Jay Clarke ’84 stepped down from Canterbury’s Board of Trustees in January of 2020. As an alumna, Jay has brought passion, care and vision to her role on the Board and has carried on her family’s legacy of leadership at the School.
Head of School Rachel Stone remarked on Jay’s impact on Canterbury: “Jay’s success as a graduate and renowned career have brought great pride and distinction to the School. She has been a strong proponent of the School’s student-centric culture, ensuring that Canterbury students are known, cared for, and challenged to be well prepared for college and for life.” Rachel went on to say, “Likewise, she has championed the School’s work in developing and maintaining an extraordinary community of educators and has advocated for facilities that support the growth and success of the academic program. Most of all, Jay has demonstrated a commitment to the relevance of Canterbury’s mission and Catholic heritage, making sure that the goal of inspiring tomorrow’s moral leaders resonates throughout everything that takes place on this hilltop.”
Jay joined the Board of Trustees in 2007 and was actively involved in several committees during her tenure, including the Education Committee (which she chaired from 2008–2012 and 2015–2020), the Executive Committee, the Facilities Committee, and the Spiritual Life Committee. Under her leadership, the School saw myriad enhancements to its student life and curricular offerings. Just some of the work overseen by Jay’s leadership includes: renovations to the David C. Copley ’70 Library to provide a more engaging space for students to work independently and in groups; the creation of the Sixth Form Project; upgrades to science classrooms and the establishment of an Innovation Lab on campus to support STEM curriculum; the prioritization of professional development and mentorship for young faculty; the conceptualization of the Donovan Center for Learning, which has become an integral part of the academic program; and the adoption of a new academic schedule that places the success and well-being of students first.
After graduating from Canterbury, Jay went on to receive her B.A. in Art History from College of the Holy Cross, MA, and then obtained her M.A and Ph.D. from Brown University, RI. Her expertise in contemporary art has earned her lead curatorial positions at the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, where she was also a lecturer in the Graduate Program in the History of Art at Williams College. Jay has authored a book and published numerous articles on the subject, and has edited several other books.
Canterbury and the Board of Trustees hosted a dinner in early February to honor Jay and her service to the School. Head of School Rachel Stone, President of the Board of Trustees Bob Steers ’71, and fellow trustees Nick Ragland ’88, P’21 and Dorothy Alpert ’78, all spoke in celebration of Jay and her many accomplishments. Bob shared the School’s appreciation for Jay’s talents and hard work: “She’s a brilliant and beautiful person. She brought intellect, experience, and talent to the Board that were unique and greatly appreciated.” Bob continued, “Jay took on any task, and did it with class and great success. She is a quiet leader and has contributed so much to Canterbury in so many different ways that it’s very difficult to quantify. She will be so missed; she is Canterbury.”
The entire Canterbury community thanks Jay for her years of wonderful service!