Fort Hill Clemson Club builds endowment for Upstate students

The Fort Hill Clemson Club presents a check to Associate Vice President of Advancement Brian O'Rourke. From left: Brian O'Rourke, Larry Sloan, Flecther Anderson, Jim Douglas, Gregg Cooley.

The Fort Hill Clemson Club presents a check to Associate Vice President of Advancement Brian O’Rourke. From left: Brian O’Rourke, Larry Sloan, Flecther Anderson, Jim Douglas, Gregg Cooley.

Every year, the Fort Hill Clemson Club, with about 100 members, puts on a major event, the annual Recruiting Wrap Up, held just as football recruiting ends. They sell tickets, find sponsors, get the coaches and players on the program, and serve lots of barbecue.

It’s hard work but also enables the club to raise a substantial amount of money. When the decision for how to invest that money had to be made, the club took its cues from none other than Clemson’s founder and namesake. They decided to establish an endowment to provide scholarships for students from Pickens and Oconee counties.

“Thomas Green Clemson could have done a lot of things with his wealth that could have made a great immediate impact — maybe a bigger splash that would have given him more recognition,”
said club president Fletcher Anderson. “But he planned it in a way that would make an impact for the long run, and that influenced our thinking.”

Recently, on behalf of the club, Anderson presented a $50,000 check to Clemson for the scholarship endowment. The club funds annual scholarships as well.

“As I see it,” says Anderson, “the club will just continue to work to raise our endowment until our annual scholarships have all been replaced with endowed scholarships. Within 20 years, we may have a million dollar-plus endowment.”

The endowment is part of the Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.

For more information about how your club or organization can set up an endowment, contact Bubba Britton at

Greenville Health System, Clemson celebrate growing partnership

Forever-GHSTake a top-20 national public university and add it to one of the largest health care systems in the Southeast, and what do you get? In the case of Clemson and Greenville Health System, you get a growing research and education partnership.

Clemson and GHS entered into such a partnership in June 2013 to establish a health care research powerhouse to fuel growth in medical research and breakthroughs; create opportunities for faculty, physicians and students; and accelerate the flow of research funding into the Upstate. Clemson brings to the table a host of research capabilities, while GHS offers students and researchers the clinical opportunities and partnerships they need to put ideas into action.

In the words of Windsor Sherrill, who holds the titles of chief science officer at GHS and Clemson associate vice president for health research, “We’re better together.”

This spring, Clemson and GHS celebrated the growing partnership with an event called “GHS Tiger Tuesday.” During the event, held at each of the GHS campuses, guests received Tiger Paw badge holders and information was presented about the research opportunities and special programs offered through the Clemson-GHS collaboration.

Clemson also recently announced the inaugural GHS faculty fellows, naming professors Frances Kennedy and Joel Williams to the positions where they will serve as leaders in collaborative health research between Clemson and GHS.

Kennedy and Williams will be strategically embedded in a GHS department, shifting their focus from their regular teaching duties to developing a comprehensive research agenda with their GHS department.

“The faculty fellow will produce research to improve the health of the community with their clinical partners,” Sherrill said. “Their research will also contribute to the rapidly expanding joint Clemson University and GHS collaborative research agenda through publications and presentations.”

An accounting professor, Kennedy will collaborate with the health finance department at GHS to research, develop and evaluate health care costing models. Williams, an associate professor in public health sciences, will be embedded in the pediatrics department to collaborate with physicians to transform the management, assessment and treatment of chronic pediatric diseases.

Chapman Scholars honored

May 7, 2015 - Chapman Leadership Scholars graduation reception in Sirrine Hall.

May 7, 2015 – Chapman Leadership Scholars graduation reception in Sirrine Hall.

“If you believe in the future, you’ve got to invest in something that builds the future. And there’s nothing I know that’s any better than our young people.” Those were Tom Chapman’s words at a reception for the young people who have benefited from his investment.

While others were preparing for Commencement, the Class of 2015 Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars gathered for a reception honoring them and recognizing Chapman’s generosity. Established in 2009, the Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars Program identifies freshmen in the College of Business and Behavioral Science who show leadership potential, and it nurtures those qualities throughout their Clemson career.

