Written by Barb Powell
Upon the recommendation of Mr. Donald C. Clark Jr. and Mrs. Ellen B. Clark of Glenview, Ill., the Clark Family Foundation has made an unrestricted gift of $1 million to UCC-related Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) to inspire others to invest in theological education. Don Clark is Chair of the Board of Trustees at CTS and Nationwide Special Counsel for the United Church of Christ. Ellen Clark is Director of the Wilmette Public Library and daughter of retired UCC minister the Rev. T. Thomas Boates Jr. and his wife, Barbara.
“We want this gift to stir hope for the future of progressive Christianity and to inspire the generosity of those who share our mission,” said Donald Clark. “This gift isn’t just an investment in CTS—it’s an investment in the church, its leadership and its mission of peace, justice and mercy.”
The gift, cultivated by CTS President Alice Hunt, represents the largest unrestricted cash gift in the Seminary’s 155-year history. Hunt said, “CTS has been called, from its very beginning, to respond to the ever-changing needs for religious leadership and ministry. Don and Ellen’s gift recommits us to confronting the challenges of our age, and the needs of the faith community, with courage, with innovation, and with clarity of purpose. We are, as ever, boldly committed to developing leaders to transform society toward greater justice and mercy.”
According to Chris Dorsey, Vice President of Development and Marketing at CTS, the Clark gift––along with an additional $1 million fundraising initiative––will help position CTS as a leader in theological education.
Later this year, CTS will transition to a new, 80,000-square-foot facility at the corner of 60th and Dorchester Avenue in Chicago’s Hyde Park-Woodlawn neighborhoods. CTS will dedicate the LEED Silver-certified facility in a multi-day celebration Oct. 20-23, 2011.
Donald Clark became CTS’s first General Counsel in 2003. He was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2008.
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