The Ava Milam Clark Papers document
Clark's role as Dean of Home Economics at Oregon State College from 1917 to
1950 and her international activities as a consultant to home economics
programs in China, Japan, Korea, Iraq, and Syria.
Funding for encoding this
finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for
Ava Milam Clark was born on November 27, 1884 in Macon, Missouri. She
was one of five daughters of Ancil and Louisa Milam. She attended the
University of Chicago and obtained her Ph.B. in 1910 and her A.M. degree in
1911. Ava Milam Clark taught two years in public school, 1902-1904, and at
Blees Military Academy (Macon, Mo.) from 1904-1907. She was an instructor of
Foods and Nutrition at Iowa State College in the summer of 1911, after which
she came to Oregon Agricultural College.
From 1911 until 1916 she was professor and head of the Department of
Foods and Nutrition. She was made Dean of the School of Home Economics in 1917,
serving in that capacity until 1950. In 1922 Clark went to China to help
establish a home economics department at Yenching University in Peking. She
left Oregon State College in 1931 for one year to work as a consultant in home
economics at various universities in the Far East. In 1932 she was made
Director of Home Economics for the Oregon State System of Higher Education.
In the summer of 1937 Clark and Alma Fritchoff conducted a home
economics tour to China and Japan. For five and one-half months in 1948 she
acted as a consultant in home economics colleges in Korea and China and made an
educational survey in the Philippines for the Foreign Missions Conference of
North America. From 1950 until 1952 Clark served as a home economics advisor to
the governments of Syria and Iraq for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO). She retired from OSC in 1950 and was made Dean Emeritus.
Clark wrote many articles for various professional magazines and two
A Study of Student Homes of China (1930),
and her autobiography,
Adventures of a Home Economist, with Kenneth
Munford (OSU Press, 1969). Ava Milam married J.C. Clark on November 1, 1952.
She received the Distinguished Service Award from OSU in 1966 and the same
award from Yonsei University in 1968. Ava Milam Clark died on August 14,
The papers of Ava Milam Clark consist of seven boxes containing
correspondence from 1903 until 1971; speeches on the Orient; information on
Chinese family customs; Food and Agriculture Organization monthly reports;
information on education in Syria, Iraq, and the Philippines; travel
itineraries; radio talks, 1933-1954; notes; quotations; photographs; awards;
information on home economics at OSU; newspaper clippings; student reports and
term papers; her two books; and various items belonging to J.C. Clark, her
husband. The reel of microfilm consists of J. C. Clark's YMCA letters and
reports from 1911-1918.
Boxes 1-4 were rearranged according to accepted rules for manuscript
collections. Boxes 5 and 6 consist of information used in writing her
autobiography and were transferred to the Archives by the OSU Office of
Publications. The two boxes were left in the order received. Box 7 consists of
photographs of Ava Milam and Jesse Clark, friends and family; Ava Milam Clark's
travels abroad; and her homes in Corvallis and McKenzie Bridge, Oregon.
Use of the Collection
Preferred Citation :
Ava Milam Clark Papers, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis,
Organized into several groupings by type of material. Most groupings
Related Materials :
Other materials pertaining to Clark and home economics are available in
the College of Home Economics and Education Records (RG 141) and Photographs (P
44) and the Ava Milam & Jesse C. Clark Photographic Collection (P 152).