UST to confer honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Ron Clark, retired St. Paul Pioneer Press editorial page editor

The University of St. Thomas will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Ron Clark, retired editorial page editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, on Tuesday, April 22.

The 6 p.m. ceremony will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus. The public is welcome to attend the program as well as an open house for Clark from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

The Rev. Dennis Dease, president, said St. Thomas decided to confer the degree in recognition of Clark’s distinguished four-decade career in journalism, including the last 21 years as editorial page editor of the Pioneer Press.

The citation that will accompany the degree says, in part, “Thoughtful, incisive and well-reasoned, your insights always have been motivated by a simple desire to build a stronger city, metropolitan area and state that in turn would better meet the needs of their citizens.”

Clark, 59, joined the Pioneer Press in 1981 and instituted a series of content changes to involve readers more by giving them greater access to the opinion pages. He increased the number of letters to the editor, recruited community columnists, created the weekly Sainted & Tainted feature and annually honored Goodhue Correspondents to recognize memorable letters to the editor.

The citation also credits Clark for his work as “a champion of civic engagement” as he “promoted projects such as riverfront development that would lead to a healthier capital city.”

Mayor Randy Kelly and the St. Paul City Council also have declared Tuesday to be Ron Clark Day in St. Paul.

Clark resigned last month to devote his energy to battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


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