ClemsonLIFE professorship established

Sue Brugnolie Stanzione was a first-generation American who emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. She moved to Hartsville in 1959 with her family. Only a few years later her husband died, leaving her the single parent of five children, two of whom, Bob and Dan, were students at Clemson.

Dan’s roommate at Clemson, Goz Segars, also from Hartsville, remembers how much respect everyone had for Sue and for how she held the family together in difficult times. Almost 50 years later, Sue Stanzione’s name now graces the Distinguished Professorship of ClemsonLIFE, held by its founder and executive director, Joe Ryan. That professorship, made possible thanks to a generous gift by Bob and Kaye Stanzione, will make a difference in the lives of countless generations of ClemsonLIFE students.

ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone) allows students with special needs the opportunity to attend Clemson and receive the full college experience while learning the skills to lead independent lives. As President Clements said, “What ClemsonLIFE does for its students is simply remarkable, and it is the embodiment of the very best nature of the Clemson family.”

Bob and Kaye Stanzione began their married life in campus housing, and all three of their children attended Clemson. A 1969 graduate, Bob is executive chair of ARRIS Group, a global communications technology leader. Kaye is an active volunteer and serves on the ClemsonLIFE advisory board.

 

 

 

 

 

Leaving Their Mark: Poes’ blood runs orange

The Poes are one of the many spirited families that make up the sea of orange and purple at Clemson’s Death Valley during football season. Tailgating outside of the stadium and clapping along to the beat of “Tiger Rag” are traditions David and Jade have been participating in since they were students. But when the chips and dip are gone and the Cadence Count has ended, the couple’s alma mater is not forgotten. The Poes’ blood runs orange, and they take pride in supporting Clemson in numerous ways.

A 1994 graduate, David Poe found the University’s environment to be the perfect place for him to grow both intellectually and socially. He formed lifelong relationships through his involvement in many campus organizations including Greek life and Student Alumni Council.

For Jade Poe, a 2004 alumna, college was less of a certainty. “I was raised by a single mother, so I didn’t know if I would be able to afford college. Thanks to Clemson’s generous alumni, I received a scholarship and was the first in my family to graduate from college,” she said. “Clemson was more than the friendships I made and the football games. It was an opportunity I didn’t think I would have.”

It is important to the Poes that they do their part to provide future Tigers the same memorable experience they had as students. Not only does the couple support the Clemson Forever Fund annually, they have also included the University in their will. “Clemson was founded based on a gift from Thomas Green Clemson. I think it is neat that we can contribute to Clemson using the same method, and it is a great way to make Clemson part of our legacy,” said David Poe.

“I was able to attend Clemson because of the scholarships I received, and donating allows me to give that same opportunity to students who were in my position. Knowing that my donation can help students continue their education so they can have a successful career is very rewarding,” said Jade.

 

Yountses commit Cornerstone Gift for athletics facilities

Melvin K. and Dollie Younts, donors to the sixth Cornerstone Gift to athletics. 

Melvin K. and Dollie Younts, passionate Clemson fans and philanthropists from Fountain Inn, pledged the sixth Cornerstone Gift to athletics. The recently renovated 600-seat South Club area at Memorial Stadium has been named the Melvin and Dollie Younts South Club in appreciation of their $2.5 million commitment, announced in August.

“Melvin and Dollie have been tremendous supporters of various institutions and initiatives throughout the Upstate,” said President Clements. “We’re thankful for their support of our athletics programs and the impact their gift will have on student-athletes and Clemson fans for generations to come.”

The Clemson Athletic Cornerstone Program is a vital part of the new athletics facilities initiative. With new facilities, upgrades and rebuilds planned for or underway at football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and academic support, it is the most comprehensive change to the facilities of athletics ever undertaken at Clemson.

Melvin Younts, a retired attorney with the firm of Younts, Alford, Brown and Goodson, is trustee and chief executive officer of Palmetto Real Estate Trust. The Yountses are noted philanthropists in the Upstate, having contributed significantly to various community organizations.

Swinneys pledge $1 million to IPTAY

Dabo and Kathleen Swinney pledged $1 million to IPTAY last fall in support of Clemson football to provide future funding for programmatic and building initiatives that will continue to propel the program forward.

“Kathleen and I are blessed,” said Swinney. “And we have always known we need to use those blessings to do good for others. It’s so important to us that we give back to this program that has been so good to us.”

While Kathleen and Dabo Swinney have a long history of generosity, they would never call their missions accomplished. Dabo sounds like the passionate coach he is when he talks about getting behind these Clemson programs: “You know, Clemson is a great school. But we can’t rest on that. We’ve got so much more to do. We have to always strive to get better, and that’s why we’ve got a new strategic plan at the University called ClemsonForward. That says it all. Just like playing offense in football: It’s all about the forward progress. No progress. No win. We can’t stop now.”

