Remarks made by Gordon Sayre (Senate President 2007-08) at the presentation of Westling award to Suzanne Clark, May 23rd, 2007.
The award is named in honor of Professor Wayne Westling, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon from 1979-2001, renown across campus for his unswerving and selfless commitment to faculty governance at the University of Oregon. It was created by an act of the Senate in November 2001 following Wayne’s untimely death. It is given annually to a faculty or staff member for their outstanding and long-term leadership and service to the university.
Past winners include Peter Gilkey, Peter Von Hipel, Law Librarian Dennis Hyatt, James Earl and Jeffrey Hurwitt.
I understand that Letty Morgan, Prof. Westling’s widow, is with us today…
Suzanne Clark has been at the U of O since 1990, and has been active in University service and governance since shortly after she arrived. She has served on several key University committees which have tackled contentious and high-profile issues, such as the Senate Committee on Post-tenure review in 1998, the President’s task force on athletics in 2002-04, and the Executive committee on Diversity in 2005-06, and the Athletic Director search team in 2006-07. In each case, her leadership alongside many others worked successfully toward solutions which respect the needs and interests of faculty, students, staff and administration.
As many of you know, Suzanne’s father, Robert Donald Clark, was president of the University of Oregon from 1969 to 1975, during the Vietnam war and a time of course of student protests and profound changes in Oregon and U.S. society. Although I have not talked about it with her, I am sure that when she attended the U of O, receiving her BA in 1961 and her MA in French in 1965, and then visited her father in Eugene during his presidency, she learned a great deal about how the university functioned.
Prof. Clark is the author of two books, Cold Warriors: Manliness on Trial in the Rhetoric of the West (2000) and Sentimental Modernism: Women Writers and the Revolution of the Word (1991). Her research and writing have helped to establish important programs in the Humanities at Oregon and to lead them toward new projects which emphasize community service, outreach, and activism. She has worked with the Center for the Study of Women in Society, in the concentration in literature and the environment in the English Dept., and in community literacy, where her English Dept. course annually trains dozens of undergraduates in teaching reading to Eugene/Springfield residents. It is impressive how skillfully Suzanne has built alliances and earned support for new initiatives that advance our educational mission at Oregon, such as her work with University Archives, which has resulted in two interdisciplinary courses, “Writing and the New Research” co-taught with University Archivist Heather Briston, and “The University in Peace and War” in which students read in the archives about the Vietnam era in Oregon and built a website devoted to this period and the presidency of Robert. D. Clark.
In addition to all this, I must add as her English Dept. colleague that Suzanne is one of our hardest working faculty, having served on 12 tenure and promotion committees, five search committees, and as director of seven undergrad honor’s theses and fifteen doctoral dissertations.
Join me in offering congratulations to Suzanne Clark the 2007 winner of the Wayne Westling Award.