    2011

    Becker College receives a $1.5 million grant from the Allerton Foundation to establish an endowed chair, the Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences.

  • 2012

    2012

    Becker College is selected by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education and is included in its The Best 377 Colleges: 2013 Edition.

  • 2012

    2012

    The Becker College game design program is ranked among the top-10 colleges in the U.S. and Canada by The Princeton Review.

  • 2012

    2012

    The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program is launched.

  • 2012

    2012

    Becker is #1 among undergraduate nursing programs in Massachusetts, with a 99% prelicensure nursing graduates' first-time NCLEX pass rate in 2011.

  • 2012

    2012

    The George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Student Center opened on the Leicester Campus.

  • 2013

    2013

    The Princeton Review includes Becker College as one of the 378 best colleges in the 2014 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 378 Colleges”.

  • 2014

    2014

    Becker College launches its first fully online degree program, a bachelor of science in business administration.

  • 2014

    2014

    The Princeton Review ranks the Becker College undergraduate Video Game Design program among the top 15 nationally.

  • 2014

    2014

    The Princeton Review includes Becker College as one of the 379 best colleges in the 2014 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 379 Colleges”.

  • 2014

    2014

    The College completes work as a member of The 10th Cohort of the American Council on Education’s Internationalization Laboratory. The Center for Global Citizenship opens on the Worcester Campus.

  • 2014

    2014

    The Center for Accelerated & Professional Studies launches an online business degree program and online programs in project management, and terrorism studies.

  • 2014

    2014

    The college becomes one of 19 charter members of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA).

  • 2014

    2014

    Becker College is approved as an educational member of the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).

  • 2014

    2014

    The College opens the Professor John Dorsey Crime Scene and Evidence Lab, a working scene and lab for criminal justice studies on the Worcester Campus.

  • 2014

    2014

    Thomas Friedman—New York Times columnist, author, and Pulitzer-Prize winner—delivers the inaugural lecture in the Presidential Speaker Series on April 8 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.

  • 2014

    2014

    The College launches its first master’s degree program, in mental health counseling.

  • 2015

    2015

    Colleen Barrett ’64 gives a $1 million gift—the largest individual gift in the College’s history—to name and create the College’s new Center for Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

  • 2015

    2015

    Women’s ice hockey is added to the College’s varsity sports program.

  • 2015

    2015

    Becker College posts a record enrollment, with 2,021 students—the largest in the College’s history.

  • 2015

    2015

    Becker College graduates 442 members of the Class of 2015-the largest graduating class in the College's history.

  • 2015

    2015

    Becker College is ranked #9 in the world for its game design program by The Princeton Review.

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