by HALEY BURNSIDE, Senior Writer
Manhattan College’s own Provost William Clyde, Ph. D., was selected to become a member of the national board of the Salvation Army over the summer break.
Although Clyde has been involved with the Salvation Army for decades, he was surprised by his appointment to the board position.
“It really is an honor to have been selected,” said Clyde. “This organization has been around for over 150 years and it currently is working in approximately 130 countries around the world, so being involved in that extensive community is quite an honor.”
According to Clyde, he and his family have been donors to the organization for about thirty years. Recently, he used his expertise to become more involved in the logistics and strategies of the Salvation Army. He specifically worked with others in the organization through a program called Pathway of Hope.
“Pathway of Hope is basically a counseling service for families that express interest in changing how they do things. It focuses on helping parents get jobs, get access to career-based resources, get transportation for their children to school and activities, and various other resources or services that help with family life,” explained Clyde.
For the past four years or so, Clyde has worked with the Pathway for Hope to analyze and assist in the effectiveness of the different services in the program. Using his extensive experience in academic administration, as well as his background in economics, Clyde aids in assessment strategies that inform donors and Salvation Army leaders about the effectiveness of the Pathway for Hope.
“I primarily am in conversations with the people at Pathway for Hope to add another analysis of the program’s services,” said the Provost.
In addition to this involvement, Clyde contributes to conversations and discussions about strategies for some of the Salvation Army’s international programs and services. His education and background in economics help him to collaborate with other members of the organization to find solutions for global problems.
“In the past couple years I have been a part of conversations about how charity can be successful,” said Clyde. “I help look at their strategies for helping people in developing countries build their livelihood.”
The Salvation Army and its various board members are working toward a more modern and effective way of providing aid or assistance internationally.
“The old model of charity is to give people food if they are starving. That helps with the immediate struggle, but in the long run that undermines the local economy and further prevents advancement of the society,” said Clyde.
“The Salvation Army tries to assist the economy in which these communities grow. That allows for a more sustainable solution to problems that developing nations face. Even in hurricanes and natural disasters, the goal is to see beyond the immediate issue and hopefully find ways to solve present and future problems together,” said Clyde.
For a member of the Manhattan College community, the similarities between the origins of the Salvation Army and the origins of Lasallian branch of the Catholic Church are obvious. Since being invited on to the board, Clyde has looked more into the history of the organization. In doing this he became aware of the parallels between the Salvation Army and the Lasallian tradition.
“It’s a rich organization with a very heartfelt history,” said Clyde. “From the beginning it was a husband and wife who saw injustices and decided to do something about it, regardless of what the greater society thought.”
The organization, which was started by William and Catherine Booth in 1865 under the original name Christian Mission, focused on assisting the poor and disenfranchised. The couple came from an upper class of society which generally did not condone helping sex workers, child laborers or women’s rights groups. The couple used the Salvation Army (as it became known in 1878) to assist these and many more groups in the name of social justice.
“The story of William and Catherine Booth is essentially a story of people wanting to help. It resonates well with the story of John Baptist De La Salle,” said Clyde. “Both are about wealthy people switching from a very highbrow fulfilling path to a life of poverty working directly with the poor.”
For a service-oriented student like junior Kerry Cavanaugh, this new position appointment for the Provost is a good sign.
“I think it’s a testimony to what Manhattan College is all about,” said Cavanaugh. “Knowing that our administrators are so dedicated to service even beyond our college community is something that proves how big of a role service plays in our college’s mission.”
She went on to add “Provost Clyde’s appointment to the national board of the Salvation Army deserves recognition and is something we should all be proud of.”
As for his future in the Salvation Army, the Provost is hopeful and excited to join the ranks and work alongside other dedicated members to continue serving the poor.
“I do know there are a lot of engaged people who care about the mission of serving others and I’m hoping my background can add an element to the conversation that could be valuable,” said Clyde.