The UCLA Department of Urology has received a $4.6 million gift from the estate of Frank and Dorothy H. Clark, longtime benefactors who helped to create leading-edge pediatric and adult urology centers in Westwood and Santa Monica.

The gift, from the Clarks’ testamentary trust, will help endow the Clark Urology Centers at UCLA’s Westwood and Santa Monica campuses, said Dr. Mark Litwin, chairman of the urology department.

“Frank was a tireless supporter of our faculty and programs in urology and I am honored to have witnessed the relationship he forged with us,” Litwin said. “This generous and unconditional gift, the first installment of Frank’s bequest to the Clark Urological Center, will support the department’s ongoing research, educational and clinical endeavors and is sure to inspire new innovations leading to improved treatments and, ultimately, cures for various urologic conditions.”

A gift of similar size will be made to the department next year, Litwin said.

In addition to supporting the Clark Urology Centers for adults in Santa Monica and Westwood, Clark also played a critical role in the creation in 1993 of the Clark Morrison Pediatric Urology Center, which allows UCLA to provide a comprehensive approach to the care of children with congenital conditions. The center’s goal is to minimize a child’s discomfort and stress while streamlining the diagnostic and treatment process.

A UCLA alumnus, Clark attended Hastings College of Law, but was called to active duty in 1941 after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He served five years in the Office of Naval Intelligence and returned to Hastings after his discharge, graduating in 1946 as valedictorian. He served as executive vice president and general counsel to the May Department Store Co. for more than 25 years.

In 1980, Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Clark to the University of California Board of Regents, where he served for more than 20 years, including a stint as its chair. In 2004, Clark received the UCLA Medal, the university’s highest honor awarded to an individual. He died at age 90 in 2008

UCLA Urology consistently ranks among the top five in the nation in the annual survey published by U.S. News & World Report. The department also has ranked first in competitive research funding from the National Institutes of Health for the last two years. The department focuses on translational research — bringing the best basic science from the lab bench to the bedside to the community.

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