Brennan Clark wins William G. McGowan Scholarship for senior year at Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business

Brennan Clark wins William G. McGowan Scholarship for senior year at Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business

Image: Brennan Clark Fairfield University student Brennan Clark has been chosen to receive a prestigious William G. McGowan scholarship of $18,000 to go toward his senior year tuition in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business.

The award, which is open to students enrolled in accredited business schools throughout the country, rewards applicants who achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership skills, show intellectual curiosity, display entrepreneurial potential and are involved in campus and community activities.

The Washington, D.C.-based William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc., is a philanthropic organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to students continuing their educations in selected academic institutions. The fund is named after its late founder, a former chairman of MCI Communications Corp.

"It was an honor to be named, knowing that so many other bright students applied," said Clark, a South Hadley, Mass. resident, who holds a 4.0 GPA in his major.

Clark is majoring in finance and pursuing minors in German and accounting. He has been on the Dean's List every semester during his three years at Fairfield.

In addition to his studies, Clark finds time to work with inner city children who are directly or indirectly affected by AIDS through Sunshine Kids, a program of the Evergreen Network in nearby Bridgeport, Conn. He spends a few hours every week reading to and playing games with the children and driving to trips off the parish campus for the program, which strives to lead children by providing them with positive role models. He also organized an AIDS walk on the Fairfield campus to raise funds for the organization.

Clark has served as both president and vice president of Fairfield's German Club, and is active in the Finance Club, College Republicans, the Irish Society and Campus Ministry, where he's helped lead volunteer programs and organized new volunteers.

Among his many other achievements, Clark is a member of Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honor society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit honor society. He was named a Presidential Scholar at Fairfield for his academic achievement in high school and he's considering applying for a Fulbright scholarship.

Clark, an award-winning South Hadley High School soccer, track and basketball player, spent 2000 and 2001 coaching a third- and fourth-grade soccer team through the South Hadley Recreation Department. He sees this post as an example of his leadership potential.

"It was also important to be a positive example for them and teach them many of the disciplines and values that team sports emphasize," Clark wrote in his scholarship application.

Clark said the scholarship will be of great assistance to his family: His sister, Kaleigh, is going to be a freshman at Fairfield this fall and his brother, Shea, is a sophomore at Suffield Academy. His youngest brother, Nolan, is in seventh grade.

"It's a huge relief to my family," said Clark, who was studying in Ireland when he heard the news. "It eases the need for me to take out loans for the year."

The McGowan fund found its origins in McGowan's own struggle to finance his education. After being accepted at Harvard University for graduate work, he realized he would not have enough money to pay for his first year. McGowan ultimately benefited from a scholarship program that helped him finish his studies at Harvard.

Clark's application essay show parallels between his and McGowan's innovative, hopeful approach to life.

"Intellectual curiosity, spirit of innovation, and entrepreneurial potential are traits I have grown to embrace and will carry with me the rest of my life," he wrote. "Men who have had a significant impact on the world, such as Willian McGowan, have carried these traits and I hope to one day make such a difference."

Posted On: 08-10-2005 10:08 AM

Volume: 38 Number: 7