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5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester – Tuesday, Jan. 14

Clark University Names its 10th President

Clark’s got a new leader at the helm. The Clark University Board of Trustees yesterday announced David B. Fithian, Ph.D., has been unanimously elected as Clark’s 10th president.

Fithian, a 1987 graduate of Clark, currently serves as executive vice president at the University of Chicago. He begins his duties on July 1, succeeding David P. Angel, who retires in June after serving as Clark’s president for 10 years.

Fithian described the opportunity to become president of his alma mater as “singular,” crediting Clark for inspiring him to pursue a life in higher education and expressing a desire to help the University and its current students achieve even greater success and recognition. 

“I’m drawn to pursuing big ideas, to embracing challenges, and facing tough questions,” he said in a statement. “I have a sense that many at Clark today are thinking big as well. I look forward to developing a shared understanding across the University about where we want to go and how best to get there.”

Fithian has been a central figure at the University of Chicago, with roles spanning financial strategy, campus master-planning, major capital developments, oversight of the University’s public programs for the arts, executive recruitment, and designing the University’s campaign, which exceeded its $5 billion goal. Before joining Chicago, he served for 12 years at Harvard University, holding key positions in student academics and well-being, and faculty governance.

In addition to his B.A. degree in sociology and English from Clark, he earned his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees in sociology from Yale.  Fithian is married to Michael R. Rodriguez, Ph.D.

David B. Fithian, Ph.D./Clark University


Local PD Welcomes Therapy/Comfort Dog (A Really Fluffy, Cute One) to Its Squad 

The Douglas Police Department yesterday welcomed K9 Finn as its newest member. Finn is an 8-week-old Labrador who was donated to the department from Peggi and David Brogan of Boonefield Labradors. Over the next year, Finn’s going to be trained as a therapy/comfort dog and will spend most of his time visiting our schools, adult social center, library and other community events. 

“For the next couple of months he will be spending most of the time at the station getting adjusted to his new environment,” said the PD in an announcement. “A very special thank you to Peggi and David from Boonefield Labradors for making this happen for our department and community. Boonefield has a mission and has donated other dogs.” 


Worcester Program for Addiction Recovery Gets $25,000 From Reliant

As part of its latest round of community grants, Reliant Foundation gave Worcester Program for Addiction Recovery (WPAR) a $25,000 grant. The grant was given after a brief speaking program with comments from Chief Steven Sargent, District Attorney Joe Early, Rebecca Zwicker of Worcester PAR and representatives of Reliant Foundation.

Launched in 2017, and funded largely through community financial support, the program is for preventative and reactive outreach in the community to combat the opioid crisis. Families can receive recovery support through programs and resources offered by WPAR. Volunteer Recovery Coaches are also available 24/7 to meet individuals in the hospital following an overdose, helping to arrange critical post-episode services for detox and recovery.