Stephen Clark's first transformational gift to the library in 2011 merged the library’s map collection, government information center, and geographical data services into the Clark Library, a new setting for research and discovery.
His gift toward creating the Clark Commons is the largest in the library’s history. His motive for giving is straightforward. He wants to “improve the experience for current and future students.”
Clark, an inventor and chairman and CEO (now retired) of Dwyer Instruments, Inc., credits the Shapiro Undergraduate Library for saving his college career as a bulwark against the temptations and distractions of college life (his fraternity brothers, and the Village Bell, a student hangout).
“I spent a lot of time in the library, and my hope is to provide students with a pleasant and comfortable space for collaboration and study,” Clark said. The library is the ideal space, he notes, because it “serves everyone at the university, and not just one school or college.”
The particular temptations of college life may have changed — the Village Bell is long gone — but distraction itself is a constant.