student recipients of the Clark Scholarship

The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has made an additional investment in Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering for endowed support of the Clark Scholars Program, focusing on three vital areas: mental health, academic resources, and cultural enrichment.

The Clark Scholars Program is the signature education program of the Clark Foundation. Originating in 2016, the program provides a unique combination of financial support and dedicated faculty to students of need who exhibit strong academic and leadership potential. Today, the Clark Scholars Program is at 11 of the nation’s top engineering institutions and helps more than 475 students each year reach their full potential and become leaders in their fields.

Since the Clark Scholars Program came to Georgia Tech in 2018, it has provided services and community support to help Clark Scholars navigate their college experience, discover career opportunities, and thrive in engineering fields. This new endowed support will fund services such as academic support, mental and emotional support, and access to cultural enrichment events and programming.

Going beyond a mere scholarship, the Clark Scholars Program, said Lauren Morton, education outreach manager in the College of Engineering, “lives by Mr. Clark’s principles” by prioritizing and investing in students, helping students develop the knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the Georgia Tech experience — in and out of the classroom.

“What makes the Clark Scholars Program at Georgia Tech stand out is its individualized approach to student support,” said Joe Del Guercio, president and CEO of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation. “The program team’s personalized care for every student fosters an environment where scholars can approach their academic pursuits with optimal support, clarity, and focus. We are proud to partner with Georgia Tech as they continue providing holistic support to their students while expanding the engineering talent pipeline of the future.”

Current and past Clark Scholars attest to the importance of the program’s support. Clark Scholar Nicole Frey, a fifth-year biomedical engineering student minoring in human physiology, believes “anything is possible if you have the right people by your side.” From the start of her college career, Frey said the program “helped ground me. Coming into college, I didn’t have a sense of community. The Clark Scholars Program gave that to me from the very first moment I stepped on campus. That is what helped me thrive.”

Clark Scholar Gabrielle Wong, ChBE 2023, is excited to embark on an internship with Nestlé’s Health Science division. She credits much of her success to the program, which “enabled me to go to Tech in the first place, and it opened possibilities that I didn’t even know existed.” As a first-generation college student, the Clark Scholars support was, said Wong, “a godsend,” allowing her to attend a top-tier university without placing a financial burden on her family.

Kian Zarbaf, AE 2023, echoes this appreciation for the program. Now working as a launch engineer with SpaceX, Zarbaf said that the scholarship “gave me the ability to attend one of the highest ranked schools for aerospace engineering in the nation and pursue the career of my dreams.” Like Frey and Wong, Zarbaf spoke fondly about being part of a cohort. “The Clark Scholars Program,” he said, “made me feel accepted from the first day I walked onto campus. I cherish the friends and memories I’ve made.”

In April, the College of Engineering honored the Clark Foundation with the Dean’s Appreciation Award in recognition of the foundation’s significant philanthropic support and impact on the College and its students. At the ceremony, Raheem Beyah, dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair, highlighted how the foundation is transforming lives, and futures, at Tech. Presenting the award to Natalie Grandison, director of higher education and strategy for the Clark Foundation, Beyah said, “You and the foundation are tireless advocates for and on behalf of students, ensuring they thrive in the classroom and beyond.”

For more information about making a gift or commitment to the College of Engineering, contact Executive Director of Development David Zaksheske at