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Clark retires after 25 years with University

By Dustin Porter
Managing Editor

April 26, 2012

Photo courtesy of Morgan Worriax
Jackie Clark speaks to a group of high school guidance counselors earlier this year. Clark, a UNCP graduate who has worked at the University for 25 years, will retire June 30.

Jackie Clark, vice chancellor for enrollment management, is retiring June 30 and looks forward to spending time with her family, church and community.

"The process was extremely agonizing, but it was crystal clear the time was right," Clark said. "I was at peace with the decision and it just came naturally."

Clark reflected back on her 25-year tenure at UNCP and remembers the university from riding by it in her father's truck to graduating, returning and retiring as a Brave.

Clark is a 1977 graduate of UNCP and a Robeson County native, and now looks forward to the "finer" things in life.

"When you're young you don't realize it, but when you look back on life you see everything fell into place perfectly. It's almost like magic," Clark said.

During her time in various positions, Clark said that helping to oversee the establishment of the writing center and the advising center are two of her proudest memories.

Clark came back home to UNCP in 1987 in the Office of Student Support Services.

In 1996, Clark was named Director for the Office of Admissions, and in 2001, she was appointed Vice Chancellor of the new Office of Enrollment Management, which included admissions, financial aid, orientation, advisement and retention.

Her role in student services expanded in 2011 when the offices of the Registrar, Disability Support Services, College Opportunity Program, Student Support Services and Health Careers Opportunity Program were placed under her.

As Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, enrollment at UNCP more than doubled from 3,000 to nearly 7,000 students.

Lela Clark, director of Undergraduate Admissions, said that Jackie "has been a teacher, mentor and friend. So much of what I know about admissions, recruitment and leadership, I learned from her."

Clark said she plans on spending time with her four grandchildren and her family, as well as with her church and in the community after retirement.

"As you get older, you realize what is important. Work is something you do; it is not who you are," Clark said. "Family is more important, and I will use my new free time emphasizing that."

Clark encourages students to do a good deed every day.

"Our service to others is rent for living on Earth. Make sure you enjoy your work and that is fun, fulfilling and satisfying," she said.

She added some words of encouragement for her colleagues as well.

"Life is too precious to waste. Make a point to do good every day," she said.

"I have a deep love for UNC-Pembroke. My blood will always bleed black and gold," Clark said.

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