Victoria Sprang, retired from the UW after 26 years of service, established IAS’s first-ever scholarship endowment in honor of her mother Nony Clark Milmoe to recognize her dedication to higher learning and the sacrifices that paved the way for her children and their children to pursue their academic dreams. Victoria chose the Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics at UW Bothell because of the program’s emphasis on inquiry—why we write how and what we write—and because MFA students are encouraged to consider the global and local issues facing society in their writing as well as to extend their practice to include other art forms.
Make a gift today and join Victoria in supporting scholarships for IAS students.
Nony Clark Milmoe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Her father, Henry Wadsworth Clark, was a student, history professor, and football coach at Harvard. Her mother, Merle McClellan Clark, graduated from Bellingham Normal School (now Western Washington University) and taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Spokane, WA before marrying Henry Clark and moving east. They had six children, one of whom died very young. Nony is the youngest of four daughters and one son.
When Nony was three the family moved to Easton, Pennsylvania where her father taught history and was director of athletics at Lafayette College. From an early age, Nony worked hard for her family’s welfare. She and her siblings spent summers on their farm growing and preserving food for the rest of the year. Growing up in an academic family, she also developed a strong respect for the importance of education.
During her teens, Nony’s life took a dramatic turn when her mother and father divorced and her mother moved back west to Seattle, WA. It was there that she and her older sister (and best friend) Janet attended Roosevelt High School and then the University of Washington—where they pledged sororities and began their exciting college careers. While at UW, Nony met her first husband and had their first child. After the birth of their son, Nony decided to quit school to raise him while her husband continued his studies at UW.
In the early 1960s, Nony and her family moved to San Francisco, where they quickly embraced the artistic community as writers and actors in an avant-garde acting troupe called The Overplayers. Nony, a natural actor, found immediate success and joy on the stage. Soon thereafter she found herself a newly single mom. She tried many times to finish her degree, but raising her children and providing a stable home life was her first priority. She instilled the importance of education in her children, and her two daughters went on to earn Bachelor’s degrees from Western Washington University and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Her son is self-taught and shares his love of reading with his mother.
Nony has spent her life attending higher education classes, including several years studying classic Russian Literature while working and traveling with her beloved husband Robert Milmoe. They set off to sail around the world from San Francisco and landed in the San Diego area, deciding it was a good place to set down roots. They spent their first 10-15 years there living on their sailboat before moving to dry land.
Nony’s oldest granddaughter graduated from UW Bothell’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and Seattle University with a Master’s in Education. Her youngest granddaughter is an alum of Western Washington University, carrying on the tradition of two other Clark women, Nony’s mother and youngest daughter.
Noni, 2nd from left, with member of the Overpalyers