The program is based, in part, on a leadership theme developed by former Equifax CEO and board chair Thomas F. Chapman ’65 that uses the analogy of The Wizard of Oz characters — the scarecrow, lion and tin man — to communicate the traits of leadership.

View a video about the Chapman Scholars: 

The power of partnerships

Professor Sandra Linder (standing) is helping lead the program to provide childcare teachers and home-based caregivers with skills that support mathematics learning among young children.

Professor Sandra Linder (standing) is helping lead the program to provide childcare teachers and home-based caregivers with skills that support mathematics learning among young children.

Support for developing math skills, simulation software for automotive engineering and a state-of-the-art digital press may not seem to have a lot in common. But all three of these will be pivotal in educating Clemson students for the future. And they’re all the results of gifts from corporations and foundations that are valuable partners with the University.

The PNC Foundation and the Eugene T. Moore School of Education agree that it’s never too early to develop math skills. The PNC Foundation has awarded Project BEEMS (Building Environments for Early Mathematics Success) a $50,000 grant to support the program that supports mathematics learning among young children across the state and nation.

The first year of Project BEEMS, also funded by the PNC Foundation, took place in 12 Head Start centers and showed very positive results. Forming an early mathematical understanding can be particularly helpful in establishing problem-solving and communication skills, according to Sandra Linder, project director and associate professor of early childhood mathematics education.

“The project is part of the Eugene T. Moore School of Education’s continuing focus on systematically improving education and an example of the school’s commitment to underserved communities,” said Dean George J. Petersen. “We are proud and thankful to be partnering with the PNC Foundation on this project.”

When graphic communications and packaging science students return to campus this fall, they’ll find an HP Indigo 5000 Digital Press in place and ready to use, thanks to a gift valued at $505,825 from Hewlett Packard. More than 600 students, many of whom will receive industry certification, will have hands-on experience using the press each year.

As growth opportunities in the digital print market shift from commercial printing to packaging, the need for talent also shifts. Clemson is uniquely positioned to work closely with HP Indigo to develop a pipeline of capable talent and meet the needs of industry. Having hands-on experience using the HP Indigo gives Clemson students invaluable access to a growing market segment through internship and career opportunities.

Professor Srikanth Pila demonstrates to his graduate students how the Moldex software further enhances research in his lab at CU-ICAR.

Professor Srikanth Pila demonstrates to his graduate students how the Moldex software further enhances research in his lab at CU-ICAR.

A $1.625 million gift from Moldex3D to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research will both provide students with valuable hands-on-experience in computer-aided engineering (CAE) software and advance faculty research, particularly in the area of injection molding.

Anthony Yang, president of Moldex3D Northern America, said it is their responsibility to assist the academic world in nurturing the next generation by offering its state-of-the-art simulation technologies and resources. “As the world’s largest independent CAE software developer, we are truly pleased for the opportunity to partner with Clemson University, which has one of the most elite automotive engineering programs in the world, to help students gain more practical hands-on CAE experiences and further equip them with a viable simulation ability to compete in the future job market,” he said.

All three of these gifts are part of the Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.


“First Lady of Clemson Athletics” makes Cornerstone gift

April 10, 2015 - The 2nd Cornerstone Gift Announcement was held at during the Board of Trustees Luncheon at the Madren Center with Betty  Poe 's gift of $2.5 million. This will be a Cornerstone Partner for Clemson Athletics.

Betty Poe (center) with (l-4) trustees David WIlkins and Smyth McKissick III, Dabo Swinney and President Clements

Longtime Clemson supporter Betty Poe of Greenville might not be a Clemson alumna, but you’d never know it. She knows what being a member of the Clemson Family is about, and her volunteer efforts and gifts are evidence of that.

This spring, she made the second Cornerstone gift of $2.5 million to Clemson Athletics for facilities. Cornerstone gifts are a vital part of the new athletics facilities initiative, which includes new facilities, upgrades or rebuilds planned for football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and Vickery Hall, the most comprehensive change ever undertaken at Clemson.

A retired insurance executive, Poe served as co-chair of the leadership phase of the Will To Lead campaign and on the foundation board at Clemson, following in the footsteps of her husband Billy in commitment to his alma mater.

