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MY CLEMSON: Eric Mac Lain ’15

 

during the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., Dec. 6, 2015. (Photo by Jason E. Miczek, theACC.com)

My name is Eric Mac Lain, and this past December, I became a Clemson alumnus. It was a day I thought would never come, but now that I am reflecting on it, I realize it happened in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.

My experiences at Clemson were second to none. I was very fortunate to have been a team captain during our special 2015 football season (14-1), losing only to Alabama in the National Championship. I graduated with a B.S. in health science and was able to start my master’s program in athletic leadership. This past fall, I had the honor of introducing Vice President Joe Biden when he spoke at Clemson.

More important than all of that, I found my future wife at Clemson. We met freshman year because she and my roommate were family friends, and I tagged along to a cookout. We became good friends and started dating two years later. So the phrase Clemson family is very real to me! Her father and other relatives went to Clemson, and both of our brothers now attend Clemson. It is safe to say that orange will run in our bloodlines for many years to come.

There is something special about Clemson that’s not true about every other University. As soon as we aren’t at Clemson or at least nearby, we miss it. I can attest to this because I have been away this spring training for the NFL, and cannot wait to be back in Tiger town.

I’m Eric Mac Lain and this is MY Clemson. CU soon!

You probably saw Eric Mac Lain during the coverage of the Orange Bowl and the National Championship as he was being interviewed by what seemed like every reporter in the country. Click on the photos below to see more about Eric’s life at Clemson.

Clemson Club Events: Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Club

IMG_0788

Members of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Clemson Club had the unique opportunity to go bowling at the Truman Bowling Alley Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2016.  Once housed in the White House where the present-day Situation Room is located, the alley is now located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB).  Thanks to Mike Palmer ’97, these Tigers enjoyed a tour of the EEOB and two hours of bowling on the most historic and exclusive lanes in the world.

 

Pictured: Back row: Mike Palmer ’97, Mark Derrick ’91, David Rochester ’68, Catherine Rochester, Ken Bowen ’86, P’18, P’18, Michael Coakley ’91, Spencer Neal ‘95. Front row: Rachael Neal ’97, Elizabeth Jackson ‘06, Elizabeth Bowen P’18, P’18, Beth Coakley ’93 and Holly Cirrito ’95.

Photo from the club’s 6 Degrees of Clemson event:

Six Degrees_Group Picture.JPG

Fore more information about the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Club, go to www.clemsonclub.org/.

Passing it on: Emily Wallace encourages the next generation of underrepresented students

 

Nov. 20, 2015 - Emily and Jack Wallace of Cary NC. Endowing a scholarship for underserved students in stem fields being interviewed at Riggs Hall

Emily Wallace ’72 has been breaking down barriers and cutting new paths since she was a student at Clemson, and now she is helping the next generation follow in her footsteps. Wallace and her husband, Jack, have established an endowed scholarship through the College of Engineering and Science. The scholarship targets groups who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math.

“As a manager in technology, it’s hard to find women in technical backgrounds,” Wallace says. “But it’s not just women. It can be hard to find men, too. I’m trying to encourage more students in technical backgrounds.”

Wallace serves as senior director of the Knowledge Management Center at SAS, a software development company based out of Cary, North Carolina, that employs 15,000 worldwide. Emily and Jack Wallace were among the first 100 employees when they began working at the company 34 years ago.

The husband-and-wife team returned to campus in November for Legacy Day and to see the Tigers play Wake Forest in the last home football game of the season. Their itinerary included a meeting with Serita Acker, the program director for Women In Science and Engineering (WISE). The program offers support to female engineering and science majors, ranging from mentoring and networking to test banks and tutoring.

“I’m a strong believer in the WISE program,” Wallace says. “I love Serita. I wish we had the program when I was here.”

While at Clemson, Wallace became the first female director of the student radio station, WSBF. As a female math major, she was in a distinct minority. The experience helped prepare her for what was to come. “It gave me a lot of independence,” she says. “Being among a minority of female students helped me develop a thicker skin and to deal with people who did not see my viewpoint.”

