Stephanie Highsmith, Crystal Hankins, Brent Young
Ben Clark first attended Tennessee Technological University in the 1990's to pursue his undergraduate degree. As a student there, he became a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where he was an active member and dedicated brother to his organization. Evantually, due to a career opportunity, Ben decided to leave school and pursue a transfer opportunity he was given through his employer. After leaving school, Ben knew he still wanted a degree. After several years, he decided to return to Cookeville and Tennessee Technological University, which he had considered home for so many years. Ben completed his civil engineering degree, and began working as an engineer in Knoxville. Although he moved after completing his degree, he continued to make multiple trips back to Cookeville, for events such as Homecoming, as well as FIJI events.
In 2009, on a visit, Ben was not feeling well. Upon prompting from caring friends, he eventually saw a doctor where he was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Though only in his 30's, he was given weeks to live. For most, this would have been a devastating blow; however, Ben, as was typical, took it as a challenge. Ben remained active with events at TTU, continued his career, and traveled extensively both foreign and domestically. Whenever treatments were not effective, he sought something else. He lived his life determined to fight as long as he could fight.
In late 2012, Ben's health began deteriorating. He was diagnosed with brain cancer. He had brain surgery in January 2013, and his request prior to surgery was to send him some of his favorite foods from Mamma Rosa's. So Stephanie Highsmith worked out an overnight flight of his favorite foods, packaged in a TTU cooler, and sent him his favorite things from Cookeville, with the promise of meeting him for an impending campus activity as soon as he was well. Unfortunately, he never made that trip back to campus, as he passed away in February 2013, nearly four incredible years longer than he was supposed to have made it.
Because of Ben's dedication for his education, his love of his fraternity, and his passion for life, his friends found it fitting to honor his memory with a scholarship in his name. Establishing the Ben Clark Memorial Scholarship will allow others to attend school at TTU and pursue their dreams, just as Ben did.
Scholarships associated with Stephanie Highsmith, Crystal Hankins, Brent Young