With this gift, her lifelong giving has eclipsed $5 million, in appreciation for which she will be inducted into Clemson’s Trustee Oak Society. She has supported facilities such as Memorial Stadium’s Poe Plaza and student entrance gate and was a founding partner of the Barker Scholars initiative. She also served on the WestZone capital committee, leading the effort to raise funds for the football stadium expansion.

Poe made her latest gift in honor of head football coach Dabo Swinney and his staff and in memory of her late husband, Billy “Tweet” Poe, a football letterman for legendary coach Frank Howard at Clemson in 1944-46. He was drafted into the Army and, after serving his country with distinction, returned to Clemson to finish his degree.

“Betty has long been a tremendous supporter of our athletic programs here at Clemson, and her recent commitment to become a Cornerstone Partner solidifies her place as the First Lady for Clemson Athletics,” IPTAY CEO Davis Babb said. “She has graciously donated not only her support but also her time as she has taken a leadership role in every athletics and IPTAY initiative we have embarked upon.”

This Cornerstone gift is part of the Will to Lead for Clemson campaign.

Cottinghams endow professorship in civil engineering

Forever-CottinghamsProfessional engineer Richard Cottingham and his wife, Nancy, of Seneca have pledged $500,000 to establish the J. Richard ’66 and Nancy W. Cottingham Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering Endowment at Clemson.

The Cottinghams are passionate about Clemson and about professional licensure in the engineering profession. Both have served on state boards of registration, and Richard has served as president of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). In 2014, he received the NCEES Distinguished Service Award with Special Commendation for his dedicated service to the engineering and surveying professions — the highest award given by the NCEES.

The endowment will support a distinguished professorship in the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering in the College of Engineering and Science. The recipient must be a professional engineer. Promotion of licensure among students and faculty in the College of Engineering and Science will be one of the primary objectives for the position, thus enriching the student process for professional engineering development and licensure and helping to meet the engineering challenges of the future.

“In my career, I have personally experienced the value of licensure as a professional engineer and am committed to encouraging other Clemson alumni, students and faculty to pursue licensure,” said Cottingham.

An endowed professorship will enable Clemson to attract and retain a professor with national prominence. A portion of the endowment budget will be used to supplement the salary of the named distinguished professor.

“We appreciate this generous gift from the Cottinghams, as well as the countless hours that both Richard and Nancy have invested in promoting licensure to engineers at Clemson,” said Dean Anand Gramopadhye of the College of Engineering and Science.

This gift is part of the Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign to raise
$1 billion to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning
and research.

Gantt Scholars and donors honored

In 1963, when Harvey Gantt entered Clemson, he was the first African-American to do so. Twenty-five years later, the Clemson Black Alumni Council (CBAC) established a scholarship to honor him and to recruit and retain African-American students, with special preference to South Carolina residents and entering freshmen.

This spring, donors to the Harvey B. Gantt Scholarship Endowment Fund gathered with the past and present recipients of their generosity to celebrate progress made and lives affected.

“We are better and stronger because of a young African-American man from Charleston who would not give up on his dream of studying architecture here at Clemson,” said President Jim Clements. He went on to say that Clemson is also a better institution because of the Gantt Scholars. “You are among the best and brightest students in the nation, and we are proud of you and your achievements. Your presence on campus — and your leadership and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom — have made us a better institution.”

Clements went on to thank the CBAC for supporting the scholarship, noting that their “commitment has opened the door for generations of students to attend Clemson.”

View a video of the Gantt Scholars reception:

Bradleys invest in imagination and inquiry

Forever-BradleyEach year, more than 4,000 Clemson undergraduate students enjoy exercising their imaginations through a unique, faculty-led research program because of Phil and Mary Bradley’s generosity.

Phil’s father, William F. Bradley, was a veteran student at Clemson College in the late 1930s and finished his degree in 1952 after a long leave of absence. Throughout his childhood, Phil had his heart set on Clemson and much to his satisfaction, enrolled here after high school. After his sophomore year, Phil married his high school sweetheart, Mary, and before he graduated in 1965, they had begun their own family with daughter, Renee.

Clemson’s hills are full of memories for the Charleston natives, and today they enjoy giving back to the place that gave so much to them.

