‘I Know He Would Have Been So Proud’

Widow of Key Leader in UT Dallas' Growth Says Clark's Pride in University Was Lasting

Nov. 8, 2011

Karen Clark

“Today is a happy day for me and for all of Alex’s family,” said Karen Clark, widow of Dr. Alexander L. Clark and the director of the Deaf Education Division at the UT Dallas Callier Center.

Karen Clark, the widow of Dr. Alexander L. Clark, was the honored speaker at the ceremony renaming the Conference Center in recognition of his service to the University. Mrs. Clark, who is the director of the Deaf Education Division at the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders, said her husband would have been pleased by the honor:

Thank you, President Daniel, for your comments and your efforts that resulted in the naming of the Alexander L. Clark Center and in providing this opportunity to celebrate the naming of the center.

This is such a great building. It has housed so many different activities – from classes, which are ongoing even as we speak, to special programs. When Alex and I sat here listening to UNT’s One O'Clock Jazz Band, little did we know that it would one day be the Clark Center.

Today is a happy day for me and for all of Alex’s family.

When Dr. Daniel first called me with the idea for renaming the Conference Center in honor of Alex, I was overwhelmed, mostly because I knew what this honor would’ve meant to Alex.

Alex’s greatest love was for his family and friends. But he also loved the work that he did here at UT Dallas. He really enjoyed being an academic vice president – or at least he enjoyed most of it.

Alex had a varied and interesting professional life. And outside of his children and grandchildren, I am very sure that the legacy he was most proud of was his work in building the academic programs here at UT Dallas.

Those of you who knew him well know that one of the principles that guided his administrative career was that the role of an academic vice president is to find talented individuals and then provide those individuals with the support and resources to achieve great things.

Alex was not a person who sought the spotlight or public recognition for his achievements. He didn’t have false modesty, but recognition was never a primary concern.

In fact, I don’t think there is anyone who would’ve been more surprised at the naming of this building than Alex – but I know he would’ve been so proud.

Before Alex died, I asked him where he would like his memorial service to be held. And without pause or hesitation, he said, “At the University.”

So I am very sure that if he had been asked, “If there were to be one lasting tribute to mark your contribution to society, where would you like that to be?” that his answer would most assuredly have been, “At the University.”

So for myself and for all the family, I want to say thank you for making that happen and for coming here today to celebrate with us.


Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2244, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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