Stuckey celebrates 100th birthday with help from local Clemson club

Print 100th Birthday -70Al Stuckey ’36 of Hickory, N.C., hit an important milestone on October 31, and his family, friends and the Clemson family made sure it was celebrated in style. Stuckey, who holds the record for the living alumnus with the most consecutive years of giving to Clemson (currently at 81 years), turned 100 this year, and he did it surrounded by neighbors, friends, four generations of family and members of the Catawba Valley Clemson Club.

Before the evening was over, Stuckey had received the key to the city of Hickory, danced to “Tiger Rag” and joined in the Cadence Count. He was presented a football and framed Tiger Rag (both signed by Dabo Swinney), honored by the Catawba Valley Chapter of the Military Officers’ Association of America and serenaded by a local bluegrass band, the SugarLoaf Ramblers.

Kingston Residence, where Stuckey lives, hosted the party, coordinating with the Catawba Valley Clemson Club and his daughter Stephanie Chenault. A number of local alumni attended, including Adam Weeks ’73 (club president) and two members of the Class of 1950, Herman Smith and Theo Monroe. Kay Dodd ’78 led a club committee that helped with the event.

A resident of Hickory since 1962, Stuckey served 20 years in the military, including service in World War II and Korea. He taught high school for 24 years, and moved to Kingston in 2009 where, according to his daughter Stephanie, he loves to watch the Tigers play on TV with fellow alum Alex Corpening ’60, sing, dance, play his harmonica and lead everyone in his version of “Tiger Rag.”

Click on below for more pictures from the celebration.

 

Alumni Association names Jim Bull Volunteer of the Year

Jim Bull (left) receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Wil Brasington, executive director of Alumni Relations.

Jim Bull (left) receives the Volunteer of the Year award from Wil Brasington, executive director of Alumni Relations.

The  Alumni Association has honored Jim Bull of Chapin with the 2015 Frank Kellers III Volunteer of the Year Award, the highest and greatest expression of appreciation extended to an individual by the Alumni Association staff for outstanding service and volunteerism. Bull’s many contributions to the Alumni Association include serving as a multi-year officer for the Lexington County Clemson Club and volunteering with the Columbia Tigertown Bound Reception and the Lexington Prowl & Growl. Bull also is an IPTAY representative and chairs both the student engagement committee and marketing committee for the Board of Visitors. In the past year, he chaired the Columbia high school reception for students applying to Clemson and participated in nearly every student sendoff.

The Alumni Association has presented the Frank Kellers III Volunteer of the Year Award since 1988 to recognize individuals who have a passion for service and building the Clemson family. The award is named for Frank Kellers III ’57, longtime leader of the Northern California Clemson Club and tireless supporter of Clemson clubs around the world.

Clemson at the State House

CUatStathouseClemson alumni and friends turned the State House orange on March 1 for “Clemson at the State House.”

For information about how you can be a member of the Clemson Advocates Program, a grassroots volunteer advocacy group that seeks to engage, inform and encourage alumni and friends to communicate with members of the South Carolina General Assembly and other elected officials regarding issues of importance to Clemson and higher education, go to clemson.edu/alumni and click on “Get Involved.”

View a gallery of photos from the day.

 

Jane Duckworth named Honorary Alumna

Jane Duckworth receives a certificate naming her an honorary alumna from Danny Gregg, president of the Alumni Association board.

Jane Duckworth receives a certificate naming her an honorary alumna from Danny Gregg, president of the Alumni Association board.

Jane Duckworth of Atlanta is the newest Clemson honorary alumna. Her diploma may say Meredith College, but her life says Clemson loud and clear.

A member of the President’s Leadership Circle, she co-chaired the Will to Lead athletics capital campaign committee with her husband, Ed, during the leadership phase; is chair of the tennis capital campaign committee; and supports the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts and scholarships for the College of Business and Behavioral Science. The Duckworths also donated $500,000 to create the Duckworth Pavilion, an enhancement to the Hoke Sloan Tennis Center, and have been inducted into the Thomas Green Clemson Cumulative Giving Society.

