Tuesday, January 5, 2021

“Whatever it takes” – UIS official led with love

Dr. Clarice Ford lived a storied life before coming to Springfield where her impact will be felt for generations to come. Her first positions at University of Illinois Springfield, in 2008, were executive director of the diversity center and associate vice chancellor of student services. In 2014, she became the vice chancellor for student affairs. She died earlier this year after a brief illness.

Ford’s best known phrase was “whatever it takes” – a missive to students to graduate and succeed no matter the obstacles. 

One testament to the power of her mentorship is evident in her protégé, Justin Rose, a former student who is now in the position she first held at UIS as director of the diversity center. Rose said Ford’s role in the lives of students often transcended that of adviser. Many came to call her “Mama Ford."

Ford’s legacy will live on, not only in the countless students whose lives she touched, but also in a UIS fund in her name and a planned section of the UIS library in her honor. The Outlet has also set up a scholarship fund in her name. 

This story appeared in the Illinois Times on December 31, 2020.