01 Jul

Talis Colberg, Mat-Su College Director & Mrs. Mary Jane Phelps and her husband( not pictured), Mr. Ed Phelps have just established the Frank and Jennie (Kalkman) Clark Scholarship for local students at the college.

Frank and Jennie (Kalkman) Clark Photo, circa 1959, provided by Mary Jane Phelps


PALMER, ALASKA-Matanuska-Susitna College is pleased to announce that this Spring Mr. and Mrs. Phelps donated $26,000.00 to the University of Alaska Foundation. This established the Frank and Jennie Clark Memorial Scholarship- a perpetual scholarship named for the benefit of students at Matanuska-Susitna College. College director, Talis Colberg was very pleased to note that the Phelps’ generous gift has resulted in the creation of the ninth permanent scholarship fund for Matanuska-Susitna College. He noted, “Matanuska-Susitna College is now fifty-five years old and the campus is starting to gain serious benefit from the recognition that this area is in fact a college community with an enduring institution worth supporting. It is exciting to be remembered by a pioneer like Mrs. Phelps. It has been a pleasure to get to know her and see the enduring attachment she retains for her own roots in this valley. For generations to come, local college students will be able use the Clark Scholarship to pursue the goals established in memory of Frank and Jennie Clark, namely hard work and a college education. We are very grateful for the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Phelps.”

Clark-Wolverine Road on Lazy Mountain is named in part in recognition of Frank and Jennie Clark.   The Clarks established a homestead on Lazy Mountain in 1932.   The Clarks came to Alaska because Mr. Clark had attended a lecture given by M.D. Snodgrass in Detroit where he learned about opportunities through the Alaska Railroad to establish a farm in the Matanuska Valley.    The Clarks had two daughters: Mary Jane (Phelps) and Betty Jeanne (Frisk).   The Clark daughters were raised on the Lazy Mountain homestead.    Mary Jane Phelps recalls her parents strong belief that hard work and education would always serve them well.   Both daughters graduated from Palmer High School, worked hard and obtained a college education.   Mary Jane graduated from the University of Washington and Betty Jeanne received her degree from Western Washington University.   Even though Mrs. Phelps has now lived in Oregon for a long time, she has retained an abiding loyalty to her friends and memories from Palmer, Palmer High School and the Matanuska Valley.