It began in 2005 when Phil and Mary met with former provost Dori Helms to learn more about her vision for a new undergraduate research program called Creative Inquiry. The Bradleys also were introduced to a few of Helms’ students and took note of what they were accomplishing in their studies. To say they were impressed would be an understatement.

“Some students were starting businesses and even had patents and copyrights. It was a real eye-opener for me,” Phil said.

The Bradleys stepped up and assisted with funding the program through annual support for five years. “I really wanted to help a program that needed financial support, and there’s been unbelievable growth,” he said. The program’s growth as well as the Bradley’s continued appreciation for the students led them to provide the first major gift for the Creative Inquiry Enhancement Fund.

However, it wasn’t just the students who made an impact on the Bradleys. They also took note of how passionate the faculty members were about the students’ success and felt these mentors deserved recognition. This inspired the Bradleys to establish the Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry — a generous award presented to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding work with undergraduate students.

Clemson traditions were engrained in the Bradley’s children, Philip and Renee, at a very young age. They are now proud alumni and have passed on their love for Clemson to their very own families. The family’s shared love for Clemson encouraged Phil and Mary to become more involved on campus. Phil was elected to the Board of Visitors in 2006 and is also a proud member of the Clemson Foundation. “This gave me the opportunity to see the needs of Clemson University and how we go about meeting those needs. It’s gotten me more involved in not just the support of athletics but what’s happening on campus and how we can further those goals,” he said.

The Bradleys are a “One Clemson” family, supporting both athletics and academics, and believe that seeing the outcomes has made a big difference in their lives. Phil and Mary often talk to one another about their relationship with Clemson and always agree that it is money well spent. “There is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of a Clemson student,” Phil said.

When Phil is presented with the opportunity to talk to someone about investing in Clemson, he always says, “Do not hesitate. Do not wait. It doesn’t matter how small. I use the philosophy that if you’re a Clemson alum, you learned, you earned and now you need to return. You need to return and give something back to Clemson. I think Creative Inquiry is a great program you can start with.”

“There is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of a Clemson student.”

Duke Energy Foundation gift supports students and teachers

Four programs at Clemson will be enhanced this year by a $115,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.
PEER (Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention), which helps freshman minority students adjust to college life; WISE, which supports females in engineering and science majors; EMAGINE!, which encourages middle and high school students to consider engineering as a career; and a teacher education course that introduces S.C. teachers to the educational resources at the Duke Energy Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station will share in the grant.

“Education has always been a focal point of our commitment to corporate giving,” said Scott Miller, government and community relations manager with Duke Energy. “We have long been proud to partner with Clemson University to support efforts that continue to make a difference in the lives of so many students and teachers in the Palmetto State.”

Watt Family Innovation Center adds two founding partners

In the heart of campus, strategically located next to the R.M. Cooper Library and across from the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center, a new building is taking shape. It’s not tied to a particular college or department but rather designed to be an incubator of creativity and innovation.

The Watt Family Innovation Center, projected to open in the spring of 2016, has announced two new founding innovation partners: SCRA and Philips Lighting North America. SCRA, an applied research corporation with more than 30 years of experience delivering technology solutions, will provide $3 million for new cross-discipline operations and sustainability for supporting extended network and operations, including equipment to establish virtual connectivity between the Watt Family Innovation Center, SCRA Innovation Centers and research universities in the state. This commitment includes science and technology advancements, special projects and support for faculty, staff and students, curriculum and operations of the Watt Center.

“The immediate and comprehensive advancements to multi-party communications that these studios will provide will greatly contribute to and improve our state’s ‘knowledge economy,’” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “This collaboration will add value and users to the current health care industry core that is using the S.C. LightRail high-speed research network.”
Philips Lighting North America, a global leader in lighting that has been focusing on innovative ways of using light to enhance people’s lives for more than 120 years, has made a cash gift to support research related to Philips Lighting technology and a gift-in-kind of state-of-the-art lighting products to equip and furnish the interior and exterior of the Watt Center.

“Working in isolation is never as effective as collaboration,” said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas. “We believe that great partnerships encourage great results. That’s why we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to support the Watt Family Innovation Center. … I know that the work and the programs supported by the Watt Family Innovation Center will make a meaningful impact and ensure a bright future for generations to come.”