University of Rochester

$1.6 Million Bequest to Fund Clark Chair in History Department

March 14, 1996

A University of Rochester alumnus and his wife have left a bequest of $1.6 million to the University's history department.

The gift of the late Franklin W. Clark and his wife, Gladys, will fund the Franklin W. and Gladys I. Clark Chair of History.

"I am saddened by Franklin Clark's death, for he was a warm and generous man and a determined supporter of the work of the history department," said department chair Robert Westbrook. "But my colleagues and I are delighted and grateful for the legacy he has left us."

"Mr. Clark developed a lifelong love of history as an undergraduate," said Jack Kreckel, director of major gifts and planned giving. "He had a profound appreciation for former history professor Arthur May, and he also was impressed with the history department as it is today."

"The College has been exceptionally fortunate to have dedicated alumni such as the Clarks who, by their generous bequest, recognize the importance of scholarship in history and seek to ensure its excellence for future generations of students," said Richard Aslin, vice provost and dean of the College.

A member of the last undergraduate class to graduate from the Prince Street campus, Mr. Clark earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University in 1930 and a master's degree in history in 1933. For eight years, he worked for the Civil Service Commission in Washington, D.C. He was an Army corporal in World War II on the West Coast and in the Pacific Theater. After the war, he worked for 15 years in the Navy Bureau of Ordnance as a bibliographer, reference librarian, and technical editor.

Clark then joined his wife in owning and managing a translation agency, Language Service Bureau, which she opened in Washington after World War II. A graduate of George Washington University, Mrs. Clark also bought and restored many old Washington buildings that later became embassies and chanceries.

The Clarks moved in 1973 to Williamsburg, Va., where they continued to operate the business until retirement in 1984.