The nonprofit Thomas D. Clark Foundation supports the University Press of Kentucky (UPK) by helping to fund important books about Kentucky and its region, by ensuring UPK has up-to-date technologies to meet the changing demands of modern publishing, and by serving as a strong statewide advocate for the press.

The foundation, incorporated in 1994, is named after the late distinguished historian Thomas D. Clark, who played a central role in the founding of UPK. From the beginning, board members understood the importance of their mission because university presses focus on advancing scholarship rather than on commercial success, meaning that income from book sales doesn’t cover all the costs and therefore outside funding is essential.

In recent years, the foundation’s board members, who come from across the state, have worked with state administrations and with Republican and Democratic legislators to strengthen state funding for UPK. And mindful of UPK’s nationally recognized catalog of civil rights books, the board was the catalyst in the 2022 establishment of the Association for Teaching Black History in Kentucky. The association is a collaborative effort with four founding members: Berea College, where it is based; Kentucky State University; The Muhammad Ali Center, and Kentucky History Resources, LLC (a subsidiary of the Clark Foundation.) The Association seeks to recover the social, historical, and cultural contributions of black Kentuckians and to make these materials readily available to teachers in the Commonwealth.

The Clark Foundation is aligned with educational institutions across the state because UPK is a consortium serving all the state’s public colleges and universities, seven of its private colleges and universities, and two historical societies. The foundation is working to increase its $4 million endowment, the earnings from which assist in bringing many worthy projects to fruition, including books on the state’s history, culture, geography, politics, art, music, architecture, and education.



Bennie Ivory

Louisville, KY

Vice President

William Francis

Lexington, KY


David Ratterman

Louisville, KY


James W. Holsinger

Lexington, KY

Aloma Dew

Owensboro, KY

Ashley Runyon

Ex Officio Member

Lexington, KY

Bill Giles

Lexington, KY

Connie Goodman

Elizabethtown, KY

Donald Whitfield

Louisville, KY

Jeff Watts-Roy

Louisville, KY

Judy Owens

Lexington, KY

Mark A. Neikirk

Highland Heights, KY

Michael J. Hammons

Park Hills, KY

Nana Lampton

Louisville, KY

Orme “Sandy” Wislon

Louisville, KY

Raymond G. Herbert

Crestview Hill, KY

Stanley K. Macdonald

Louisville, KY

Virginia Fox

Lexington, KY

Wanda Smith

Louisville, KY

William H. Wilson

Lexington, KY