MY CLEMSON: Eric Mac Lain ’15

 

during the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

My name is Eric Mac Lain, and this past December, I became a Clemson alumnus. It was a day I thought would never come, but now that I am reflecting on it, I realize it happened in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.

My experiences at Clemson were second to none. I was very fortunate to have been a team captain during our special 2015 football season (14-1), losing only to Alabama in the National Championship. I graduated with a B.S. in health science and was able to start my master’s program in athletic leadership. This past fall, I had the honor of introducing Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at Clemson.

More important than all of that, I found my future wife at Clemson. We met freshman year because she and my roommate were family friends, and I tagged along to a cookout. We became good friends and started dating two years later. So the phrase Clemson family is very real to me! Her father and other relatives went to Clemson, and both of our brothers now attend Clemson. It is safe to say that orange will run in our bloodlines for many years to come.

There is something special about Clemson that’s not true about every other University. As soon as we aren’t at Clemson or at least nearby, we miss it. I can attest to this because I have been away this spring training for the NFL, and cannot wait to be back in Tiger town.

I’m Eric Mac Lain and this is MY Clemson. CU soon!

You probably saw Eric Mac Lain during the coverage of the Orange Bowl and the National Championship as he was being interviewed by what seemed like every reporter in the country. Click on the photos below to see more about Eric’s life at Clemson.

Clemson Club Events: Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Club

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Members of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Clemson Club had the unique opportunity to go bowling at the Truman Bowling Alley Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2016.  Once housed in the White House where the present-day Situation Room is located, the alley is now located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB).  Thanks to Mike Palmer ’97, these Tigers enjoyed a tour of the EEOB and two hours of bowling on the most historic and exclusive lanes in the world.

 

Pictured: Back row: Mike Palmer ’97, Mark Derrick ’91, David Rochester ’68, Catherine Rochester, Ken Bowen ’86, P’18, P’18, Michael Coakley ’91, Spencer Neal ‘95. Front row: Rachael Neal ’97, Elizabeth Jackson ‘06, Elizabeth Bowen P’18, P’18, Beth Coakley ’93 and Holly Cirrito ’95.

Photo from the club’s 6 Degrees of Clemson event:

Six Degrees_Group Picture.JPG

Fore more information about the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Club, go to www.clemsonclub.org/.

Comporium Inc. partners with Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

The Watt Family Innovation Center

An innovative South Carolina-based telecommunications company is partnering with the new Watt Family Innovation Center to transform student lives and campus academics. Comporium Inc. has pledged $3 million in financial support and in-kind products and services to the Watt Center and will be a Founding Innovation Partner in the new facility that fosters collaborative research activities, product use and demonstration, and philanthropic support.

“It is wonderful to have another South Carolina-based company on board as a Founding Innovation Partner for this incredible facility,” said President Clements. “Comporium is a world-class leader in telecommunications, and I am grateful for their support.”

Headquartered in Rock Hill, Comporium Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company that embraces innovation to provide voice, video, data, wireless and security products and services. Clemson’s faculty, staff and students historically have collaborated and partnered with Comporium in academic and research areas related to a wide spectrum of interest and business operations. This new relationship centers on a multi-faceted engagement that includes philanthropic support of students, faculty, equipment and operations in the new center.

“Comporium sees a great value in educating students in real-world collaboration to take a technologically advanced idea to the development of a practical application,” said Comporium President and CEO Bryant Barnes ’76. “We believe that the center’s role in fostering entrepreneurship and leadership with an emphasis in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) will serve the citizens of South Carolina. The Watt Center enables the connectivity of the Technology Incubator at Knowledge Park in Rock Hill and others to this network.”

Charles Watt, executive director of the Watt Center, said, “We are excited that Comporium has joined our elite level of Founding Innovation Partners. It is an outstanding family-owned company with corporate operations in Rock Hill.

