The Williams College community was greatly saddened by the loss of Clara Claiborne Park, senior lecturer in English emerita, who passed away on Saturday, July 3. President Falk announced Park’s death to the campus in an e-mail on July 6.
Between the 1970s and 1990s, Park engaged her students as a beloved teacher who presented her diverse and visionary English classes in the truest spirit of a liberal arts education. She passionately dealt with and spoke on autism and women’s roles in literature.
Two of her greatest works, The Siege: A Family’s Journey Into the World of an Autistic Child and Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter’s Life With Autism, explore her daughter’s life with autism. These books have collected numerous accolades. Park also held honorary doctoral degrees from both the College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Park was remembered in a graveside service held this morning at the Williams College Cemetery. A resident of Williamstown, she leaves behind many family members and friends. A community memorial service is to follow later this year.