Campus treasures

 In News, Partners Magazine

Clark Partners Spring 2023 magazine has a section about campus treasures.

3-minute read

For 90 years, Clark College has been a place of learning, networking, exploring and transforming. Below are a few snapshots in time of the people and places that have made this place special.

Timing is everything

For Clark’s 50th anniversary, physics instructor Mike Pick suggested Clark build a sundial and circular plaza surrounding it. The sundial job went to welding instructor and metal sculptor Carlton Bell (pictured below), who fabricated the 14-foot anodized aluminum structure. The sundial is said to be accurate within two or three minutes throughout the year.

Eat cake

In 1983, to celebrate Clark’s 50th anniversary, a 9-foot tall, 4,200-pound cake was crafted to feed 2,500 people. The sweet confection was topped with a four- foot penguin made of laminated Styrofoam and colorful icing.

Pop culture

Remember when phone booth stuffing was a thing? Legend has it that it started in 1959 in Durban, South Africa, when a group of 25 students crammed into a phone booth and sent a picture to the “Guinness Book of World Records.” The competition spread to the U.S., and on Clark’s campus.

Ring the bell

A gift from the former Clark College Alumni Association, the Chime tower was dedicated on September 30, 1964. Today, it is a college and community landmark.

Campus evolution

Clark’s campus over the years have been the Hidden House 1933-1937; Salvation Army building 1937-1941; Old Franklin School 1941-1942; and Ogden Meadows 1947-1958. Since 1950, students have been coming to the college’s main campus, which sits on 101 acres in Vancouver Central Park in Vancouver, Wash. The Applied Arts Center was the first building. Students commuted between Ogden Meadows and Central Park until 1957. In 1958, Hanna Hall, Gaiser Hall and the art, science, home economics and gym buildings were completed.

Photos courtesy of Clark College’s archives



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Riley Donahue is a Clark alumnus who works for Saturday Night Live.Gene Biby, professor of drama on the set of “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” during its March 2023 production.