“Since its original chartering in 1894, it has embraced delivery of innovative products and services that are provided in its telephones, data centers and connected security systems. The company has received numerous national, state, county and local awards for excellence in the telecommunications industry and for its contributions to academic and community activities in South Carolina.”

The Comporium gift is part of the $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.

For more about the Watt Family Innovation Center, see the feature story in this CW Spring 2016.

A Plan Designed to Build Futures

Chuck Fish graduated from Clemson in 1982 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, and in 2012, he and his wife, Sue, made a commitment to establish an endowed fund, ultimately to leave their legacy and provide College of Engineering and Science students from out-of-state with a wonderful college experience. This commitment originated with the Chuck ’82 and Sue Fish Annual Engineering Scholarship, which they have been funding over a four-year period.

Bowl games bring out the Orange

Orange Bowl Feeding 6The Orange Bowl and the National Championship this season put the spotlight on Clemson Clubs in the Miami and Phoenix areas. Both cities turned orange as Clemson fans showed up in mass for the games.

Orange-bedecked fans also visited the Grand Canyon in droves, making it look like it should be a Clemson attraction, rather than a national park.

Clubs in both cities, with the help of the Alumni Association, organized an array of activities that included service projects, tailgates, pep rallies and other pre-game events. Clemson alumni and fans so impressed the chair of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority that he sent a letter to South Carolina newspapers.

“Clemson may not have won the title, but the Tigers and their followers left a lasting and positive impression in the Valley of the Sun this week,” he wrote. “Local residents, business owners and dignitaries were so impressed with the way Clemson fans conducted themselves during the team’s first trip to the desert.”

Clemson fans are confident that it won’t be the last.

Giving a hand up, not a hand out: Caroline Tyler Robertson ’97

Caroline Robertson_026From an early age, Caroline Robertson was a wallflower — so shy that even a teacher calling on her in high school riddled her with immediate panic. But these days, “no” isn’t even an option. A personal challenge she made to herself while at Clemson shaped Robertson into a strong-willed, determined nonprofit executive who fights tooth and nail for her clients to succeed and have the same opportunities she’s been afforded.

Since 2007, Robertson has headed up Greer Relief and Resources, making sure every can of corn feeds a hungry tummy and every monetary donation helps a family’s financial crisis.

“The legacy I’m leaving is one of fearlessness. I don’t say no to anything especially when it comes to outreach and publicity. Because I’m not just talking to someone who might just help us donor wise, but also need wise.
I want anyone who needs us to know they can get to us. In that respect we’re not afraid. We’re not afraid to ask for help. We’re not afraid to give help. We’re not afraid to say we need to give more and do more. It doesn’t take much,” she said.

In 2015, Greer Relief assisted 3,927 individuals in 1,564 households. In addition, 10+ days of food was given to 4,991 people in 1,906 households. Having the gumption to be an advocate for others started in college with a promise to no longer let shyness dominate the determined will that truly existed within her.

Each week Robertson made herself sit in the front of the class and raise her hand at least once. She also made herself take speech as a first-semester freshman. After freshman year she joined the national service sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma and became the sorority’s public relations officer. She was a founding member and vice president of membership for Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity.

By mid-college she was house manager for Tiger Paw Productions and organizing shows for James Taylor, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Hootie and the Blowfish.

“I love Clemson,” she said. “Any other place, I don’t think would have created the Caroline I am today. I have been solid orange since I stepped on that campus on Aug. 23 of 1991 and I have not looked back.”

“There were times where it was questionable if I could even afford to go to school, but I wouldn’t take no for an answer and did whatever needed to be done. Now, I take that same attitude into Greer Relief,” she said.
“We do whatever we can do to help.”

Runnin’ Wild: Christy Belcher ’03

Christy Belcher_030AChristy Belcher wrapped her arms around the newborn giraffe much like she did a foal during her field training at Clemson. Belcher had arrived at the Greenville Zoo early Feb. 2 after receiving a 5 a.m. phone call. Initially, she ignored the call, thinking she was hitting snooze on her alarm. The phone rang again. She sprang awake, now realizing what was happening. The zoo’s female giraffe, Autumn, was giving birth to her third calf.

