Branden Parker Aviation
James and Andrea Clarke established the Branden Parker Aviation Scholarship Fund in 2014 to benefit financially needy Utah Valley University students enrolled in the aviation program.
James and Andrea Clarke started Clearlink, a marketing firm in Salt Lake City, in 2001. After selling the business about 10 years later, they moved their young family to Provo to begin a new chapter. James established Clarke Capital Partners, a family office that invests in growth companies. His company aims to continue elevating the caliber of entrepreneurship in Utah Valley and the Rocky Mountain West.
James has served as chair of the UVU Foundation Board for several years and has helped take the Foundation and the University to the next level. The board has shattered fundraising records and has implemented a more sophisticated approach to managing Foundation assets.
Likening UVU to an early MIT, James explains that both started out as trade/tech schools, then grew into universities. “For a lot of years, MIT was written off as a little tech and trade school, and it’s interesting to see what has happened over time. It’s one of the world’s great universities today, and I think UVU is on a similar path. You can see the great foundation that’s been laid in the past and where the university is going today under wonderful leadership. UVU is now predominantly a first-choice university.
Branden Evan Parker of South Jordan, Utah, a captain with Classic Aviation, died from colon cancer in 2014.
Branden was born in Voorhees, N.J., and was raised in Chester Springs, Penn. He graduated from Downingtown High School in 1994 where he excelled in baseball as a left-handed pitcher, first baseman, and switch hitter, and he also played soccer. He graduated from West Chester University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. He worked in the corporate arena for eight years before pursuing his true passion — flying. He attended ATP flight school, received his pilot rating, and became an instructor before working at Classic Aviation. Apart from flying, Branden enjoyed training for triathlons.
Branden’s last job was flying the Lear 60 jet belonging to James Clarke Industries. Mr. Clarke, his wife, and their three children were his frequent visitors while Branden was in the hospital. Shortly before Branden’s death, the Clarke Family established an aviation science scholarship in Branden’s name at Utah Valley University.