Business school receives press valued at nearly $1 million

Printing press giant, Nilpeter has completely outfitted a FB-3 13-inch fully automated servo press at Clemson University Graphics Communication Center in Godfrey Hall. Professor Kern Cox and students observed its operation.

Clemson’s nationally recognized graphic communications program just got better, thanks to a nearly $1 million gift-in-kind from global press supplier Nilpeter Inc. The state-of-the-art flexographic printing press will enable the University to build on its reputation as one of the nation’s leaders in printing and packaging design education by providing students with this cutting-edge teaching tool.

“Nilpeter’s gift is an investment in the next generation of packaging design leaders,” said President Clements. “We appreciate, and are honored, that Nilpeter recognizes Clemson as a leader in preparing high-caliber printing and packaging design professionals for the industry.” Clemson’s graphic communications program has long been recognized as a national leader in packaging design and printing education with a hands-on approach that gives students an employability advantage. The program boasts a 95 percent employment rate upon graduation.

“Our students understand marketplace competitiveness and how implementing technology can keep companies strong and innovative,” said Charles “Chip” Tonkin, department chair. “The value of this gift extends to potential employers in that they want students who know how to utilize and implement the latest technologies to stay competitive. We appreciate that Nilpeter believes in our students and faculty to invest this level of commitment in Clemson and the industry.”

A global printing company with nearly 100 years of engineering expertise in printing, Nilpeter serves businesses in 65 countries with high-quality label and narrow-web printing solutions. “Nilpeter is strongly committed to the education of the next generation of printers. By operating the latest and most innovative technology, we aim to inspire skilled students to positively influence the printing industry in the years to come,” said Lars Eriksen, CEO and owner of Nilpeter.

Inaugural Give Day exceeds expectations

Give Day donations will support student, faculty and facility needs.

Give Day donations will support student, faculty and facility needs.

This spring, the Clemson family showed its generosity, with more than 3,000 donors giving more than $900,000 to support student, faculty, staff and facility needs during the inaugural Give Day event on April 6, also Clemson Founder’s Day.

“We asked the Clemson family and friends to help support the University on Give Day, and they did that and more,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president for Development and Alumni Relations. “Their generosity exceeded our expectations. We thank them on behalf of our present and future students who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these gifts.”

The gifts from alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters — totaling $903,883.76 — helped the University exceed this year’s $105 million private fundraising goal, with a record-breaking $149 million in support of the Will to Lead capital campaign.

Among Give Day donors was a couple who pledged $250,000 and Hubbell Lighting Inc., a corporate leader, with its $10,000 gift that will provide five $2,000 scholarships. More than half of the gifts were made online. There were 1,608 posts on social media — mostly Twitter — about Give Day.
To the donors, O’Rourke said, “Thank you for helping us get one step closer to the end zone of our Will to Lead capital campaign. Your gifts will leave a lasting impact.”
You can find more information about Give Day at clemson.edu/giveday/.

Miller gift establishes endowed chair in medical physics

President Clements with Sheila and Waenard Miller, M.D. The Millers received a platter crafted of wood from a tree that once stood on Clemson’s campus.

President Clements with Sheila and Waenard Miller, M.D. The Millers received a platter crafted of wood from a tree that once stood on Clemson’s campus.

Cardiologist Waenard L. Miller ’69 has spent his career on the cutting edge of medicine, raising the level of care for patients higher and higher. Now the gift that he and his wife, Sheila, of Frisco, Texas, have given will ensure that future Clemson graduates can do the same. The two have donated $2 million to Clemson to establish the Dr. Waenard L. Miller, Jr. ’69 and Sheila M. Miller Endowed Chair in Medical Physics.

“My vision of the medical physics program is a multidisciplinary collaborative endeavor associated with excellence in research, exponential growth in innovation and outstanding educational opportunities for students,” Miller said.

Miller earned his physics degree from Clemson in 1969. He received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and completed his internal medicine residency and a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He also holds master’s degrees in nuclear physics, biology and medical management.

The Millers met when they were in high school in Greenville. Sheila’s father, Bernyrd C. McLawhorn, was a Greenville physician with degrees in physics and medicine.

“We had a common language in physics, but I was equally inspired by his knowledge of medicine and his commitment to his patients,” Miller said. “My father-in-law was clearly the role model for my eventual choice of medicine as my vocation.”

