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01-17-2006

Clarkson's Oldest Living Alumnus Passes

Joy's first job was as a sales engineer for the Westinghouse Company. In 1937, he joined the Wheelco Instruments Company. Starting as a sales engineer, he soon became manager of the company's Cleveland office, then district manager, zone manager and finally regional vice president.

While at Clarkson, Joy was a member of Phalanx, Tau Beta Pi fraternity, and president of his senior class. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. After graduation Joy became active in the Clarkson Alumni Association and served 17 years as a Clarkson Trustee. He remained connected to the University the remainder of his life.

An entrepreneur at heart, Joy left Wheelco in 1948 and formed the Clarke H. Joy Company, a manufacturer of controls and allied equipment in Bay Village, Ohio. When he retired, Joy turned the successful business over to his son, Bill, a 1964 Clarkson graduate.

Clarke H. Joy, a 1929 Clarkson University graduate and trustee emeritus, died Monday, January 16, after being hospitalized briefly near his home in Westlake, Ohio. His involvement with Clarkson spanned more than eight decades, 11 Clarkson presidents, and the growth of Clarkson from a regional technological college to a nationally ranked research university.

Joy was born June 3, 1907. His father moved the family from Newton Falls, New York, to Potsdam in 1920. The family became friends with the Clarkson sisters, founders of Clarkson University. Joy was asked once why he had chosen to attend Clarkson and he responded, "Why would you want to go to another school when you have such a great one in your own town?"

Joy was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from Clarkson in 1962 for his many entrepreneurial accomplishments, civic generosity and his unwavering support of the University. He was awarded a Clarkson Golden Knight Award the following year. Presented each year during Alumni Reunion weekend, the Golden Knight Award, Clarkson's highest alumni honor, is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves either by service to Clarkson through Alumni Association activities or have demonstrated outstanding career achievement, bringing distinction to themselves and to Clarkson.

"Clarke set the bar for other alumni,�h said Clarkson President Tony Collins. There were 350 Clarkson students when he first came to Clarkson and he helped guide the University through nearly 80 years of growth and change. While still a student he helped build Snell Field. Though busy building a career and launching a business, he gave his time unselfishly to serve the needs of Clarkson. Clarke donated generously to Clarkson projects, spent decades facilitating career networking opportunities for students, attended approximately 25 Clarkson reunions, and, of course, sent his son and grandson, Jonathan C. Joy (1995) to be educated here. We will all miss him very much."

There is another story told on Clarkson's campus bearing witness to Joy's generosity and compassion. Upon learning the son of one of his employees wanted to become an engineer but couldn't afford college, Joy offered to sponsor the student for four years at Clarkson. Upon graduation, the new engineer asked Joy how much he owed him. "You don't owe me a thing," Joy told him, "but I hope someday you will do something good for Clarkson." The young man was Ralph E. Hawes Jr., Class of 1955. Hawes became Executive Vice President, Missiles and Electronics with General Dynamics Corporation and Chair of the Clarkson Board of Trustees from 1991 - 1997.


[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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