Major: Cinema and Media Studies, Music
Residence: Black Mountain, NC
Deceased: November 23, 2020
Alumni survivors: Mr. Donald R. Cooper ’62 (Grandparent)
Joellen (Parent) Johnson '71
Mary (Harrison) Urquhart '44
Getting to know Ark was a tremendous pleasure. Guest DJing with him at KRLX was often so fun, and I will always remember the conversations we had in my office or around campus about art and music. I want to send my deepest condolences to Ark's family and friends and express my most profound gratitude for allowing me to come to know a remarkable person.
Ark's talent for photography and writing were undeniable. His keen sense of visual style extended to the clothes he wore; he was a snappy dresser. Ark had many friends in the CAMS department; his passing is shock to all. I wish to extend my sympathy to family and friends at this difficult time.
Ark and I had wonderful and long conversations in my office about all aspects of life. He was generous with his emotions and intellect. He also sat in on photography courses due to his strong curiosity about this field of study. We worked together on his comps project, in which he questioned deeply the aesthetics of representation. He will be missed by many. I send my deepest sympathies to family and friends.
Everyone knew Ark as the purveyor of sartorial style on campus. My deepest condolences for the loss of this creative, original spirit.
Ark, you were our favorite host, our floormate, our friend. You brought us together. You made us our drinks, you taught us our games. Your friends became our friends when we lacked our own.
Remembering you are gone, I still hesitate. The night we learned of your final departure, we gathered to share memories of your love. I almost invited you. I held my finger above that button well after I knew that hitting it would not bring you back to us. I did not invite you, but you came anyway.
Keeping a friendship is as hard as making one. I could not keep ours, but if I can, I will keep the friendships that you made for me.
I first met Alyk in Freshman week, back in the fall of 2014. What struck me was his outfit, a Brooks Brothers composite shirt made up of several different shirts. The exuberance of his attire struck me, yet 6 years later his kindness and openness still stands out. We became good friends our senior year. He invited me to a well- catered cocktail party, and I soon found myself a part of his social scene. He hosted some fantastic parties, hotbeds of conversation and questionable mixed drinks. He was good at it because he had a knack for bringing people together, and enjoyed it. In the days after his passing I am amazed at how many people at Carleton knew him, and have fond memories of him. There are Carls I have as friends because of Alyk, whether it was a text from him urging us to get together, or because they were also out in his room or at his parties. He always seemed to see the good in people and to bring it out of them. He was open, generous and kind hearted. I last saw him at commencement. Since then we would speak every few months for an hour or so at a time. In those calls he was as open, generous and kind as he could be in person. Even with months between the last call we still spoke to each other as close friends. In the days since his passing I have been in mourning. Yet I have also been thankful, thankful that I and many others had him as a friend.
My most vivid memories of Ark are from my “American West” class in the Fall of 2015. Ark had immediately impressed me with his sartorial splendor, his impish smile and his love of jumping, off the dive, into the fray of class discussion. Towards the end of that course, I played several versions of the song “Don’t Fence Me In” by Roy Rogers, Clint Eastwood and the Talking Heads. Ark got increasingly animated in the front row and came up at the end of class and said breathlessly, “Do you know that the Carleton Knights recorded a version of that song in 1961? It’s great! I’ll send you the link.” I’ve been playing that version of the song as well in the course ever since. Ark later interviewed me about the West on his KRLX program and seeing him around campus always brightened my day. He was warm-hearted, curious, zany and kind. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing. My heartfelt condolences to his family.
Ark and I became friends while studying abroad together. What struck me most was his earnestness and depth of spirit. We enjoyed many late nights sharing personal stories of friendships, family, the troubles of love. He had such a sharp eye for visual patterns and intriguing compositions, garnering top remarks from our photography instructors. He absolutely loved Berlin, thriving on the energy of its eclectic art scene and gritty underground techno clubs. After leaving Minnesota I lost touch with many of my Carleton friends, but Ark was one of those people who made a point to call regularly and catch up. Before the pandemic hit he was finding his place in Chicago, developing his yoga practice, discovering cool restaurants, dating, studying, writing, enjoying his twenties and advancing his promising journalistic career. While embracing his own uniqueness and independence of mind, he deeply enjoyed companionship. He always spoke of his grandparents and parents lovingly, with full acceptance and profound gratitude. My hurting heart is with them. He was such an inspiration and I will never forget all the fun times we had together. Miss you Ark.