A Living Legacy

The extraordinary devotion of two parents is the inspiration for the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation’s landmark investment in financial aid.

Joe Del Guercio ’94

Mingling with guests in Stokes Hall at the May 31 celebration of the Carmine and Maria Del Guercio Scholarship, Joe Del Guercio ’94 excitedly introduced his older brother, Carmen. “He’s CEO of the Maryland Food Bank!” Joe radiates with admiration when he talks about his family. He’s proud of his brother’s accomplishments—but most of all, he’s proud of his parents.

Joe Del Guercio is president and chief executive officer of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, which has made a $10 million investment to establish a new endowed scholarship at Boston College. Named in honor of Joe’s late parents, Carmine and Maria, the scholarship will support a cohort of 12 first-generation undergraduate students with high financial need studying in the Carroll School of Management.

Joe Del Guercio ’94 (right) and his brother, Carmen (left).
Joe Del Guercio ’94 (right) and his brother, Carmen (left).

Joe is himself a first-generation graduate of the Carroll School. His parents, both immigrants from Italy, never received beyond a first-grade education. “They came here the same way a lot of other people did,” Joe reflected, “[for the] American dream—a better life.” They settled in Westfield, Massachusetts, where Carmine worked as a carpenter and Maria worked in an envelope factory. “They did everything in their power to save every penny and every dime so that I could get the best education,” says Joe. When Joe was accepted to BC he didn’t receive a scholarship. “I got into other schools with lots of financial aid, and [my parents] said, ‘we don’t want you to make your decision based on money. We want you to go where you’re going to be the happiest and most successful.’ That, to me, was BC.” Joe’s parents continued to save, and he graduated without student debt. “In many ways, I got a scholarship from them,” he says. Joe attributes his achievements to the parents who gave him so much—and now, he’s in the business of giving back. 

Since graduating from the Carroll School, Joe has led a successful career including as president and chief executive officer of Clark Enterprises, a private investment firm founded by A. James Clark, and at the Clark Foundation. The Clark Foundation, based in Maryland, focuses its philanthropy in three areas: educating future engineering leaders, improving the lives of veterans and their families, and providing members of the D.C. community opportunities to thrive. 

“[Mr. Clark] always felt very strongly about supporting the people that worked for him. He would have felt strongly, and the board felt strongly, that when the time was right, supporting something that was important to me […] would be something they really wanted to do,” Joe says. The foundation “really is all about education,” he continued, “and putting a scholarship program together at Boston College for first-generation students [… is] consistent with everything we’ve done.” The foundation’s signature engineering education program, The Clark Scholars Program, provides scholarships at 11 other prestigious colleges and universities, including Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others. 

During his remarks at the Del Guercio Scholarship celebration, Joe expressed his appreciation for the Clark family and Foundation. “I am especially grateful to the Clark Foundation Board, Courtney Clark Pastrick, Bob Flanagan, and the late Larry Nussdorf for their mentorship since I joined the Clark family nearly 20 years ago, and for their generosity and commitment to making this investment.”

University President William P. Leahy, S.J., expressed a similar sentiment during his remarks at the event when he described the scholarship as part of the “living legacy” of the Clark Foundation and Del Guercio family. “Future generations are going to be able to attend Boston College because we’ve been able to provide financial aid […] and they in turn will do things like the Clark family and the Del Guercio family.” 

For Joe, the event was a joyous culmination: “I knew at some point the sacrifices, dreams, and prayers of my parents, the support of my friends and family, and the generosity and values of Mr. Clark and the Clark Foundation would come together. And today is that day; I could not be more happy and grateful.”

Eric Bushnell

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