We Don't Stop Here: Women's Success Center Honors Andrea Clarke

The Utah Valley University Women's Success Center honored Andrea Clarke with the Illumine Award (formerly the Rainmaker Award) at a luncheon Nov. 8 for her outstanding service and advocacy for women.

UVU Illumine Award is given to Andrea Clarke. James Clarke spoke and Jennette Bennett was MC

On behalf of Women's Success Center students who have benefited from Clarke's work, Katie Brough, a senior majoring in hospitality management, thanked Clarke for her leadership of the Women's Success Center Advisory Board. Brough said that the kindness and support she had received on UVU's campus inspired her to emulate Clarke and give back for the benefit of others.

Presenting the award, Heather Kahlert said, "The first time I met Andrea. I saw her at a luncheon. . . . She brought in not only dollars but love and support and tons of volunteers for the students, for the Women's Success Center, and for this university. I was so impressed." Referencing the name of the award (Illumine), she said, "I remember thinking, that woman radiates light."

Illumine Award

Andrea Clarke gave thanks for the award, saying, "I love everything about the Women's Success Center, and I'm so thrilled to be able to share it with so many of you who maybe don't know enough about . . . what we do. We help women graduate, we help them stay in school. We raise money for them so that they can get a degree. . . . I follow in the footsteps of some amazing women. . . . I feel a little silly standing up here alone, because it's a team effort."

Andrea Clarke's husband, James Clarke, who serves as chair of the UVU Foundation Board, spoke of his gratitude and admiration for his wife. He called her a purveyor of light and said, "I'm grateful to share life with you . . . . May you do more in your life, may you continue to do those things that will bless people's lives, and as you do so, I will continue to hold your purse."

President Astrid S. Tuminez responded to his purse joke, saying, "Indeed, behind every great woman is the purse holder." She added, "This institution sits on the shoulders of giants, and Andrea, you're one of them." She pointed out that the Women's Success Center Scholarship had already led to a 17 percent higher graduation rate for UVU women.

"This is not to say that women are so weak and helpless they need all this help — it's just that sometimes from the get-go, the race that women run is somewhat different from the race that men run. . . . We know that there are hurdles there that should not be there, whether they're cultural or economic or self-doubt, and we're going to address those." She added, "We don't stop here, the work has only just begun."