Carl E. Parks was a 1933 graduate of Chrisman High school and attended ISU, studying commerce and English, from 1935 to 1939. After graduation, he worked as the advertising manager for the Saturday Spectator, as a sales representative and district manager for Businessmen's Assurance Company, and in 1963 became the first executive director of the ISU Foundation.
Parks was an avid fan of ISU, being a supporter of both the basketball and football teams. He also served on the scholarship and athletics committees while working at ISU. He was a member and past president of Theta Chi Fraternity, the founder of the ISU President's Society, a member and past treasurer of Friends of the Library, a founding member of the Sycamore Varsity Club and a charter life member of the ISU Alumni Association.
After retirement, Parks continued to work and follow his interests in estate planning and senior health insurance. He served in the US Navy as yeoman first class and was stationed in Cherbourg, France during WW II. He was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church, a member of the Life Underwriters Association, a past member of Rotary International, the Exchange Club of Terre Haute and the Elks club. He enjoyed playing golf, bridge, jogging, gardening and reading.
The Carl E. Parks Scholarship Fund was established in February, 1981, in honor of Carl E. Parks who served as Executive Director of the ISU Foundation from 1963 until his retirement on June 30, 1981. Contributions to establish the Fund were made by Parks' colleagues and other friends and by the ISU Foundation.