Clarks Hope to Sustain Gonzaga Experience

A popular aphorism states, “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” Sue Clark and her husband, Al, seem to live by this philosophy. At the very least, it guides their approach to philanthropy.

The Clarks, whose daughter is a senior at Gonzaga, recently made a gift to the Fund for Gonzaga. It is a gift, they hope, that serves many purposes.

“We are confident that, collectively with others, (our gift) will help in sustaining the unique university experience Gonzaga provides for current and future students,” Sue said. “We also hope that our gift will inspire others to participate to the extent of their own resources.”

The Clarks, who have three children, live in Southern California. They reside in Pasadena, home of the famous Rose Bowl, where Sue is involved with various groups in the community. Al works as a lawyer in nearby Los Angeles. They were inspired to give to Gonzaga because of the role the University has played in the growth of their daughter, Janie, who is majoring in public relations. Sue says the support and encouragement of Gonzaga’s faculty has challenged Janie to grow emotionally and intellectually.

“We believe,” Sue said, “that Janie’s experiences at Gonzaga have played an important role in the development of her maturity and self-confidence.”

When deciding where to direct their gift, the Clarks wanted to do the most good. The best way to do that, they figured, was to designate $10,000 to the Fund for Gonzaga, an unrestricted fund.

“We understand that the institution has priorities,” Sue said. “We trust it to allocate the gifts according to its priorities.”

The Fund for Gonzaga plays a critical role in balancing the University’s budget and gives Gonzaga’s leadership the flexibility to utilize the funds for the areas of greatest need. Whether it is the hiring of additional faculty, upgrading to the latest technology or providing student scholarships, the Fund for Gonzaga affects every facet of campus.

“Tuition alone doesn’t cover the costs of education, even in the case of the most expensive private colleges and universities,” Sue said. “So it’s up to all of us to help close the gap, enabling the institution to continue to offer programs that attract outstanding students.”

The Clarks seem to understand this better than most. They have spearheaded fundraising activities for the high school their children attended and, in addition to Gonzaga, have given to their sons’ alma maters, Stanford and UC Berkeley.

“The institutions exist today, and are able to deliver on their promises of outstanding academic experiences, in substantial part because of the generous contributions of alumni and family for decades before us,” Sue said. “All of us as parents, and our students as alumni, must recognize that we are indebted to those families and alumni who came before us, and have responsibility to repay that debt by contributing what we can.”