Sheila fondly remembers the friendship between her father and her future husband. “When I was dating Waenard, I knew I had to get to the door immediately, because if I didn’t get there right away, the two of them would go off in a corner and start talking about black holes, and we’d be late for wherever we were going,” she said.

Miller, in Air Force ROTC at Clemson, was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation and sent to graduate school in nuclear physics. He then served at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the foreign technology division as a physicist and later transferred to the Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory. There he became intrigued with the combined concept of physics and biology.

Miller began practicing medicine near Dallas in 1983 and co-founded the Legacy Heart Center (LHC) in 1995. Under his leadership, LHC became renowned for leading-edge cardiovascular care. Texas Monthly magazine named him a “Texas Super Doctor” for eight consecutive years. President Clements described Miller as one of the University’s most accomplished alumni.

“Waenard and Sheila already have established a significant legacy. We are so honored that they have decided to partner with Clemson to enhance their legacy even further,” Clements said. “This wonderful gift will allow us to expand our internationally acclaimed biomedical research program and help meet the demand for medical physicists in the health care industry.”

The endowed position will be a joint appointment in Clemson’s departments of physics and astronomy and bioengineering. While collaborating with medical partners of Clemson University, the research conducted by the endowed chair holder will be at the interface of science and engineering with clinical translation as the outcome.

Mark Leising, former chair of the physics and astronomy department and interim dean of the College of Science, said,  “Dr. and Mrs. Miller’s gift will invigorate our medical physics education and research programs. Bringing more physicists and physical science techniques to medicine will continue to improve patient care and fill an important need of our state.”

Martine LaBerge, chair of Clemson’s bioengineering department, noted that medical physics research is at the forefront of patient care. “With this generous gift,” she said, “Clemson University will continue to lead the field of medical diagnostics and will make a significant impact in basic and applied research to improve patient outcomes.”

The Millers’ gift is a part of the successful $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson campaign.

Ginn family honors legacy of father, grandfather

Army ROTC Cadet Matthew Grajewski salutes Wilbur Ginn Jr. after presenting a hand-crafted bowl made from the wood of Clemson trees in appreciation for the Ginn family’s gift. Also pictured are Alice Ginn, Will Ginn III and Dotty Ginn.

Army ROTC Cadet Matthew Grajewski salutes Wilbur Ginn Jr. after presenting a hand-crafted bowl made from the wood of Clemson trees in appreciation for the Ginn family’s gift. Also pictured are Alice Ginn, Will Ginn III and Dotty Ginn.

 

 

A family with three generations of Clemson alumni has given $1 million to establish the Wilbur N. Ginn Sr. Class of 1911 Unrestricted Endowment in Electrical Engineering; the Captain Wilbur N. Ginn Jr., Class of 1941 Unrestricted Endowment in Mechanical Engineering; the Wilbur N. Ginn III, Class of 1969, Unrestricted Endowment for the Humanities in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; and the Wilbur N. Ginn Family Unrestricted Endowment for the Clemson University Libraries.

Retired Navy Captain Wilbur N. Ginn Jr. and his wife Dorothy of Greenville, along with their son, Wilbur N. Ginn III, and his wife Alice of Florence, made the gift for the Wilbur N. Ginn Family Endowment, established to honor the legacy of their father and grandfather, Wilbur N. Ginn Sr.

The Ginn family’s connection to Clemson goes back more than 100 years. Ginn Sr. graduated in 1911 in electrical engineering and was the second charter member of IPTAY. Ginn Jr. graduated in 1941 in mechanical engineering, and Ginn III graduated in 1969 as an English major.

Ginn Jr. and his wife see the endowment as a gift to all the citizens of South Carolina. “Somewhere along the way I decided that the people of South Carolina paid for my education,” he said. “The amount of money my mother and father paid to Clemson was miniscule compared to what the taxpayers paid. So, I feel I owe the people of South Carolina.”

“I am so grateful for the visionary generosity of the Ginn family,” said President Clements. “The unrestricted nature of their wonderful gift makes it even more important, because that allows for the funds to be used where they are needed the most in each area.”

“I’m overseeing the library and humanities piece,” Ginn III explained, “and Dad is overseeing the engineering pieces. The library is so important to everyone. It is the hub of the other three gifts.” Ginn Jr. said he hopes integrating the library in the gift will promote the learning of writing and communicating among the other disciplines. He realized the importance of communication in his positions in the Navy Reserve Officers Program and regular Navy.

Both Ginn Jr. and Ginn III were ROTC cadets at Clemson; Ginn Jr. served as a Navy Reserve engineering duty officer during World War II, then converted to regular Navy, where his career culminated with his service as head of the Navy’s Shipyard Modernization Program in 1966. He received the Legion of Merit in 1970. Ginn III was commissioned into the U.S. Army upon graduating. After his military service, he had a successful career in banking as the executive director for two large medical groups and as a health care consultant. After 45 years of wearing a suit and tie every day, he decided to spend five years as a barista to avoid boredom in his retirement life. Now, he looks forward to being involved at Clemson.

