Freddie (Fred) McArthur Clark, beloved professor and student advisor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, passed away on September 5, 2014 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, after a short illness, surrounded by a brother and his loving, self-made family of friends.
Born October 29, 1943 in Marianna, Florida, Fred became the first in his family to graduate from college, receiving his B.A in 1964 and Ph.D. in 1968 in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Florida.
He joined the faculty of the Department of Romance Languages at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967, where he taught for 45 years before retiring in 2014. Carolina was his life. During this time, he developed the largest Portuguese program in the United States and an outstanding graduate program in Brazilian and Portuguese literature. He also published numerous books and articles on Brazilian theatre and women playwrights in Brazil.
Fred was a popular and dedicated teacher at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, mentoring the graduate work of numerous students who have gone on to excel professionally in Brazilian and Portuguese studies in both the United States and Brazil. He also served as Editor of the Journal Hispanófila. In addition to his work in the Department of Romance Languages, he served as Associate Dean for Academic Services of the College of Arts and Sciences for several years.
Instead of retiring after 35 years at Carolina, Fred chose to deepen his role in the lives of students and the direction of the University. He was appointed in 2004 as the Faculty Academic Coordinator for the newly created Carolina Covenant, a program designed to help high-achieving, low-income, students come to Carolina and graduate debt-free. In this role, Fred pioneered a rich program of academic and personal support services to ensure student success, personally welcoming thousands of students to campus and guiding them toward a college degree. The Carolina Covenant was a fitting capstone to his 45 years of teaching and mentoring students, and Fred often remarked that he had received from more from his Covenant experience than what he had given.
Fred will always be remembered for his abundance of energy, sense of humor, unselfishness, and above all, his accessibility to and compassion for students. The success and well-being of students was the singular focus of Fred's life, and his memory is carried by thousands of alumni across North Carolina and across the world.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents Sam Arthur Clark and Josie Mae Hinson Clark, as well as his sisters Juanita Windham, Sara Taylor, and Margaret Gargis.
He is survived by his brother, Robert (Sonny) Clark, and his sister Betty Sauls, both of Gainesville, Florida, as well as his brother Dr. David Clark of Blacksburg, Virginia and sister-in-law Sue Clark, also of Gainesville, and several nieces and nephews. He will be dearly missed by his family and his devoted friends in Chapel Hill.
Fred asked that in lieu of flowers, donations should be directed to the Carolina Covenant Expendable Fund at UNC Chapel Hill.
A memorial service will be held at UNC's Memorial Hall at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, September 20. All are welcome. A reception will follow.