One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for May 23, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
On Thursday UNC Pembroke held a reception for our new Chancellor Elect and it brought out a record number of well-wishers from the campus and the community. Our new chancellor was born and raised in Pembroke and still has a large number of family members here. The reception was one part welcome and two part family reunion. That reunion also applied to former employees who came back to campus to congratulate our university’s new leader. One of those former employees was an energetic female leader named Jackie Clark.
Jackie Clark like our new leader is from Robeson County (NC) and makes no doubt to anyone she meets this is home for her. She retired in 2012 after 35 years in education with 25 years working at UNC Pembroke. A 1977 graduate of UNC Pembroke, she joined the office of Student Support Services in 1987.
I would love to be around Jackie when she would tell people what our university meant to her. She was a first generation college student at UNCP, and before that, she was a member of the first Upward Bound class at the university. Both of her daughters and a son-in-law are also UNCP graduates. She would always talk about what going to college meant to her parents which she held in such high esteem.
Jackie career also had some interesting firsts. I learned about all of these when she announced her retirement. Her first day on the job was the day the university celebrated its centennial. Her first day as director of admissions, July 1, 1996, was the university’s first day with a new name, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She left the institution as it celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2012.
In 1996, Jackie was named director for the Office of Admissions, and in 2001, she was appointed vice chancellor of the new Office of Enrollment Management, which included admissions, financial aid, orientation, advisement and retention. Her role in student services expanded in 2011 when the offices of the Registrar, Disability Support Services, College Opportunity Program, Student Support Services and Health Careers Opportunity Program were placed under her purview.
Jackie saw record enrollment on her watch at UNC Pembroke. As vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, Jackie opened the doors of UNCP to more students than had ever occurred in school history. On her watch, enrollment at UNCP more than doubled from 3,000 to nearly 7,000. She got to nurture a lot of people during her twenty-five years at UNCP.
In retirement she has gotten to spend some time with her best friend and husband Dexter Clark.
The Friend-JACKIE CLARK with her two grandsons
The Friend of the Friend-DEXTER CLARK
Dexter Clark is best described as a “Man’s Man”. He is as fit as a fiddle. He is disciplined and is one of the most genuine men you will every meet. He is honest-he is a man of integrity. He has an unbelievable passion for his country. He is “Army Strong”.
Dexter is also a man that has two daughters named Tara and Jessica.
Even though Dexter is “Army Strong” he is daddy weak. If you see Dexter around his two beautiful daughter you can see his heart melt and a proud smile come across his face. He has every reason to be proud of his two daughters because not only are they beautiful they are smart, hard working, and passionate just like their parents.
Even though Dexter is “Army Strong” he is Jackie weak. I have been around the Clark’s enough to know that Dexter worships his bride Jackie. He loves her adventurous spirit and lack of fear. Whether it is riding Harley’s or taking a spin around a NASCAR speedway -Jackie can break “Army Strong” Dexter down. Her smile works on Dexter just like her daughters.
Even though Dexter is “Army Strong” he is granddaddy weak. I was going to try and describe it but I think I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
The Clark’s have done a lot for Robeson County, UNCP, their family, and friends. I am lucky to be one of them.