Michael Nathan Clark '15 was a junior when he passed away from injuries sustained in an automobile accident while driving back to Ithaca College after Thanksgiving break in 2013. His loss was felt throughout campus, and especially within his beloved English department.
Entering IC as an exploratory student, Michael found great joy in his academic work, after an uninspired time in high school, where he railed against a system he felt was looking for cookie-cutter learners. At IC Michael enjoyed classes in psychology, sociology, and linguistics, but after his first English class, Intro to Poetry, with Professor Kevin Murphy, he was never really uncertain about which major he would choose. Michael Twomey, Dana Professor of English, later said, "Michael was well-read, curious, philosophical, welcoming to new ideas, and unafraid to be original in speaking or in writing." His ambition was to teach Shakespeare at the college level, and he had mapped out his academic plans to make his dream a reality.
Michael built a community around him wherever he went. He loved the late string quartets of Beethoven and the music of Bob Dylan. He sang for four years in his high school's madrigal group, and also appeared in a number of operas as a youngster. He was an award-winning actor who had a passion for English Premier League football. He was a true Renaissance man.
The Michael N. Clark '15 Scholarship was started by his parents, Martha Warren and Peter Clark, and his twin brother, David Clark, in recognition of Michael's delight in the study of English and his uncommon ability.