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My Clemson: Jeannie Brown ’15

 

Jeannie Brown-2015

My Clemson experience was many years in the making.

When I was nine, I went to live with my grandmother. My great aunt took me to Clemson games, where I learned Clemson history and traditions. Each year my Christmas present was going with my aunt to see Clemson play in their bowl game. I dreamed of playing in Tiger Band and becoming a nurse. When I wasn’t accepted to Clemson my senior year in high school, I was very disappointed, but determined never to give up on that dream.

I started taking classes at Greenville Technical College, but marriage and two children interrupted my education. In 2002, I returned to school and graduated as a respiratory therapist. Working full time, I attended Tri-County Technical College, graduating in 2012 as a registered nurse. It was a busy time — our son played basketball and participated in high school band, and our daughter cheered and danced on a competition team, but we never missed a beat.

I held on to my dream of becoming a Clemson graduate. At the age of 40, I applied to Clemson’s RN/B.S. nursing program and was accepted to begin in the spring of 2015. It was an outstanding program and very manageable for a working nurse. But I had one more dream to fulfill … to play in Tiger Band. I worked it out with my boss to adjust my work schedule so that I could attend band camp and practice throughout the fall. My Clemson dream was coming to pass.

I couldn’t wait to put on my uniform and play “Tiger Rag” for 80,000 fans in Death Valley, but I never expected to have such an outstanding football season — I went to Syracuse, the ACC Championship, Miami for the Orange Bowl and all the way to Arizona for the National Championship. Who would have dreamed all this?

On December 17, 2015, I graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in nursing, and my diploma hangs in a central location in my home as a reminder that with hard work, you can accomplish your dreams.

No matter where life takes me, my blood will always run orange. I’m Jeannie Brown, and this is MY Clemson.

Photos courtesy Imagine Studios.

 

Bowl games bring out the Orange

Orange Bowl Feeding 6The Orange Bowl and the National Championship this season put the spotlight on Clemson Clubs in the Miami and Phoenix areas. Both cities turned orange as Clemson fans showed up in mass for the games.

Orange-bedecked fans also visited the Grand Canyon in droves, making it look like it should be a Clemson attraction, rather than a national park.

Clubs in both cities, with the help of the Alumni Association, organized an array of activities that included service projects, tailgates, pep rallies and other pre-game events. Clemson alumni and fans so impressed the chair of the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority that he sent a letter to South Carolina newspapers.

“Clemson may not have won the title, but the Tigers and their followers left a lasting and positive impression in the Valley of the Sun this week,” he wrote. “Local residents, business owners and dignitaries were so impressed with the way Clemson fans conducted themselves during the team’s first trip to the desert.”

Clemson fans are confident that it won’t be the last.

Ethiopia: Edward Porcher ’81

I am a December 1981 graduate, and had the pleasure of attending Clemson’s 1981 National Championship in the Orange Bowl. While my thoughts were with Clemson this year during the 2015 championship, I was not able to watch game, because I was in a remote region of Ethiopia on a short term mission trip. Immediately upon returning to South Carolina, I watched a recorded version of the game. Although the final score ended in a win for Alabama, I was very proud of our Tigers’ performance on the field. I am even more impressed with our Tigers’ performance off the field. Coach Swinney’s testimonies, Deshaun Watson’s Habitat for Humanity contributions, and Tony Elliott’s success story are all positive representations for Clemson. Go Tigers!!!!!!

Lifelong Tigers

Tigers turn South Florida Clemson Orange

Tigers from all over the country converged on South Florida for the Orange Bowl. And the South Florida Clemson Club was in the midst of all the activity — organizing, helping, hosting and welcoming alumni and friends.

Showing that it’s possible to work together in the midst of a heated competition, Clemson and Ohio State alums teamed up to fight hunger, packing boxes of food for “Feeding South Florida.”

More than 100 alumni and friends were in South Beach Thursday night at the Clevelander, where the landscape was purple and orange, and a Tiger Paw was projected on the side of the building and in the hotel’s swimming pool. At Bokamper’s in Fort Lauderdale, more than 75 joined up to celebrate the Tigers and meet up with old and new friends.

The morning of the Orange Bowl began with an alumni brunch at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach with more than 300 in attendance. James Clements addressed the Clemson Family for the first time as University president. He thanked the Barkers for their many contributions to Clemson and shared the significance behind Clemson’s rise in the national rankings.

