Celebrating two endowed chairs

At a celebration of two SMARTSTATE endowed chairs, John Ballato, holder of the J.E. Sirrine Foundation Endowed Chair in Optical Fiber, and Anjali Joseph, holder of the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Endowed Chair in Architecture + Health Care Design, are pictured with President Clements. At the luncheon, donors and professors were presented with endowed chair medallions.

Indigo Pine finishes strong

Congratulations to the Clemson team for their amazing performance in this year’s Solar Decathlon, held in October in Irvine, California. They finished sixth overall among a global field, ranking second in both the architecture and communications sections and third in the market appeal section of the competition.

Indigo Pine, the Clemson team’s house, was made possible by scores of sponsors and donors whose contributions included time, knowledge, money and materials. Hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Solar Decathlon challenges 20 colleges and universities to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive.

For more about the Indigo Pine project and the many donors who made it possible, as well as videos about the process, go to clemson.edu/indigopine.

A vision with no boundaries

Fisk works with students in the Pearce Center.

Fisk works with students in the Pearce Center.

It began in the 1980s when Robert Roy Pearce ’41 developed a belief that colleges should improve the writing and communication skills of students from all majors. As a Clemson alumnus who came from a long line of successful businessmen, Pearce decided to craft a plan designed to strengthen Tigers’ communication skills. So in 1989, Roy and wife, Margery “Marnie” Pearce, donated $1.5 million to Clemson to endow the Roy and Marnie Pearce Center for Professional Communication.

When Pearce and the other members of the Class of 1941 celebrated their 60th anniversary, they provided the University with a million-dollar gift to fund the construction of the Class of 1941 Studio, which opened its doors in Daniel Hall in 2004 and became the home of the Pearce Center.

The center has three signature initiatives — the Writing Fellows Program, the Internship Program and the Client-Based Program — all of which are designed to integrate students into real-world situations.

The Writing Fellows Program was formed through a collaboration between the Pearce Center and the Honors College. Writing Fellows mentor and provide peer editing for other students.

In the Internship Program, students immerse themselves in the world of professional communication and work on many long-term projects including writing, editing, video production and graphic design.

The Client-Based Program was started in 2003 by the late Summer Smith Taylor, whose goal was to give students the opportunity to practice what they are learning in the classroom. Students assist with client projects ranging from website development and social media plans to rebranding. “The program matches classes to clients who need deliverables,” said Ashley Fisk, assistant director of the Pearce Center and director of the Client-Based Program.

The center has made an impact on Clemson as a whole by contributing to the University’s efforts to teach writing across the curriculum, for which the University has been recognized by U.S.News & World Report. The 2016 ranking places Clemson among recognized schools such as Brown, Harvard and Duke.

The Pearces will always be remembered for their support, generosity and dedication to student success. Along with improving the communication skills of Clemson students, the couple established the Dr. R. Roy Pearce HD ’41 & Margery W. Pearce Library Endowment and provided funding for student scholarships.

Due to their generosity, the Pearces were inducted last fall into the Fort Hill Legacy Society, which honors donors posthumously for leaving $1 million or more to the University in their estate plans. A ceremony dedicating a bronze leaf in the Pearces’ memory was held as part of the annual Legacy Day celebration. The leaves are placed under the Second Century Oak, which stands at Fort Hill on the historic site of the Trustee Oak and the University’s first Board of Trustees meeting.

For more information about how you can include Clemson in your estate plan, contact Jovanna King at jovanna@clemson.edu or 864-656-0663, or go to clemson.edu/giving.

Spiro Founder Society pledges $1.7 million challenge

A group of successful alumni entrepreneurs from a range of industries and academic disciplines have united to form the Spiro Founder Society. Collectively, they are offering a $1.7 million dollar challenge pledge to the University’s Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership to inspire the next generation of Clemson entrepreneurs.

The challenge pledge offers to match, up to $1.7 million, all donations made to the Spiro Institute that will enhance education, outreach and research in this field.

Founded in 1994, the Spiro Institute provides an educational and research program in entrepreneurship that contributes to the economic development of the region, state and nation. The focus is on wealth creation through entrepreneurial activity.

“Rather than disparate initiatives isolated in individual colleges or even majors, we believe that one funded institute serving Clemson as a whole will leverage the energy and money to the fullest potential,” said Greg Smith, president of Blue Vista Ventures and leader of the effort to form the Spiro Founder Society. “It is also helpful to consolidate our many efforts across campus so that anyone seeking to participate knows where to go to ‘plug-in’ or get help.”

The Spiro Founder Society will support ongoing Spiro Institute initiatives across campus such as undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship courses, Creative Inquiry projects for launching start-up companies, a living-learning community and two speaker series.

Tiger Band Association adds to endowment

Pictured are (from front left) Richard Goodstein, dean, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Tom Waldrop, CUTBA president; Drew Bismack, Tiger Band member and CUTBA student board member; Brian O’Rourke; associate vice president, University Advancement; and Mark Spede, Tiger Band director; (back left) Tony Stapleton, CUTBA founding member; Larry Sloan, CUTBA founder; LaRon Stewart, CUTBA board member; Walter Betsell, CUTBA board member.

Pictured are (from front left) Richard Goodstein, dean, College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Tom Waldrop, CUTBA president; Drew Bismack, Tiger Band member and CUTBA student board member; Brian O’Rourke; associate vice president, University Advancement; and Mark Spede, Tiger Band director; (back left) Tony Stapleton, CUTBA founding member; Larry Sloan, CUTBA founder; LaRon Stewart, CUTBA board member; Walter Betsell, CUTBA board member.

The band that shakes the Southland has a backup group like no other.

The Clemson University Tiger Band Association (CUTBA) has once again made its annual gift to the Clemson University Tiger Band Association Scholarship Award Program, this time with a $24,000 check to the endowment.

Established in 1987, the fund has received more than $800,000 from CUTBA. CUTBA uses the money to support Tiger Band members primarily with annual scholarships and award recognition, but in other ways as well, such as providing breakfast for band members before noon football games and providing fourth-year members with Tiger Band watches, which have become treasured mementos for outgoing seniors. Last year, CUTBA created academic regalia for the band students to wear during graduation ceremonies.

AIG establishes center, endows professorship

Bruce Clarke, global engineering training manager for AIG Global Property, conducts fire systems training at Clemson’s Advanced Materials Research Center. AIG engineers from South Africa, India, Australia, Brazil, England, Germany and the U.S. participated in the first class held as part of a newly established AIG-Clemson collaboration. AIG has invested $4 million to establish a Risk Engineering and Analytics Center and endow the Robert Benmosche Professorship in honor of the company’s former president and CEO.

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 bubba@clemson.edu.

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.