Clark University will honor two esteemed alumni at the May 15 Reunion Weekend Dinner in Tilton Hall.
D’Army Bailey '65, LL.D. '10, P '00, will receive the Distinguished Service Award, and Michelle Powers '05 will receive the Young Alumni Award.
Bailey was welcomed at Clark in the early ’60s after he was expelled from Southern University in Louisiana for leading civil rights protests there. While at Clark, he formed the Worcester Student Movement and led student rallies against Worcester businesses with poor records for hiring and promoting minorities. He brought Malcolm X to speak on campus and hosted a lecture by James Meredith, the African-American student whose enrollment at all-white University of Mississippi had set off riots on that campus.
Bailey went on to earn his law degree from Yale University, practiced law in San Francisco and Memphis, and enjoyed a long career as an elected judge on the Tennessee trial court bench. He also did some acting, most notably in the film “The People Vs. Larry Flynt.”
He spearheaded the successful effort to transform the Lorraine Motel in Memphis — the site of Martin Luther King’s assassination — into the National Civil Rights Museum. In 2012, outside the downtown Memphis courthouse where he presided for 19 years, Adams Avenue was rechristened Judge D’Army Bailey Avenue to recognize Bailey’s contributions to the city.
Bailey recounted his personal journey in the book “The Education of a Black Radical.” He was profiled in the Fall 2010 CLARK alumni magazine.
Michelle Powers, a double major in art history and psychology, has spent the last 10 years working in fundraising and development for institutions such as Tufts University, Stanford Law School, and, currently, History San José. In 2013, Powers graduated from John F. Kennedy University with a dual M.B.A./Master’s in Museum Studies degree. She is a steadfast advocate of the arts and the value of an arts education.
In her spare time, Powers volunteers for Clark in many capacities, serves on the Board of Cultural Connections, the Development Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals — Silicon Valley Chapter, and is a member of the Western Museums Association 2015 Host Committee.
“My time at Clark University was enjoyable, impactful, and set my life on meaningful path toward my current career,” Powers said. “During some of the most challenging years of my life, the Clark community was there — to catch me, encourage me, and inspire me to move forward.
“It gives me great pride to serve as an ambassador for the Clark community through prospective student interviews, serving on my reunion committee, and, of course, giving back to The Clark Fund to support current and future students. It is my belief that, as a proud alumna, it is my responsibility to help steward a bright future for this University.”