Alumni Spotlight: Brenda Clark (’83 MBA)

Brenda Clark completes the Disney Marathon
Brenda Clark (’83 MBA)

Brenda Clark (’83 MBA), has seen Campbell University grow first-hand over her lifetime – first from a two-year institution to a four-year school, then adding a Master of Business Administration program in 1978. Clark began her education at Campbell University in 1960, where she spent two years before transferring to Meredith College. However, two decades later, Clark returned to Campbell, where she made history as a member of the first MBA class to include female students, all while still running a household. She currently resides in Raleigh, where she enjoys pursuing fitness and spending time with her family and church.

We asked Brenda a series of questions. Read her responses below:

What did you do before returning to college and what made you decide to continue your education?
I married and raised three daughters. As my children were getting older, I wanted options for returning to work in a professional career.

What did you do after graduation from the MBA program?
I began my career as a budget personnel professional with the State of North Carolina, where I worked for 30 years until I retired. At retirement  in 2015, I was honored by the governor of North Carolina with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This most prestigious award is presented by the Governor of North Carolina to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state .

Pictured: Brenda Clark and daughter, Angela Marshall (left), ready for the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

What was it like to be one of the first women to pursue a Master of Business Administration at Campbell?
While I was the only woman in most of my classes, I was treated as an equal. I felt supported and made many friends along the way. Balancing family life and school obligations was sometimes a challenge but I had help from friends and family to make it work.

Campbell now has a much higher percentage of women in the business school than it did in 1983. How does that increase make you feel?
I like to think that I was a role model for my daughters and other women. It’s encouraging to know that pursuing an MBA is a more common aspiration among the generations of women who followed me.

Tell us more about your current hobbies and goals.

I’ve been running since the jogging fad in the 1970s, and I have completed several races over the years, including half marathons. I just completed my fifth Disney Princess Half Marathon at the age of 77. Outside of running, I enjoy working in my garden and volunteering as a member of my church community.

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