William P. Clark, a benefactor of Thomas Aquinas College in California and an influential adviser during the Reagan administration, died on August 10 at the age of 81, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Clark was a trusted friend of President Ronald Reagan and gave up his seat on the California Supreme Court to serve as Reagan’s deputy secretary of state, national security advisor and secretary of the interior.
Judge Clark was a strong supporter of Thomas Aquinas College, which is recommended as a faithful Catholic college in The Newman Guide. The Clarks’ gifts include the “17th century nave ceiling of St. Bernardine of Siena Library; the hand-rung bells in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel, rescued from a shuttered church in Chicago; and the graceful statue of Our Lady of New York, a replica of the original in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which stands in St. Thomas Plaza,” according to a release from the College.
“The nation mourns the loss of Judge Clark and, in a particular way, so does Thomas Aquinas College,” said President Michael McLean in the release. “His friendship with the College stretches back 40 years, almost to the time of our founding. Throughout the decades he was unfailingly generous with his time, with his advice, and with his financial support.”
According to his obituary, the father of five “was dedicated to the rights of the individual, from the unborn to the incarcerated, to the sick and the dying, to the under-represented.”
In 1997, Clark served as the College’s commencement speaker and was awarded the Saint Thomas Aquinas Medallion, the College’s highest honor.
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