Deacon Bill Clark to Receive 2024 Senator Joe Prather Distinguished Alumni Award

Saint James Catholic School will award the 2024 Senator Joe Prather Distinguished Alumni Award to Deacon Bill Clark during the school’s annual Black and White Knight Auction & Gala on February 3, 2024. The award was established in 2022 to honor an attendee of Saint James Catholic School or any other school associated with Saint James Catholic Church, including Elizabethtown Catholic High School.

Bill Clark was born on March 20, 1948, in Elizabethtown. He attended St. James Catholic School and Elizabethtown Catholic High School graduating in 1966. He married his wife Nicki in 1969 after attending Bryant Stratton Business College. Upon completion, he began his career at Citizens Bank as a loan officer. He continued his education through courses offered at the University of Virginia and the University of Central Florida, obtaining a Certificate of General Banking and Lending. His career then took him to First Federal Saving Bank and PNC bank where he served as vice president. He retired after over 40 years in banking as Senior Vice President of The Cecilian Bank.

Throughout this time he has been active in many clubs and organizations, including the A.M Rotary, Optimist Club, Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Trail Home Builders, Ministerial Association, Hardin County Jail Ministry, Knights of Columbus Council 1455, and the Monsignor McGee General Assembly of the Fourth Degree of the Knights of Columbus. He has served in various leadership roles in these groups including President, Grand Knight and treasurer. He was also instrumental in implementing the Squires Organization, a group aimed at encouraging young men to join the Knights of Columbus.

Bill has been a lifelong member of St. James Catholic Church and has practiced his faith in his home parish for 75 years. He was ordained to the Diaconate of the Archdiocese of Louisville in 1996 and has served as a Deacon for twenty-seven years. He has served on Parish Administration Staff, the Finance council, the  Formation Committee, and the Archdiocesan personnel board of the Diaconate. He and his wife have taught religious education classes, marriage preparation classes and led Christian Awakening Retreats.  He and his wife were instrumental in bringing couple to couple marriage sponsorship program to St. James. 

Bill has enshrined a love of catholic education in his children and grandchildren and has contributed to the school by serving on the PTO, the School Board, and the building committee.

The award’s namesake, Sen. Joe Prather, was a former Kentucky State Senator and Representative. Sen. Prather also served as the Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet and the Transportation Cabinet for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1967, serving three terms, including a term as majority whip.

Born and raised in Hardin County, Sen. Prather attended Elizabethtown Catholic High School during his freshman, sophomore and junior years before graduating from Vine Grove High School in 1957. He then went on to attend the University of Louisville.