Savoring Excellence promised life-changing pathways
When Lisa Gibert, CEO of Clark College Foundation, spoke about Robert Wallace, a 1937 Clark graduate who set up a $4 million trust for Clark College before his death, there was an audible gasp from the more than 325 guests inside O’Connell Sports Complex on Clark’s main campus.
Gibert then told the Savoring Excellence guests that Bob Blanchard, Wallace’s son, was in the house to receive the foundation’s prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Philanthropy and the crowd could no longer contain itself. Cheers erupted, individuals began rising up out of their chairs until the entire room was on its feet celebrating the single largest scholarship gift ever received.
The $4 million scholarship donation is second only to the more than $28 million that Roy Andersen gave to Clark College Foundation in the 1990s. It is tied with two other generous gifts given in previous years. The donation will profoundly affect students who will now have access to scholarships that they otherwise may not have been able to qualify for in order to attend the college.
The announcement, as well as recognition of a Ridgefield land gift from the Boschma family in 2014, and performances by current students and alumni, culminated with the unveiling of Clark’s most ambitious campaign in its 85-year history.
Promising Pathways: The Campaign for Clark College focuses on key projects and programs over the course of the next three years. Initiatives such as Guided Pathways, scholarships, advanced manufacturing, cuisine and pastry arts, veterans’ resources, automotive, mature learning and other projects. Details of the campaign are on Clark College Foundation’s newly launched Promising Pathways: The Campaign for Clark College website.
Performances by mezzo-soprano and Clark alumna Laura Beckel Thoreson, Clark’s Concert Choir, student artists and musicians and video renditions of the winners of the 2018 Outstanding and Rising Star Alumni awards culminated into an evening filled with electric excitement and heartwarming moments.