Clark opportunities extolled, alumni feted at Reunion dinner

The world opened up for Michael Ross ’93 the day he arrived in Hughes Hall as a first-year student in 1989. The kid from a working-class Boston family found himself becoming fast friends with students who hailed from Pakistan, Jamaica, and that most exotic of locales, New York.

Ross also discovered that Clark was a place where new worlds could be of one’s own making. A non-athlete in high school, he rowed for Clark’s varsity crew team. He reviewed Worcester restaurants for The Scarlet, and launched Clark Cable News. When he had trouble paying his expenses, Ross convinced the Clark administration to back his proposed venture, an on-campus pizza parlor. “They fronted me the money, gave me a weekly salary, and allowed me to hire half a dozen friends,” he recalled during the keynote address at the May 18 Reunion Dinner in the Dolan Field House. “Within a matter of weeks Black Tie Pizza was formed."

'The experiences I had at Clark were there for the taking, and there was nothing I could not do, and no barriers I could not cross.'

~ Michael Ross '93

Ross, a Boston city councilor and attorney, told his fellow alumni that his father, a Holocaust survivor, taught his children to appreciate everything they had. That attitude served Ross well as he seized the opportunities that Clark presented him. “No institution, no matter how good, can prepare a person for every possible scenario they will face in their life and career,” he said. “Instead it can only prepare you with the skills you will need to take on those scenarios. Clark did that. “At Clark I became a student, a researcher, an activist, a voter, a friend, a volunteer, an intern, an artist and an independent thinker. I did things I never did before, but most importantly I learned that I could. So when it came time to me to enter the workplace, I was ready. Clark had prepared me.”

The dinner concluded with two awards.

Outgoing Alumni Association President Scott Zoback ’04, M.P.A. ’05 presented the Young Alumni Award to Jamie Salo ’02, M.A. ’03, Ph.D. (Oxford University). Salo, the senior vice president for strategy and research in North America for the environmental management company Trucost Plc, is an active member of the Clark community. He works with the Alumni and Parents Admissions Program and Alumni Affairs, and regularly talks at campus events, including the Alumni in Residence program. Last fall, he taught a course, “Greening the Corporation,” at Clark’s Graduate School of Management.

For more photos of Reunion 2012, visit Clark on Flickr.  

Board of Trustees Chairman Peter Klein ’64 then presented Clark’s first Lifetime Service Award to Tom Dolan ’62, M.Ed. ’63, P ’79, P ’87, in honor of his 42-year career at, and fervent advocacy of, Clark University. Dolan, who rose to the rank of senior vice president during his time at Clark, began his remarks by calling attention to the dozens of Clark T-shirts hanging from the black scrim surrounding the field house’s interior.

“They’ve been in my closet for 30, 40, 50 years, and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity for years to hang them,” he quipped.

Dolan credited his wife of 56 years, Joan Dolan ’60, M.A.Ed. ’74, as being most deserving of the award, and noted that she always received the warmest welcome at alumni functions. He also cited the faculty, trustees and alumni leaders “whose dedication and passion for this University was worn openly on their sleeves for all to see.”

“They worked tirelessly and passionately to advance Clark on every front and [it is their] shoulders we lean on today.”

He urged the alumni to stay involved with their alma mater, saying, “A rising tide of alumni engagement will lift Clark to ever greater heights.”

Dolan then called up fellow classmates from the Class of 1962 and together they presented a check for $100,001 to Clark President David Angel. He expects that his class will surpass the participation record held by the Class of 1961 for their 50th  reunion. The two classes are currently tied with the standing record of 52 percent and gifts are still coming in.

~ Jim Keogh, director of news and editorial services