More than 2,000 Clemson Family members gathered at the One Clemson tailgate inside the Sun Life Stadium prior to the game. The Clemson band, cheerleaders and the Tiger made appearances, and President Clements welcomed guests as they prepared to cheer the Tigers on to a 40-35 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Two student bloggers, Savannah Mozingo and De Anne Anthony, traveled to South Florida to capture and share the excitement of Orange Bowl week on their blog, TigressTales. Access their blog and hear President Clements’ remarks at clemson.edu/clemsonworld/orangebowl.

Clemson in the Lowcountry at the University's Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility in North Charleston.

Clemson in the Lowcountry at the University’s Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility in North Charleston.

Clemson in the Lowcountry

More than 300 people gathered for dinner and a meeting where Nick Rigas, director of the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center and executive director of the Clemson Restoration Institute, spoke at the University’s Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility in North Charleston. The meeting attendance on Jan. 23 doubled the Clemson in the Lowcountry Club’s normal attendance rate. Eddie Gordon is president of the club.

Greenville Club presents Blue Chips and Bluegrass

More than 350 turned out for the Greenville Club’s Blue Chips and Bluegrass event, a recruiting recap and oyster roast held Feb. 7 at the Crescent in downtown Greenville. Club president Rick Ammons and club member and event organizer Chris McCameron presented IPTAY with a $2,500 check for the Glenn Brackin Memorial Scholarship. The event featured Mickey Plyler from 104.9 Talk Sports, who spoke about recruiting, and The Drovers Old Time Medicine Show entertained the crowd with bluegrass music.

Aiken County Club wraps it up

The Aiken County Club held their Recruiting Wrap-Up event Feb. 6 at the Aiken Municipal Building, where more than 50 people heard Larry Williams from Tigerillustrated.com speak about recruiting. Tripp Bryan serves as Aiken County club president, and Bryan Young is vice president.

Become a Clemson Volunteer!

Alumni Vol Book cover Want to get more involved at Clemson? Looking for a place to share your experience and love for Clemson? Go to clemson.edu/alumni and click on “Volunteer Opportunity Guide” to learn how you can get involved

Seketa named honorary alumnus

John Seketa named honorary alumnus

John Seketa named honorary alumnus

The Alumni Association has named retired assistant athletic director John Seketa as an honorary alumnus in recognition of his hard work and devotion to Clemson and the Alumni Association. Over the past 28 years, Seketa served as game manager during home football games, coordinating all game-day activities for Clemson athletics, Tiger Band, the University administration and several student groups.

He also was executive director of the Tiger Letterwinners Association, where he expanded football reunion activities and Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies, significantly increasing attendance. In 2004, Seketa received the ACC Basketball Officials Association Fred Bakarat Award for outstanding service and dedication to the ACC and its basketball officials.

“John has played a significant role in enhancing all our Olympic sports by generating marketing plans and concepts that promote opportunities for our fans,” said Bill D’Andrea, executive senior associate director for IPTAY external affairs. “His contributions in this area have made a profound impact on our coaches’ ability to recruit.”
Seketa also played a crucial role in making Military Appreciation Day a celebrated campus tradition. Two years ago, ACC administrators invited Seketa to share his expertise in Clemson’s military recognition, resulting in similar observances of Military Appreciation Day at every ACC institution.

“There is no question that John Seketa’s leadership has established Clemson as the best in the nation with regard to our Military Appreciation Day,” said D’Andrea.
Seketa continues to serve the University as a member of Tiger Brotherhood and the Clemson Corps Scroll of Honor Committee.

#TigerRollCall

The Alumni Association wants to ensure we have accurate contact information for all alumni so that we can keep everyone informed about all things Clemson, all the time. And to do that, we need your help.
Simply go to clemson.edu/alumni and click the “Update Your Information” button. Then post on your social media outlets that you updated your contact information with Clemson, and use the hashtag #TigerRollCall in your post.
A monthly drawing will take place during May, June and July for everyone who submits an update. Additionally, each person who shares on social media using the hashtag #TigerRollCall will receive an additional entry (maximum two entries per person). At the end of the campaign, a final drawing will take place with a grand prize of two Alumni box seats to the Clemson vs. North Carolina football game on Sept. 27.