After graduating from Meredith College, Duckworth taught elementary school in Clemson while her husband, Ed, completed his degree in civil engineering at Clemson. They have three children, Jeff Duckworth ’88, Leeanne Melvin ’90 and Jim Duckworth.

Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee for their outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to the University or the Alumni Association.

New Alumni App Available

iphone app alumni_A new Clemson Alumni app is live and available in iTunes. The app pulls stories from the RSS feeds on official Clemson websites including the Newsstand, Athletics, Clemson World and Tigers on the Move. After downloading, you will be able to customize your app experience based on the content you want to see. In addition, you can update contact information through the app and find upcoming events. The app is not yet available through Google or Android stores. To download, go to the App Store and search for Clemson Echo.

Clemson dedicates Memorial Stadium flagpole to Skardon

Ben Skardon with President Clements and Army ROTC cadets

Ben Skardon with President Clements and Army ROTC cadets

On Military Appreciation Day, Col. Ben Skardon, a dapper 98-year-old World War II veteran, sat amid a crowd of news media and admirers at the foot of the Memorial Stadium flagpole, which was being permanently dedicated to him.

After graduating in 1938, Skardon was commissioned into the Army, going on to become the commander of Company A of the 92nd Infantry Regiment PA (Philippine Army), a battalion of Filipino Army recruits on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. He became a prisoner of war and lived through one of the most infamous ordeals of World War II, the Bataan Death March.

Skardon survived for more than three years in prisoner-of-war camps, despite becoming deathly ill. Two fellow Clemson alumni, Henry Leitner and Otis Morgan, kept him alive by spoon-feeding him and eventually trading his gold Clemson ring — which he had managed to keep hidden — for food. Leitner and Morgan did not survive the war.

He served in Korea in 1951-52 and retired as a colonel from the Army in 1962. He joined the Clemson English faculty and was named Alumni Master Teacher in 1977. He taught until his retirement in 1985.

In recent years, Skardon has become well known in military circles as the only survivor who walks in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, New Mexico. He has walked 8.5 miles in the event for the last nine years.

“For me personally, he has been a teacher, mentor and friend for more than 30 years,” said Clemson alumnus David Stalnaker of Dallas, Texas. Stalnaker and his wife, Eva, donated the money to erect the honorary flagpole. “Probably due to his Bataan experience, the American flag is very special to Col. Skardon. He tears up when he sees the Stars and Stripes going up into the sky. Thus, we thought the flagpole in Clemson Memorial Stadium would be a fitting tribute to this exemplary Clemson man. We hope that everyone will pause for a moment when they see that beautiful flag flying in the stadium and think about the sacrifices people like Ben Skardon have made to keep us free.”

Skardon gave his perspective on the honor. “One of the blessings which I have grown to cherish in my 81 years of association with Clemson University is the friendships that I have established with my Clemson family,” he said. “The flagpole I hold in reverence because it flies our national banner, which is symbolic of the thousands whose lives made it sacred. I am especially indebted to Henry Daniel Leitner and Otis Foster Morgan.

“At football games at Clemson in Death Valley, the name is ironic for me. Memories flood my mind. Tears come to my eyes. So many brave men and women are represented by our flag.”

 

Col. Skardon’s 9th year in the annual Bataan Memorial Death March

Retired U.S. Army Col. Ben Skardon, 98, recently completed a more than eight-mile walk in the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., March 20, 2016. Skardon is the only survivor who walks in the memorial march and this is the ninth year in a row he has done it.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

clean worldAPRIL 1-10 Week of Service

Make sure your city is represented as we show the world that Tigers really do care for their neighbors. Find a club near you that is hosting an event at Clemson.edu/alumni under “Get Involved.”

MadrenCtr-114.JPGAPRIL 14-17  RBC Heritage Golf Tournament:

Stop by the Clemson tent during the tournament at Hilton Head and say hello.

APRIL 19-21 Senior week

The Alumni Association will be celebrating our soon-to-be-graduates with a variety of events including “Rub the Rock” and the Senior Picnic.

JUNE 9-10 Reunion

Mark your calendar and join us to celebrate our new Golden Tigers!

