MELBOURNE—The Florida Institute of Technology community is mourning the loss of G. Denton Clark, a Trustee Emeritus who supported the university since its earliest days and played a critical role in its founding. Clark, 93, passed away Sunday, Aug. 20.
The retired president of RCA Inc.’s Canadian Division had been an original member of the university’s Board of Trustees dating to its establishment as Brevard Engineering College in 1958. At that time, Clark managed the RCA missile test project at Cape Canaveral and was Founding President Jerome Keuper’s boss.
“There is no question in my mind that our university would not have survived its infancy without the support and dedication of men like Denton Clark,” said Florida Tech President Dwayne McCay. “Denton gave decades of his time and talent to help Florida Tech become what it is today. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. He will be deeply missed.”
“When it became known that BEC (Brevard Engineering College) could turn into the institution it is today, I encouraged Jerry to resign,” Clark recalled in a 2007 interview. “It was the first time I ever encouraged an outstanding employee to resign from RCA. What impressed us (about BEC) was that it offered a stabilizing influence to our workforce.”
In the university’s formative period, Clark was one of the leaders who helped the university meet three critical challenges: suitable classrooms, funding and accreditation. In more recent years, Clark had served on a fundraising committee to build a statue in honor of Keuper on the Academic Quad behind the President’s Office. “We hope the statue will be a source of inspiration to all who pass by,” Clark said in 2007 when the fundraising drive began. “It will be a reminder to all about his contributions to Florida Tech, Brevard County and the nation.” The statue was dedicated in 2009.
In 2006, the Florida Tech Alumni Association honored Clark with its highest honor, the Lifetime Service Award, acknowledging his longstanding support of the university.
Clark resided in Melbourne. Final arrangements have not been announced.