President John L. Clarke's administration began in 1944 and was one of pioneering and growth. New hope materialized when enrollment increased from a few hundred to several thousand students in the 1960s.

Under the direction of President Clarke, facilities grew from two major buildings to about 18. In 1948 and 1949 third- and fourth-year college work was added to the Ricks College curriculum and baccalaureate degrees were offered. But in 1956 the third- and fourth-year programs were discontinued. In 1971 his 27-year-long administration ended.

President Clarke loved the young people. He once stated, "Ricks was founded upon the firm belief there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people."