In Memoriam: Alvin Clinkscales

Alvin Clinkscales with President John Petillo

News Story: November 6, 2013

It is with great sadness that I tell you that Alvin Clinkscales passed away yesterday. During his 42 years as a staff member at this University, Alvin touched the lives of many—students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni.

Alvin first joined the University as director of Financial Aid & assistant vice president for Community/Minority Affairs. Most recently, he served as special assistant to the executive director of University Financial Assistance where he reviewed and maintained articles on higher education costs, enrollment and business services. His research, interpretation and discussion of topics and trends related to these critical areas of concern helped mold the financial aid services offered to students. He was known for providing friendly, prompt and accurate customer service. With the ever-increasing requests by phone or from students stopping by the office, his ability to work across all populations provided students with a more immediate response to their concerns. Over the years, many students have said they probably would not have come to Sacred Heart without the help of Alvin, who consistently went the extra mile for them.

Alvin also provided much-needed support not only in financial areas for scholarship athletes, but also as a mentor for personal and athletic concerns as they attempted to balance their roles as student and athlete. Don Cook, who recently retired as executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics, has shared with me that Alvin’s help was instrumental over the years in smoothing the way for minority athletes interested in attending SHU.

Alvin was an all-state player at Central High School in Bridgeport and went on to Arnold College, which merged into the University of Bridgeport in 1953. He was drafted by the New York Knicks but chose instead to play with the Harlem Globetrotters. Some of the words that those who knew him best have used to describe him include happy, caring, empathetic and—most often—humble. He was truly a special person, and we at Sacred Heart were blessed to have him as a member of our community for so many years.

Funeral services will take place for Alvin on Saturday at 10 a.m. here at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. A reception will follow in the narthex. Our thoughts and prayers are with Alvin’s friends and family and with all of you who knew and loved him.

To read a tribute to Alvin in the Connecticut Post, click here.  

John J. Petillo, Ph.D.

Family members and friends of Alvin gather in his memory on November 9, 2013.