Jackie Clark, UNC Pembroke’s vice chancellor for the Office of Enrollment Management, will retire on June 30, 2012, according to an announcement from Chancellor Kyle R. Carter.
Clark has worked nearly 35 years in education – 25 of them at UNCP. A 1977 graduate of the university, she joined the office of Student Support Services in 1987.
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 purview.
Chancellor Carter praised Clark’s dedication and her contributions to the university. “Jackie has been an integral part of the university during her many years of service. In her role as vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, she oversaw the rapid growth of our student population that transformed our university,” Chancellor Carter said. “In each position she held at UNC Pembroke, she served with unparalleled dedication and passion, keenly aware of the importance of this institution to the communities it serves. She has been a trusted colleague and friend, and I know that even in retirement she will continue to be a part of the university.”
Clark said it has been a great career, and her decision to retire was a family decision. “My education and professional career have been entirely in this community. It was the best of all worlds,” she said. “I will stay busy with four grandchildren and work in my church and the community.”
The university is also like family, Clark said. She was a first generation college student at UNCP, and before that, she was a member of the first Upward Bound class at the university. Both of her daughters and a son-in-law are also UNCP graduates.
“I grew up here at the university,” she said. “It is a special place for me and this community, as a beacon of hope for helping American Indian people achieve a better quality of life.”
Clark’s career at UNCP coincided with some of the most significant events of the past 25 years. Her first day on the job was the day the university celebrated its centennial. Her first day as director of admissions, July 1, 1996, was the university’s first day with a new name, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She is leaving as the institution celebrates its 125th anniversary.
Working as a counselor in the public schools and at UNCP shaped Clark’s mission in higher education. “I started guiding high school students toward college,” she said. “As an advisor here, I worked to support many first generation college students. That shaped my view – my belief in the importance of accessibility to higher education.”
As vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, Clark opened the doors of UNCP to more students. On her watch, enrollment at UNCP more than doubled from 3,000 to nearly 7,000.
“Being part of the growth of the university and the development of the Enrollment Management Division were highlights of my career,” Clark said. “Enrollment growth is like raising children, and like raising children, it takes a lot of people.”
Clark said she was fortunate to surround herself with dedicated and talented people. “It takes a lot of people to make it happen, and I was blessed to have many good people,” she said. “The current enrollment management team is very strong. They have their hearts in their work, and they put students first. I have no doubt they will continue to succeed.”
Clark said she will miss being around students. “I watched and helped many, many students on their journey to success,” she said. “That provided tremendous joy for me, and I will miss that role.”
In sum, Clark is grateful for the opportunity to work at UNCP and excited about the future. “I was blessed to work for five chancellors and each one of them were outstanding leaders,” she said. “I am excited about spending more time with my husband and grandchildren. Family comes first, and they were always my strongest supporters.”