Distinguished Professional, Administrative, and Technical Staff (PAT) Award

John P. Clark ’71, ’73G, Director of Athletics

Kaleb Hart '11 photo.
Kaleb Hart ’11 photo.

When PSU’s Active Living, Learning, and Wellness (ALLWell) North building opens its doors this fall, it will be with a familiar face at the helm. Director of Athletics John P. Clark will step into a new position as the facility’s founding manager for its inaugural year. The move seems like a natural one for Clark, who has been deeply involved in plans for the state-of-the-art, 107,600-square-foot academics and athletics complex.

“As was the case with the Savage Welcome Center and Hanaway Rink and the Silver Center for the Arts, ALLWell North will be another incredible facility that will be transformative for the University,” Clark notes. “We’ll be able to offer a new level of innovation that benefits current students and attracts new students to campus. For example, our adventure education program promises to be one top programs in the country, and our new capabilities for track and field have already garnered the attention of the students who will join us this fall. I was fortunate to be involved in ALLWell North from the planning phase through construction, and I’m excited to be able to play a role through the opening.”

Clark’s roles at PSU have been myriad and there are few areas of campus—or of the Plymouth community—that haven’t benefited from his commitment and dedication. In the community, he has coached Little League sports and contributed hundreds of hours behind the scenes in service to youth involved in Plymouth-area athletics. On campus, he has worked in residential life and admissions, as director of the College Union Building, and as a member of the President’s Cabinet, in addition to two stints as director of athletics. “I’ve enjoyed every job I’ve had, and I’ve been so blessed to have the ability to change jobs, to get immersed in different positions, and to work with so many talented colleagues and students along the way, all of us trying to make a difference for the PSU community,” he says.

Clark relays a story of PSU from 1980, when then-President Kasper Marking asked him to take the role of athletic director for the first time. “I was director of the College Union, and President Marking was concerned about my move to athletics, not because he thought I wouldn’t be able to do the job, but because he wasn’t sure if I would like it. He told me he would hold my job at the College Union just in case,” Clark remembers. “Can you imagine? How fortunate I’ve been to work for an organization that would do something like that for me.” Clark embraced his role as athletic director, serving from 1980 to 1985 and then again from 2001 to 2015.

As for being a proud member of the PAT staff, Clark says the group is special. “Unselfish service to others is synonymous with being a PAT and is ingrained in the way we perform our jobs every day,” he says. “I’ve been involved with the PATs since President Hyde called our very first meeting in the early 1970s, and I hope that in some small way, I have contributed to the PSU/PAT legacy.”

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1 Comment

  1. Besides not being able to resist that smile, John Clark strikes me as the epitome of spirit and service. When he says “I hope that in some small way I have contributed to the PSU/PAT legacy” I immediately think there is no one who has contributed to that legacy more. There are few of us who have not been mentored by John and even fewer who have not been inspired by his example. I am proud to call John a mentor, an inspiration and a friend. Congrats; this is a much deserved award.

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