Adrenaline racing, Belcher hurried through the dark and fog to the downtown Greenville Zoo. When she arrived, Autumn was standing in her stall, in the early stages of labor. Tatu, a boy, was born at 6:16 a.m.

“Those few moments of watching for the baby to take its first breath seemed like an eternity to me,” Belcher said. “Once I saw it breathing I felt much better about it.”

Tatu was standing within an hour.

“We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights, but it’s well worth it,” Belcher said.

A 2003 graduate of Clemson’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences program, Belcher has been a veterinarian at the Greenville Zoo since 2009. An Easley native, she was always fond of animals. As a child, she would sneak turtles and snakes into her home against her mother’s wishes.

Belcher’s training with livestock on the research farms at Clemson would serve her well as she transitioned to a career working with the 350 exotic animals at the Greenville Zoo.

“The giraffes receive the same vaccines that we use in horses and cows,” she said. “The vaccine that my cat at home gets is the same rabies vaccine that our leopards and lions get.”

After Clemson, Belcher studied in the Caribbean and at North Carolina State University and Texas A&M University. At the Greenville Zoo, Belcher helped design the first Winter Zoo Vet Camp and collaborated with Clemson’s Animal and Veterinary Science department to design a pre-veterinary science summer internship eligible for college credit.

“Everyone asks me, ‘How do you know how to work on a giraffe?’ It really did start with my training and education at Clemson, just being out on the farms with the horses, with the cows, with the goats and the sheep,” Belcher said. “I like to tell people to always embrace the education [you] are getting at Clemson because you never know what that’s going to prepare you for.”

Alumni Authors

Clemson Tigers can be found in every profession, and many are published authors. Here is a short, but not exhaustive, list of alumni authors and some of their books that may pique your interest.


Scott AbellaScott Abella M ’02

Conserving America’s National Parks (CreateSpace) shares the status of conservation challenges and successes in America’s 408 national parks.

 

 

JohnSeketaJohn Seketa HA ’13

Clemson Through the Eyes of the Tiger (John106Publishing) documents the grit and sweat that goes into becoming the Clemson Tiger mascot. More than 70 people have donned the suit that brings stadiums of cheering fans to their feet each season.

 


McCarty.Hubbard.QuisenberryBert McCarty ’81, PhD ’86; L. Ray Hubbard Jr. ’82, ’83, PhD ’13; Virgil Quisenberry, professor emeritus of soil physics

Applied Soil Physical Properties, Drainage, and Irrigation Strategies (Springer). This practical guide aims to demystify the complicated math used in soil physics formulas.

 


Whittle_Growing Up ClemsonJerry Whittle ’79

Growing up in Clemson: Blessed in the Fifties (Amazon Digital Services) details the experiences of growing up in a small college town from 1950-1960.

 

 


Robert ElderRobert Elder ’03, M ’05

The Sacred Mirror: Evangelicalism, Honor, and Identity in the Deep South, 1790-1860 (University of North Carolina Press) challenges the traditional interpretations of the rise of evangelicals in the South, including in the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian denominations.

 


David DownsDavid J. Downs ’99

Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity (Baylor University Press) looks at how care for the poor was also an atonement for sin in early Christianity.

 

 


Bradley_Wilderness and DisasterDavid E. Bradley M ’88

Wilderness and Disaster Survival Guide (self published) tackles survival scenarios from animal dangers to natural and man-made disasters.

 

 

 

WOODWALKEREmily Benson Martin ’10 M ’12
Woodwalker (HarperCollins) is an epic fantasy about the adventures of Mae who is exiled from her home and her people. As Mae embarks on her own, she comes across three out-of-place strangers and risks death to help a deposed queen regain her throne. Read an excerpt here.