Daughters fund scholarship to honor father

The daughters of Paul Clayton ’35, a mathematics and physics major who became assistantchief engineer at Ford Motor Co., have committed $400,000 to endow a scholarship fund for students who show an interest in volunteerism and working toward the common good. The Paul M. Clayton Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide annual awards of $6,000 each to four students with financial need.

More than 50 years ago Clayton was concerned about the environmental impact of automobiles, and he designed a fuel-efficient, “thrifty-flow” carburetor that delivered just enough gasoline to the engine. His friend and Ford colleague was Robert Smith ’35.

Clayton was active in his church and served as a school board member. He died in 1966 and received Cornell’s Alumni Achievement Award posthumously.

“He was not just an inventor scientist. He was also a poet and an artist, and he loved reading. Education was so important to my dad,” says Suzette Clayton, a retired teacher in Indiana. “He had a way of instilling in us a curiosity in life and in the world. The importance of caring for the planet and for other people, and showing respect for all individuals— I know I got that from my father.”

“He went to college to learn to fix radios better, and he became a real believer in a liberal arts education. Cornell was a very positive time in his life. This seemed like a good way to honor him, to help students who might follow in his footsteps,” says Pat Clayton of Seattle, an artist and former physician who worked with HIV patients at a community clinic.