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Craig and Wendy Clarke

Craig Clarke ‘94Craig Clarke ‘94
Director of Pharmacy Operations
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc (Walgreens Pharmacies)

Wendy Clarke ‘94Wendy Clarke ‘94
Kelley Drye & Warren

Growing up, Craig Clarke didn’t dream about going into business. “I was interested in the sciences,“ he says. “Biology, chemistry, physics. I wanted to be a doctor.“ But upon entering Southern as a freshman, he was “bitten by the entrepreneurship bug,“ and wanted to learn about starting and operating a business. Craig never lost his love for medicine, however, and after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he was able to align his education and degree with his passion. He is now the director of pharmacy and retail operations for the Delaware-market area of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. There, he works on strategies and business integration for 74 stores, including all self-service, retail pharmacies, clinics, and specialty pharmacy units. Craig was introduced to the company through an internship at a New Haven Walgreens’ store, set up by Southern’s Center for Career Services while he was a student in the early ’90s.

Wendy Clarke, Craig’s sister, discovered her career path when she was still in high school. Thanks to an engaging accounting teacher, Wendy says she knew then and there that she wanted to be a CPA. After working as an accountant and financial analyst, Wendy now is a Connecticut “Rising Star“ (Super Lawyers Magazine) with Kelley Drye & Warren. She earned her law degree from the University of Connecticut in 2009, and is a member of the bar in Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C.

The two attended Southern in part for its location — the family moved from Jamaica to New Haven when Craig and Wendy were teenagers. When they graduated high school, Southern was nearby, affordable, and offered programs the two were interested in. They graduated in May 1994 — Craig with a B.S. in business administration and Wendy with a B.S. in accounting.

Wendy admits that transitioning to a new locale and another culture as a recent immigrant was difficult. But, she says, “The school population was diverse and large enough to meet new people and cultivate lasting friendships.“ She notes that the encouragement and availability of professors helped her to feel like she fit in at Southern. Craig adds, “Southern provided an environment in which I was challenged as a student but also encouraged by knowledgeable professors and instructors who were genuinely interested in my success.“