Historical Documents

Letter from Dr. Robert D. Clark (past president of the University of Oregon) regarding the securing of the William B. Harris endowment

History of the Center for the Study of Women in Society,” prepared by Alletta Brenner, with professors Suzanne Clark and David Frank.(Copyright by Suzanne Clark and David Frank—portions of this report will be in a forthcoming book on Robert D. Clark.)

Note: “What Alletta writes is in response to our question about Robert Clark’s participation in the grant. In my view, her report gives him proper credit for recognizing the significance of Women’s Studies, supporting the efforts of those involved, and doing a good job of personal fundraising with Mr. Harris. But he would never have posed the question that way, in terms of himself. He himself always gave most of the credit to the librarian, Ed Kemp, and to the women faculty whose lively and pathbreaking work so impressed Mr. Harris, demonstrating that the UO did indeed have a real Women’s Studies program (unlike other perhaps more well-known eastern institutions in competition for the donation). Those who came to dinner with Mr. Harris included: Joan Acker (Sociology), Miriam Johnson (Sociology), Marilyn Farwell (English), and Richard Hill (Head of Sociology). Clark had already secured a letter from Harris promising the donation at that point, but it was the enduring reality of a Women’s Studies program at the UO and the dedication of those faculty members that convinced him in the first place and that kept on being convincing in the years between the promise made in 1975 and the reality of the bequest in 1983. ”— Suzanne Clark