|Project for Excellence in Journalism - Daily Briefing|
Dean, Syracuse University Journalism School
Marcellus Observer"He loved his students and his students loved him. He was a very fine teacher. He was a star. We're going to miss him."
Those words about Dr. Wesley C. Clark, retired dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, would be echoed by many of his former students and colleagues. SU Chancellor-emeritus William P.Tolley said them when Dean Clark died in 1990. Everyone also would agree with Chancellor Tolley that "there was nothing aristocratic about (Dean Clark). He had a wonderful rapport with his students and with the faculty. He was a real professional newspaperman. He knew the business. He was in the trenches himself."
Wes Clark first came to SU in 1941 as an assistant professor of journalism. He had been working previously for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin for nearly 10 years as a reporter and columnist. He often illustrated classroom discussions with his experiences at the Bulletin.
He started his journalism career as a reporter at the Marietta (Ohio) Times after graduating from Marietta College in 1930. He earned both his master's and his doctorate (in political science) from the University of Pennsylvania.
He left SU during World War II to join the US War Shipping Administration, but soon he was working as an assistant to Secretary Harold Ickes in the Department of the Interior. Even after Ickes resigned from President Franklin Roosevelt's cabinet, Clark continued working as Ickes' aide. His government service continued in 1950 when he served as a consultant in public relations to the Caribbean Commission after returning to SU.
In 1947, Dr. Clark served for six months as a special assistant to Chancellor Tolley, and then moved to the School of Journalism as a professor. He was named assistant dean in 1950, and dean in 1952. As dean, he oversaw the construction of the first building of the Newhouse School.
When President Lyndon B. Johnson came to Syracuse in 1964 to dedicate the new Newhouse Communications Center, Dean Clark performed double duty as a school official and as the reporter covering the event for the university's official publication.
His love of newspaper work prompted him to purchase two area weeklies, the Skaneateles Press and the Marcellus Observer, with his first wife, Frances. He sold both after she died in 1969, but continued to write a weekly column.
In 1973, the year he retired, Dr. Clark received the Distinguished Service to Journalism medal, the Newhouse School's highest award. A year earlier, he was named the John Ben Snow Professor of Newspaper Research.
Dr. Clark wrote and edited the book, "Journalism Tomorrow," in collaboration with other members of the journalism school faculty. The Syracuse University Press published the book in 1958. He was the author of two other books and numerous magazine articles.
In 1974, Dean Clark married the former Rhea Eckel, who had been president of Cazenovia College. She died in 1985. Dean Clark died in 1990 in his home in Skaneateles.
--Joseph A. Porcello
|Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:13 )|
"Give light and the people will find their own way."
Joseph A. Porcello
Herald-JournalJoe Porcello decided what he wanted to do with his life when he was 11 years old. He wanted to be a writer.