In July 1865, at the Erie Conference, the Education Committee of the Methodist Episcopal Church stated:
|"Especially would we urge the claims of our literary institutions upon our people, when it is presumed that every man, particularly if he has the means, will desire to make a memorial offering. In what other way could a man so surely make for himself a lasting memorial as by endowing a professorship in one of these institutions, and thus honorably connect himself with the vital forces which are to give character to future generations."|
In accordance with this suggestion and with the convictions of the people that such an institution was greatly needed, efforts to establish a seminary in Clarion were initiated. The conference agreed to accept the seminary under its patronage and control when the subscriptions totaled $30,000.
On March 18, 1867, contributors met to organize a board of trustees and on September 10, 1867, the institution began operation as Carrier Seminary of Western Pennsylvania, now known as Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
To honor the vision and conviction behind its founding, Clarion University has established the 1867 Circle.