Making it Official: Two Named Honorary Alumni

There are people you meet who give every indication of being Clemson alumni. Loyalty, enthusiasm and dedication to all things orange seem to radiate from them. Bobby Couch Jr. and John Komo are those type of people. This past fall, the Alumni Association made it official by bestowing on them the title of “Honorary Alumnus.”

Couch, who came to Clemson in 2005 as assistant director of athletics and IPTAY’s executive director of major gifts, responded, “From the day that Brian O’Rourke [associate vice president for advancement] brought my family and me here, the Clemson family has wrapped its arms around us and never let go. I work and live every day to return that passion I feel exuding from the hearts of all that are Solid Orange.”

Since then, he has led the athletic department through its first-ever $28 million and $185 million fundraising campaigns, secured the largest major and planned athletics gift in Clemson history and funded the restoration of the “Heisman Bible.” As current associate athletic director for development for athletics and director of IPTAY major gifts, Couch manages a portfolio of 150 prospective donors and makes 200 visits per year.

“For many years, Bobby has served as a tireless ambassador of the University, and he has demonstrated the passion and dedication to see Clemson achieve its goals that are usually only found among our alumni,” said Wil Brasington, alumni relations senior director. “Because of that, we felt it was only fitting to express our appreciation through this high distinction and, in doing so, we declare him ‘one of our own,’ a Clemson alumnus.”

John Komo served as a professor in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 34 years before retiring and is credited with helping students succeed in life as well as in the classroom.

“It’s wonderful to be recognized, but for me, it’s always been about providing the best education for the students,” Komo said when he received the honor. “That was always my favorite part of the job.”

Komo, who still lives in Clemson, established an endowed fellowship in 2007 for graduate students in 
his department. Many of his former students and colleagues have given to the fund in recognition of him as a teacher, mentor and friend.

“Over the past 21 years, it has been consistently apparent to me that the University and Clemson’s students have had a rare friend and treasure in Dr. Komo,” said Dan Noneaker, chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Many Clemson ECE graduates who have gone on to high-impact engineering careers attribute their success in no small measure to Dr. Komo’s commitment to their development as engineering professionals.”

Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee for outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to the University or the Alumni Association.

Alumni Club News

Pictured: Jacksonville Club leadership (l-r), in front of the San Marco Theatre: Ashley Helmick ‘11, president; Hannah Esposito ‘11, community relations director; Jon Storck ‘99, secretary; Megan Storck; and Brandon Beck ‘01, vice president.

Pictured: Jacksonville Club leadership (l-r), in front of the San Marco Theatre: Ashley Helmick ‘11, president; Hannah Esposito ‘11, community relations director; Jon Storck ‘99, secretary; Megan Storck; and Brandon Beck ‘01,
vice president.

Clemson Clubs around the country — and beyond — have been busy this fall. We’ve received updates from groups as close as York, South Carolina, and as far away as London.

Members of the Jacksonville Club wanted to gather to cheer on the Tigers against Appalachian State. They were looking for a place to get together, share some food and watch on a big screen. The San Marco Theatre, an art deco, eat-in movie theatre, filled the bill and even posted “Go Tigers” on the marquis. Approximately 40 folks attended; club president Ashley Helmick ’11 reports that about 70 percent were new faces.

The York County Club hosted approximately 300 for a send-off party last fall, celebrating 80 students as they headed off to Clemson for the year. You can view a drone video of that event by going to clemson.world and clicking on “Lifelong Tigers.”

In Louisville, Tigers gathered to tailgate at Churchill Downs before heading to the stadium to cheer on the team. And in London, a group of Clemson alumni are beginning the process of forming a Clemson Club.

Farragut TNAugust Cookout #1
In Farragut, Tennessee, Van and Ashley Jones, along with Bryan and Jeanette Fuller, hosted more than 50 Clemson alumni and fans at their home in early August.

The Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Clemson Club has had a number of activities this fall, including their annual Crab Fest, “Six Degrees of Clemson Professional Networking,” a reception at the Slovenian Embassy, and “An Insider’s Look” into the Clemson admission process. For more photos of their events, go to http://www.clemsonclub.org/pictures/

Are you looking for a Clemson Club in your area? Go to alumni.clemson.edu and click on 
“Get Involved” or email Bubba Britton at bubba@clemson.edu.