One hundred years have passed since TCU founders Addison and Randolph Clark moved the university to Fort Worth. Today a new set of Clark brothers, descendents of the originals, have careers entirely unaffiliated with academics.
Brothers Scott and Eric Clark race cars and work at a body shop. They have been running Clark Bros. Paint & Body in Arlington for more than 21 years. Also differentiating themselves from their ancestors, neither Scott nor Eric has a college degree.
“We all started working when we were 10 years old and learned how to take care of ourselves at a young age and grew up pretty quick,” Eric said.
Eric said his parents wanted the brothers to learn take care of themselves at a young age and have a strong work ethic.
Scott used that work experience to land a job at General Motors right out of high school. Although he runs a successful business and is following his passion, Scott sometimes looks back and wonders what could have been if he had attended college. He said he’s glad that things worked out for him.
“You always think back about how your life would be if you went to college and got a degree,” Scott said, “I was one of the fortunate few that went to work at GM. To me it’s a Cinderella story life that it worked out for me. It doesn’t happen that way for a lot of people. It takes a degree to get anywhere nowadays.”
The brothers’ passion for cars started when they were young. Their neighbor had a racecar that always interested the brothers. Once they started working on the car they got hooked, Scott said.
“When we were kids growing up, the guy down the street had a car and we helped him build. It just gets in your blood,” he said.
After working on the neighbor’s car, Eric wanted to start racing. When he was 15 he raced on the track for the first time on a motorcycle. Eric said it only progressed from there.
“We started racing Volkswagens,” he said. “Then we got our own car when we opened up our shop. Now we’re starting at the bottom and trying to work our way to the top.”
Scott said the brothers heard stories about Addison and Randolph founding TCU but never paid much attention to it.
“When I was a kid growing up they used to tell us the story of our great-great-grandfather founding TCU,” he said. “I guess as a kid you don’t think much of it.”
Scott and Eric don’t visit TCU very often, but said some of their fondest memories are family reunions held on campus, including their grandmother’s 100th birthday party.