“Having been able to come to Clemson, get back on the campus and see all that’s going on, and then being asked to be on a Humanities Advancement Board, it reenergized my interest in being involved in the University any way I can,” he said.

Ginn Jr. hopes the money will take some financial burden from students and faculty alike. “The grants from this endowment could enable the schools to accomplish some of the most important extras for students and programs. The three of us — my father, my son and I — are the end of this family. May what we have done inspire some future graduates to also give back.”

Nieri pledges Cornerstone Gift to athletics

Michael and Robyn Nieri

Michael and Robyn Nieri

Michael Nieri, who received his degree in construction management in 1986, has pledged the fifth Cornerstone Gift to Clemson Athletics. His gift of $2.5 million will go to the development of a new student-athlete academic and life skills enrichment area in the Memorial Stadium WestZone.

“I am so thankful to Michael Nieri and his family for their generous support of Clemson athletics,” said President Clements. “Giving our student-athletes the resources they need to be successful off the field is just as important as developing their skills on the field, and that’s what the Nieri family is enabling us to do with their gift.”

The Clemson Athletic Cornerstone Program is a vital part of the new athletics facilities initiative. With new facilities, upgrades and rebuilds planned for or underway at football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and academic support, it is the most comprehensive change to the facilities of athletics ever undertaken at Clemson.

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

Michael is the president and founder of Great Southern Homes, headquartered in Columbia, which specializes in residential homebuilding.

“We’re so appreciative of Michael and Robyn’s commitment to Clemson and this generous donation,” IPTAY CEO Davis Babb said. “Their support of IPTAY through this gift will allow future generations of Clemson student-athletes to continue to achieve at high levels both on the fields of competition and in the classroom.”

Michael is married to Robyn Nieri, and they have three children: Pennington ’15, and Maigan and Patrick, both Clemson students.

Richardsons support Emerging Leaders

Clemson Trustee Mark Richardson and his wife, Kathryn, present a check at the Spring Game representing their $1 million gift in support of Emerging Scholars students.

Clemson Trustee Mark Richardson and his wife, Kathryn, present a check at the Spring Game representing their $1 million gift in support of Emerging Scholars students.

Businessman and Clemson trustee Mark Richardson and his wife, Kathryn, and family have given $1 million for a scholarship fund to help ensure that all Emerging Scholars students accepted into Clemson University can attend with financial aid.

Since 2002, the University’s Emerging Scholars program has made higher education a reality for students at five high schools along the I-95 corridor who may not have seen college in their future. Selected rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors attend the residential program on the Clemson campus in three separate summer experiences. They enroll in courses and workshops that prepare them to graduate high school and apply for college.

During the academic school year, these students participate in college-access workshops and exercises at a local community college. They also visit colleges and universities in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. To date all of the program’s students have graduated from high school. Ninety percent of them attend college or join the military their first year out of high school. The Richardson gift is designated to help the students who are accepted into and decide to attend Clemson.

“I am grateful to Mark and Kathryn for their support of our Emerging Scholars students,” said President Clements. “This gift will make a Clemson education accessible to generations of students who may not have thought that college was in their reach. The Richardsons are truly making a difference for these students and for Clemson.”

“My family and I believe that every student, regardless of financial need, who wishes to develop their greatest abilities through education should have that chance. This gift is the beginning of an effort to ensure that any Emerging Scholar who wants to come to Clemson University can,” Richardson said.

Thirteen alumni of the Emerging Scholars program have attended and graduated from Clemson. Six more are currently enrolled. With the help of this scholarship, 13 incoming freshmen have been admitted for this fall.

Chuck Knepfle, Clemson’s associate vice president for enrollment management, said, “The Emerging Scholars program does a fantastic job of preparing their students for college. With the help of this gift, we now can recruit them to Clemson without worrying about it being affordable. The Richardson gift, along with a significant scholarship commitment made by the University, greatly reduces, and for some students eliminates, the financial barrier for the next 10 years, but a sizable endowment is needed for the financial support to continue forever.”

Emerging Scholars Program Manager Amber Lange acknowledged the impact of the Richardsons’ generosity. “The goal of Emerging Scholars is not only to change a student’s life but to make college accessible in communities where there is not always a clear path to success,” she said. “This gift from the Richardsons will help our students attain a valuable Clemson degree and make sure the financial burden they often feel is lifted.”

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