James W. Clark Jr. ’65

James W. ClarkJames Clark has distinguished himself in the humanities by combining exceptional knowledge of North Carolina’s literary and cultural history with a commitment to public service and scholarship. A native of Warren County, North Carolina, he majored in English at Carolina before earning a doctorate from Duke University. During his 38 years as a faculty member at North Carolina State University, Clark led the Humanities Extension and Publications Program, which helped generations of public school students learn about North Carolina’s multicultural history, writers and conflicts.

Clark serves as president of the North Caroliniana Society, which promotes the state’s culture and history. Under his leadership, the society has provided financial support for the William Friday Teacher Retreats, which give teachers pedagogical strategies to teach North Carolina’s “hard history,” from slavery and the Jim Crow era to more recent struggles for civil rights. He is also a member of the advisory board of Carolina Public Humanities, a program of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Clark is the author of an insightful introduction for the UNC Press edition of Thomas Wolfe’s novella “The Lost Boy,” whose original manuscript he found and edited. He has also served as president of the Thomas Wolfe Society and Paul Green Foundation. He is the author of “Clover All Over: North Carolina’s First 4-H Century,” a history of that youth service organization.

Dr. Clark’s honors include the R. Hunt Parker Memorial Award of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities, Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence and induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame and North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame.