Virginia Vaughan's legacy of giving reaches beyond the classroom

Professor Emerita Virginia Mason Vaughan taught in Clark’s English Department for 38 years and chaired it for 11 of those. She served on numerous faculty boards, led key search committees, and hired more than half of the current English faculty. Most importantly, she helped shepherd thousands of students into productive lives and careers, where even if the details of her Shakespeare-themed lessons are forgotten, the deeper messages still resonate.

So upon her retirement, one would assume that Virginia’s commitment to Clark officially ended.

Not quite. In fact, not by a long shot.

Professor Vaughan and her husband, Alden, have apportioned a percentage of their estate to Clark University.

“Clark was a place that allowed me to find my voice as a scholar,” Virginia says. “The University was very good to me over the years, and I was good to it, too. It’s a small way to pay back a little bit for what the institution has done for you. When you’ve invested so much thought, time and energy into a place you continue to care about its future.”

Virginia hopes her gift perpetuates the Clark University “I can do this” spirit. “The great thing about Clark is there’s enough freedom so that a student with a good idea can get the support of one or two faculty and then run with it. There’s a real desire to think outside the lines.”

Virginia’s gift reflects her commitment to future generations of students and the wonderful contributions they have yet to make, both inside the lines and out.