URI couple remember alma mater with bequest

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KINGSTON, R.I. –July 17, 2007—Theodore “Ted” Clarke, a 1940 University of Rhode Island alumnus had a fierce loyalty and love of URI. A lifelong supporter, he served as president of the Alumni Association and the Century Club.

“My dad’s passion was education,” said his daughter Linda Clarke Reinert of Grand Junction, Colorado. “As a young man he saw his family struggle through the Depression and lose their home. He saw education as a way to avoid the same troubles in his lifetime.”

When Ted died last year at 89, he didn’t forget his beloved alma mater. He left an additional $116,000 to be added to an existing endowment he established with his wife, the late Elizabeth H. Clarke ’40. Seventy percent of endowment income provides discretionary funds for the director of athletics and 30 percent supports the URI Library. The gift is part of URI’s Making A Difference Campaign.

“My mother encouraged my sister and me to earn a college degree so that if it were necessary, we would be able to provide for ourselves. Our parents supported their alma mater, with their spirit, their loyalty and their endowment so that others might benefit from a URI education,” explained Reinert who presented the check to the University this spring. She also presented her father’s scrapbook that contained scorecards, photos of his cross country and tracks days and other campus events, which she found while cleaning out the Warwick home the family occupied for 51 years.

“Ted’s passion for URI spanned the university. He was a devoted booster, giving generously of his time and his money to support the athletic program. He could always be seen at games, both home and away,” said Robert Beagle, vice president of University Advancement. “But Ted also supported URI’s academic mission, as a donor to the annual fund and to our various campaigns, plus through his legacy gift to the library. For many years, he was an active volunteer with the Alumni Association. This kind of volunteerism and philanthropy is inspiring to others and represents Ted’s true legacy as a Rhody Ram.”

The University’s Making a Difference Campaign, which will be publicly launched in fall 2007, seeks $100 million to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, enhance the student-centered campus experience, provide undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, and fund cutting-edge academic and research initiatives.

For more information about planned giving, please contact Paul Witham, associate vice president for Development, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Road, Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-5569 Fax: 401-874-2292 Email: pwitham@advance.uri.edu.

Pictured above

Trueson Tarinelli, assistant director, athletic development; Charlie Roberts, vice president of Washington Trust; Gregg Burke, athletics director; Linda Clarke Reinert, Robert Beagle, vice president of University Advancement, and Michele Nota, executive director of Alumni Relations. URI photo by Michael Salerno Photography