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UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center

Helping children through the Donald L. and Janice M. Clark Family Fund

Don Clark © UC Regents
To honor his wife and her focus on children’s issues, Don Clark established the Donald L. and Janice M. Clark Family Fund to support the work of the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the UC Davis MIND Institute.

Posted April 4, 2012

It was a love story in 1954, when Don Clark, a UCLA law student, met Janice, who was studying early elementary education. They married within months.

Don Clark worked as county counsel in San Diego and Santa Clara counties, eventually becoming a Superior Court judge. Janice Clark, a former school teacher, stayed home with the family. But she remained an active children’s advocate, co-founding a nursery school in their church and working with Future Families, an agency that provided services to foster children.

This work led to the Clarks adding to their family with the adoption of a 7-year-old boy.

“We struggled a lot,” Don Clark says. “Our son had difficulties in school, and attitude problems. The support we needed wasn’t really available at that time.”

After the Clarks moved to Folsom a few years later, Janice Clark fell ill, and went into UC Davis Health System’s hospice program.

“Supporting the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities appealed to me, and it would to my wife if she were still here.”
— Donald Clark 

Because of their experience, Don Clark is now an active volunteer with the program.

But it was his wife’s dedication to children’s welfare that led Don Clark to the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) at the UC Davis MIND Institute. He and his daughter, Martha, toured CEDD’s facilities with director Robin Hansen, chief of child development and behavioral pediatrics, and were impressed.

To honor his wife’s legacy, Clark created the Donald L. and Janice M. Clark Family Fund, an endowed fund that supports CEDD’s education, research and service programs.

“The more I hear about autism and other disabilities, the more I see the need,” he says. “Janice always focused on children’s issues, and with her educational background she always knew that professional evaluation and support were important. Supporting CEDD appealed to me, and it would to my wife if she were still here.”