Celeste “Clete” Boykin ’79

Lifetime of Achievement

Clete Boykin graduated from Clemson with a degree in horticulture, so when she began working as a lobbyist for DuPont 21 years ago, her focus was on agricultural issues. Since then, her portfolio has broadened to include trade secrets, defense, transportation, chemical plant security, immigration and education.

The job and the issues demand flexibility and adaptability. “No two days are the same,” she says. “I start out the day saying, ‘I’m going to do ABC today.’ I end up doing D and Z. And you meet some of the most interesting people with different backgrounds.”

This past summer at the Washington Government Relations Group’s Annual Tin Cup Awards Dinner, Boykin received the Reginald “Reg” Gilliam Lifetime Achievement Award from the non-partisan volunteer association founded to enrich the careers and leadership abilities of African-American government relations professionals.

Her job may not be nine to five, but she still finds time every summer to get together with a group of 10 to 12 other Clemson alums who lived together on the fourth floor of Benet Hall. They call themselves the “Benet Babes.”

“After all these years,” Boykin says, “I still consider them my best friends.”
She’s a proud Tiger Band alum, and can still be seen sporting her Tiger Band jacket when the weather gets chilly.

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