Torchbearer Clarke Caywood running with the torch. The Torch Relay in Lijiang started at 8 a.m. Zhang Zilan and He Zhensheng ran the first leg. (Photo credit: Xing Guangli/Xinhua)
Before you start squawking about the "misleading" header for this post, let me remind you that an alumnus or alumna is someone who attended a school, not necessarily a graduate. That's why Madison [Central] High School can claim Frank Lloyd Wright and Georgia O'Keeffe as alumni, even though Wright dropped out (and never graduated) and O'Keeffe transferred to another school after her sophomore year.
So yes, Clarke Caywood is a Central alumnus. He attended Central in ninth grade and was a member of the junior high football, basketball, and track teams. The following year, he joined the Shorewood School defectors and transferred to West, where he graduated in 1965.
Now back to the news: Clarke, who is now on the faculty at Northwestern University in Evanston, carried the torch on June 10, 2008 as part of the torch relay in Lijiang, China. Clarke, who has also been a visiting lecturer at several Chinese universities, was invited to be a torchbearer by Samsung Corporation.
"I'm not an athlete, but I am very honored to be part of the Olympic cause and history," Clarke told a reporter for the Northwestern University News and Information Service.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Clarke "ran about 43 meters, short of the 200 he had expected to run."
"At one point they were talking about running on cobblestone streets, and I thought, 'Oh great, I'll be the guy who falls,'" Clarke told Tribune reporter Jodi S. Cohen.
The relay has been marked by protests over China's human rights record and by pro-Tibet demonstrations. If you're interested in reading how Clarke responded to the protests, read Cohen's article.
For additional information, check out these links:
Northwestern University press release: "Professor Carries Torch for the China Olympics" (and see if you can spot the spelling error!)
His UW-Madison School of Business alumni profile
See him talking about his work at Northwestern on the video that's part of his faculty profile