A “Teammate with Heart” Scholarship to Honor Gage Clark’s Memory

Gage Clark

The University of Virginia College at Wise (UVA Wise) announced this week that an endowed scholarship has been established in honor of Gage Clark, a UVA Wise student who passed away unexpectedly on March 23, 2023.

“Gage had an infectious smile that brought joy to everyone he knew. Gage was widely respected and loved by his coaches and teachers and was the ever-supportive teammate. He was a wonderful person and was a friend to all,” said Diane Collins, Gage’s step-grandmother and a 1987 alumna of the College, who established the scholarship along with her husband, Bobby. “His uplifting personality touched many lives and will be profoundly missed. Gage would do anything for anybody, from taking a friend to catch a bus three hours away and staying to make sure they were safe, to giving a person on campus a ride to class he didn’t know just because it was raining.”

Clark was a sophomore at UVA Wise, where he played offensive line for the football team and majored in sports management after graduating from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  He was a resident of Cedar Bluff, Virginia.  Now, a scholarship that honors his legacy will help future Highland Cavaliers with their academic and athletic pursuits in perpetuity.

“It was obvious how big Gage’s heart was,” said Collins.  “He was the most polite young man I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. If you pulled in the driveway with groceries, he wouldn’t let you carry a single bag.” 

Collins adds that she’ll never forget the legacy she knows he left at the College after his friends told the family moving stories of his kindness following his passing.

“Gage was an immensely supportive teammate, and he is missed by his team and classmates at the College,” says Kendall Rainey, director of athletics at UVA Wise.

After Clark’s passing, his fellow students had a bench on campus dedicated in his memory, says Valerie Lawson, vice chancellor for advancement and alumni engagement at UVA Wise. Now, Lawson hopes the scholarship, too, will bring comfort and pride to Clark’s friends as it will add to his ongoing legacy at the College and further his service to others.

“I remember students saying how he would pick up people late from the airport,” Lawson said. “That’s just the kind of true friend he was to those in need.” 

If you’d like to honor Gage’s memory and help UVA Wise students, please consider making a gift online or by sending a check to UVA Wise Foundation, 1 College Avenue, Wise, VA 24293. To give online, visit, click “General Scholarships” and indicate that your gift is in memory of Gage Clark in “In Memory Of” field.