University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Chan Division News

Archive officially opens with Trojan Family fete

More than two years in the making, new USC Chan Archive holds rare and historically significant items.

, in General News, Student News, Alumni News

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By Mike McNulty

Grace Baranek and Florence Clark unveil the portrait honoring Clark's 42 years as a USC occupational therapy faculty member. (Photo by Glenn Marzano)

Grace Baranek and Florence Clark unveil the portrait honoring Clark’s 42 years as a USC occupational therapy faculty member. (Photo by Glenn Marzano)

Occupational therapists from across the generations convened on June 15 to celebrate the opening of a new archive and to honor newly retired Professor Emerita Florence Clark.

The USC Chan Archive at the Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign — which first began to take shape with Clark’s backing in 2016 — holds thousands of items of personal and professional significance which have been collected, curated and catalogued throughout the last two years.

“This is not my archive, it’s not the division’s archive, this is your archive,” said Associate Dean and Chair Grace Baranek to a crowd of nearly 150 people gathered at the Center for Occupation and Lifestyle Redesign, located approximately one half-mile north of the USC University Park Campus. “It is a living repository of the documents, items and materials that together tell the 76-year story of Trojan occupational therapy.”

Examples include graduate student theses dating back to the 1940s, the program’s earliest admissions pamphlets and personal effects of occupational therapy luminaries, such as a scrapbook assembled by Margaret Rood and the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps uniform jacket worn by Mary Reilly ’51.

During her remarks, Baranek recognized occupational therapy historian Christine Peters and archivist Krystal Messer for their guidance and expertise in making the archive a reality, as well as the many generous volunteers and donors who have contributed time and materials to the collection. Messer then addressed the audience and highlighted the archives’ scholarly value, both for occupational therapy and for other professions and academic disciplines.

Baranek then invited Clark to the dais, and together they unveiled an oil portrait of Clark commemorating her 42 years as an occupational therapy faculty member at USC. Clark, who was appointed a faculty member in 1976 and became its administrative leader in 1989, retired in early 2018.

Clark then addressed the audience and acknowledged her daughter, Sara Clark, and her husband, former staff member John Wolcott. Clark and Wolcott have relocated to the mountain town of Bishop, Calif., to enjoy the many occupations afforded by retired life.

The USC Chan Archive is available for viewing by appointment. In the near future, selections will also be digitally available online via USC Libraries.

View the photo album of the event.