Ava Milam Clark was born on November 27, 1884 in Macon, Missouri. She was one of five daughters of Ancil and Louisa Milam. She attended the University of Chicago and obtained her Ph.B. in 1910 and her A.M. degree in 1911. Ava Milam Clark taught two years in public school, 1902-1904, and at Blees Military Academy (Macon, Mo.) from 1904-1907. She was an instructor of Foods and Nutrition at Iowa State College in the summer of 1911, after which she came to Oregon Agricultural College.
From 1911 until 1916 she was professor and head of the Department of Foods and Nutrition. She was made Dean of the School of Home Economics in 1917, serving in that capacity until 1950. In 1922 Clark went to China to help establish a home economics department at Yenching University in Peking. She left Oregon State College in 1931 for one year to work as a consultant in home economics at various universities in the Far East. In 1932 she was made Director of Home Economics for the Oregon State System of Higher Education.
In the summer of 1937 Clark and Alma Fritchoff conducted a home economics tour to China and Japan. For five and one-half months in 1948 she acted as a consultant in home economics colleges in Korea and China and made an educational survey in the Philippines for the Foreign Missions Conference of North America. From 1950 until 1952 Clark served as a home economics advisor to the governments of Syria and Iraq for the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). She retired from OSC in 1950 and was made Dean Emeritus.
Clark wrote many articles for various professional magazines and two books, A Study of Student Homes of China (1930), and her autobiography, Adventures of a Home Economist, with Kenneth Munford (OSU Press, 1969). Ava Milam married J.C. Clark on November 1, 1952. She received the Distinguished Service Award from OSU in 1966 and the same award from Yonsei University in 1968. Ava Milam Clark died on August 14, 1976.
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