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Endowment honors Bill Clark

Friends, family and associates of Bill Clark, along with several members of the Las Cruces community, have established the William Dempsey Clark Music Endowment in his honor.

The endowment recognizes the achievements of former New Mexico State University music department head Bill Clark, who stepped down from the position this month. In six weeks, more than $10,000 has been raised, making this a fully-endowed fund. However, the committee hopes to raise another $15,000 before an Oct. 8 roast in Clark's honor.

Clark joined the university in 1985 and has served as head of the music department, director of NMSU bands, conductor of the Mesilla Valley Concert Band and organizer of the Las Cruces New Horizons band. During Clark's tenure as department head, the number of music majors at NMSU more than doubled and full-time flute and percussion instructors, along with adjunct oboe and bassoon instructors, were added to the faculty.

A native of Arkansas, Clark was selected Las Cruces Citizen of the Year and New Mexico Music Educator of the Year in 1989, and received the Julie Papen Arts Patron Award in 1996. Clark will remain on the NMSU music department faculty as a part-time instructor.

Half of the endowment earnings will provide scholarships, renewable for up to eight semesters, to incoming wind or percussion players who are majoring in music education. Scholarship recipients will be selected by audition and by recommendations from their high school band or orchestra instructors. The other half of the endowment is intended for music department faculty travel and professional development.

In addition to future fundraising events, a roast for Clark will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Corbett Center Ballrooms. Tickets are $30 each. For more information on purchasing tickets to the roast, call Ginger Schettler or Mike White at White's Music Box at (505) 526-6677. For more information on donations to the endowment fund, call Ron Jordan, assistant vice president for University Advancement, at (505) 646-1106.