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The Clark University Distinction


lark is a value-based university that is committed to challenging the conventional wisdom on which many of the prevailing policies, practices and assumptions in contemporary society have been developed. At Clark, we understand that we must all be active agents for change if we hope to address the social, political, environmental and economic pressures we face in the 21st century. If one considers that more than 100 military conflicts flare up on a daily basis, the environmental degradation that threatens to make all life on Earth unsustainable, and the economic disparity that enriches 15 percent of the world’s population while the remaining 85 percent languishes in abject poverty, there can be little doubt that we must find better solutions.

If those challenges seem too insurmountable, consider that every revolutionary change begins with small steps. We believe that our commitment to our neighborhood, which boasts awarding-winning community programs, organizations and schools, is just as important as our work on global climate change. That is part of Clark’s uniqueness. We celebrate what every individual brings to the campus. For some, it involves working with a program like All Kinds of Girls which was started by our students to helps girls from the neighborhood develop the confidence and strength they will need to be successful. For others, it involves developing systems for sustainable development in some of the most impoverished regions of the world. The common thread that ties the activities of our students and faculty together is their shared understanding that everyone can and needs to make a difference and that each individual’s contribution matters.

That ethos is also reflected in Clark’s pedagogy. As a research university that is also a small liberal arts college, our students and faculty develop the kind of relationships that help transform individuals into active learners who work to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. At the same time, our students’ energy and enthusiasm feed the passion of our faculty in their work to create new knowledge and to find better ways of seeing and understanding the world. Our faculty is committed to developing meaningful solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing our community, the nation and the world; and Clark students work with them at every step along the way. Clark is unique among research universities because the liberal arts college is a fundamental part of our character. That leads to student-to-student and faculty-to-student relationships that enable every member of our community to grow in ways which simply would not be possible in another academic setting.

As students look at which university best meets their needs and will help them achieve their goals, it is important to understand the character and core values of the places they are considering. Every university and college represented in this magazine provides an outstanding education and offers excellent academic programs. How the education is delivered, the focus of the scholarship and the orientation of the students and faculty on each campus are different. Finding the right match is important. Students need to seek an environment in which they are going to be both challenged and supported, a place where they can take risks and feel safe, an environment from which each individual will emerge feeling confident and ready to explore new opportunities.

The Clark University experience is transformative. The education students receive and the opportunities they create are extraordinary. The combination of our small student-to-teacher ratio, urban location, international and neighborhood engagement, and our history of applying the lessons from the classroom, laboratory and studio to real life circumstances are our hallmarks. As students learn more about the distinguishing elements of each university to which they apply, making the right choice about where to enroll becomes much easier.

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