Poole Staff Spotlight: Meet Brian Clark
By Caroline Barnhill
In 2017, former Wolfpack Club director Bobby Purcell made a call to Brian Clark and asked him, “Would you be interested in coming back home?” Clark, a former Wolfpack football star who spent five seasons playing in the NFL, laughed and said, “Well Bobby, I’m actually a Florida native and I’m living in Florida right now.” But Clark understood the sentiment – NC State was his home, too.
So he came back home – accepting a job as director of major gifts where he oversaw all major gift fundraising for capital campaigns and endowment. As part of his role, he led the Wolfpack Club’s $110 million commitment to the university’s Think and Do the Extraordinary campaign. During his time as a Wolfpack Club fundraiser, he had the opportunity to interact with many Poole College alums. So, when a position opened as the college’s executive director of development and external relations, he went for it. Today, Clark works with Poole leadership to plan, direct and implement fundraising goals and major gift programs.
Q&A with Brian Clark
What is a project in your current role that you are particularly proud of?
This isn’t a project as much as it is a process. Our job in development is to tie fundraising dollars to the impact those dollars are making on our students, faculty and business community. To be able to talk to our donor base about impact is special because real change needs resourcing. I’m proud of what we’re doing and I’m confident, with our alumni, we can do even more for the college. I love when donors have that “aha!” moment where they can see how their giving is making a difference.
What’s the most memorable Poole College event you have attended?
Commencements. It’s that transitional period where you get to celebrate all you’ve accomplished while looking forward to starting a new chapter of your journey.
Why do you love being a part of Poole?
I like being a part of a college that is so tied to everything we do. Business is everywhere and what we teach here at the college is foundational – regardless of industry. Just turn on the news and you’ll hear business at the core of everything we do. Employment, inflation, economic change. Those are all areas we teach and it has a real impact on the world.
Tell us more about your life outside of Poole College.
I’m a father of two amazing kids. I’ve fallen in love with the mountains, which is ironic coming from Florida. Whenever I can, I’ll drive three or four hours west and enjoy outside. Just this past weekend I was able to spend some time with one of our college supporters in the mountains. We got to hike and explore some amazing waterfalls. I also like golfing. It’s a game that doesn’t care for me nearly as much as I care for it. Also, during the pandemic, I tried to explore in the kitchen a bit more. I’m not a culinary artist by any means, but I’m getting better. So in my free time, you’ll likely find me doing one of those three things – cooking, exploring the mountains or arguing with a little white ball that I chase around a course.
My Poole colleagues might not know…
While the nature of my job includes a lot of talking, I really enjoy sitting in the quiet. I’m not an introvert but I do enjoy quiet spaces. I’m fine with sitting with my own thoughts in a calm place.