$12M from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation Expands Opportunities at Georgetown McDonough

The staircase and skylight of the Rafik B. Hariri Building interior, as seen from below

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The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has invested more than $12 million in the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University to support undergraduate financial aid and global real estate education, and to partner with District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools in providing leadership education.

“This investment targets important areas to the future of Georgetown McDonough—bringing in the best students through scholarships, building our faculty through the establishment of a real estate chair in honor of Mr. Clark, and supporting programs that serve our Washington, D.C., community,” says Paul Almeida, Georgetown McDonough dean and William R. Berkley Chair. “We are grateful to Georgetown McDonough alumnus, parent, and board member Robert Flanagan (B’78) for bringing us together with the Clark Foundation and for their generous support.”

This investment is the latest example of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation’s service and commitment to the Washington, D.C., region. A. James Clark was a builder whose construction projects—including the Museum of the American Indian, the United States Institute of Peace, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Nationals Park—transformed the city’s skyline and garnered global recognition. Here on the Hilltop, Clark Construction Group built the Southwest Quadrangle buildings; their work continues today with the construction of the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Medical/Surgical Pavilion. Mr. Clark and his wife Alice were dedicated to giving back to their community and established their Foundation in 1987.

Since Mr. Clark’s passing in 2015, the Foundation has continued to support projects that invest in the hardworking people of his beloved city. Mr. Clark believed in educational opportunity, and, according to the Foundation, “He never forgot that his business success began with a college scholarship.”

Commitment to Dean’s Vision

Georgetown alumnus and McDonough Board of Advisors member Robert Flanagan is president of Clark Enterprises, Inc. and a member of the Clark Foundation’s board of directors. He and his wife, Elizabeth Flanagan, are parents to three Georgetown McDonough alumni: Patrick (B’10), Timothy (B’15), and Tara (B’17).

“Through the years, we’ve seen firsthand the important work being done at Georgetown McDonough,” the Flanagans say. “Under the leadership of Paul Almeida, the school has grown and flourished, and we appreciate his focus on developing future leaders, shaping the role of business in the world, and making a direct impact on the Washington, D.C., community.”

“As a graduate of the school, I could not be more proud,” adds Flanagan. “This investment demonstrates the Clark Foundation’s confidence in Georgetown McDonough’s leadership and our commitment to Dean Almeida’s vision.”

Broadening Access to Undergraduate Business Education

The Clark Foundation will bolster the existing Robert J. & Elizabeth Flanagan Family Endowed Scholarship Fund with a $3.5 million investment. The Flanagan family established this endowed fund several years ago and have contributed to it generously over the years.

These funds are critical to the university’s ongoing priority of making a Georgetown education accessible to talented students with financial need.

“Our University has a deep commitment to ensuring that the very best students are able to attend Georgetown, and thrive as members of our community,” shares President John J. DeGioia. “The generosity of the Clark Foundation strengthens this commitment for future generations of Georgetown students, provides new avenues to support the research and teaching of our faculty, and supports leaders in our Washington, D.C. community. For all of this, and their belief in the power of education to transform individuals and communities, we are deeply grateful.”

Cultivating Real Estate Leaders

The Foundation will invest $6 million to establish the A. James Clark Endowed Chair in Global Real Estate at the Steers Center.

Matthew Cypher, Atara Kaufman Professor of the Practice and Steers Center for Global Real Estate director

“The Steers Center for Global Real Estate is so very pleased to have a relationship with the Clark Foundation,” says Matthew Cypher, Atara Kaufman Professor of the Practice and Steers Center director. “The A. James Clark Endowed Chair in Global Real Estate will lend prestige to our center and bolster our ambitions to establish a globally recognized academic program in real estate.”

The Steers Center has distinguished itself in recent years by focusing on experiential learning through clinics and internships.

Cypher—recently named one of the Top 50 Undergraduate Business Professors by the news website Poets & Quants—was instrumental in setting up a Real Estate Laboratory where students can explore everything from a building’s mechanical systems to tenant credit analyses.

“Unlike other schools that are more theory- and classroom-based, these students get to simulate the job that they would really be doing,” explains Cypher. “It’s an exceptional level of preparedness we’re providing to our students.”

Empowering Public School Administrators

The Foundation is investing $2.7 million in Georgetown’s Executive Master’s in Leadership (EML) program for District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) and public charter school principals and administrators.

Professor Robert Bies, founder of the Executive Master’s in Leadership program

The EML program for DCPS leaders was founded in 2013 with funding from the Bradley Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. In 2017, with support from the Walton Family Foundation, it expanded to include charter school leaders.

“Our cross-sector program is changing the landscape of urban public schools,” says EML founder Professor Robert Bies. “Traditionally public schools and charter schools do not cooperate or share resources as effectively as they could. At Georgetown, we are forging stronger relationships between these two types of school leaders.”

“This year, we followed the Clark Foundation’s suggestion and offered an early module on budgeting that was very well received,” Bies adds. “We have tried to be responsive to what the students want, and we are hearing that graduates feel more empowered to effect change.”

At the culmination of the program, the D.C. Deputy Mayor of Education visits Georgetown to hear about innovation projects created by EML students. Past projects have included digital access and trauma-informed certification.

Kathryn Procope (EML’18), principal of Howard University Middle School for Math and Science in Washington, D.C.

“The EML program had a dramatic effect on me as a school leader and continues to impact my practice daily,” says Kathryn Procope (EML’18), principal of Howard University Middle School for Math and Science in Washington, D.C. “It has made me a better communicator, negotiator, strategic partner.”

Procope also reinforced the importance of networking and cooperation. “Now I have 19 colleagues, who have become friends, in DCPS and local charter schools who support me and whom I partner with to provide the best education possible to the children we serve.”

About the Clark Foundation

The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation expands opportunities for those who demonstrate the drive and determination to better themselves and their communities. A. James Clark was the president of Clark Construction Group, which transformed the landscape of Washington, D.C., over the past century. Along with Alice, his wife of 65 years, Jim Clark was dedicated to giving back to the communities where they lived and worked.

The Clark Foundation partners with grantees who build practical, immediate, and concrete connections between effort and opportunity, and focuses its investments in the following areas: educating engineers to solve society’s toughest problems, supporting post-9/11 veterans and their families, and providing members of the D.C. community the best opportunity to thrive.

About Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business

Located at the global intersection of business, policy, and international relations in the capital of the United States, Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business draws upon its access to business, government, policy makers, nonprofits, and the diplomatic community, as well as the expertise of Georgetown’s other renowned schools, to bring an interdisciplinary and experiential approach to learning and scholarship. Rooted in Georgetown’s Jesuit tradition, the school prepares undergraduates, graduate students, and participants in customized executive education courses to become globally minded, principled leaders in service to business and society.