Tigers football head coach Dabo Swinney and his wife, Kathleen, helped inspire the Wallaces to give back. “I was so impressed with what they are doing for the community and academic programs, it made me feel like I should do more,” Emily says.

While on campus, the Wallaces also toured the Watt Family Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art building designed to link students and industry. “I was blown away,” Emily says. “I want to come back as a student.”

 

2016 Distinguished Service Award

DSA Award_024dEVERY YEAR THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION accepts nominations for the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student.

This year’s honorees are, as the name of the award says, a distinguished lot. They have been recognized by their peers professionally for impressive achievements. They have contributed to their communities both publicly and privately, serving on boards and volunteering without expectation of reward or recognition. They have stayed connected with Clemson, giving back in time and talent and resources to benefit current and future students.

At their core, more than anything else, these folks reflect those characteristics that define Clemson University. They are visionary, bold, competitive, determined and proud. They value family, tradition and loyalty. And they love orange. They are Tigers, through and through.

The pages of this magazine don’t contain enough space to list their many accomplishments and achievements or the numerous ways they have found to make their communities better places to live and Clemson a better place to learn. We’d have to double the pages to enumerate their activities as students and their involvement as alumni.

Here they are, this year’s Distinguished Service Award honorees, with just a sampling of what makes them stand out.

Bryant Barnes4aBryant Graves Barnes ’76
Rock Hill, South Carolina
President and CEO, Comporium

Quiet yet affirmative leadership

Bryant Barnes is the fourth generation of his family to lead Comporium, a Rock Hill-based telecommunications company, and his leadership has resulted in a dynamic, streamlined and progressive company. Under his leadership, Comporium partnered with the city of Rock Hill to transform an eyesore of an empty parking lot into Fountain Park and is now working to transform a vacant textile mill into a bustling mixed-use development. Barnes has been deeply involved with area charitable organizations in support of children, health care and education.

Under his leadership, Comporium also contributed $1 million in 2009 to the Optoelectronics Research Center of Economic Excellence in the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Barnes was one of the founding partners of the Barker Scholars Endowment, and the Barnes family contributed $1 million to repurpose the Sheep Barn at Clemson to be “The Barnes Center,” in honor of his father. Comporium is the latest Founding Innovation Partner of the University’s Watt Family Innovation Center, to which they have pledged $3 million in financial support and in-kind products and services.

 

Janine Bowen026aJanine Anthony Bowen ‘89, M ‘91
Atlanta, Georgia
Shareholder, LeClairRyan PC

Diplomatic problem solver

With a master’s in industrial engineering and experience working with Andersen Consulting and IBM, Janine Bowen went on to earn a law degree. She rose to partner at McKenna, Long & Aldridge, then founded JACK Attorneys and Advisors, a technology and intellectual property firm. The list of organizations she serves makes it clear that she has a strong commitment to the poor and homeless in her community.

In her Clemson involvement, Bowen exhibits what one colleague called “a remarkable and rare collaborative dynamic,” displaying an analytical approach that would allow her to identify potential problems and recommend solutions. She has been the face of the Clemson family to many students in industrial engineering, providing support financially and through volunteerism. She established an endowment for the department in 2009, and an endowment supporting the PEER (Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention) in 2011 in honor of her mother.

 

Grant Burns11aE. Grantland “Grant” Burns ’88
Greer, South Carolina
Vice president and general counsel, AFL

A leader through challenges

As an attorney with two prominent firms in Greenville, Grant Burns represented clients in trials and arbitrations in 20 states. He moved on to corporate practice with AFL, a telecommunications firm, along the way being named one of Greenville’s “Best and Brightest, 35 and Under.” He has broad community involvement, with membership on boards of organizations that provide housing, shelter and economic development.

He served as president of the Clemson Alumni Association during the transition that changed the group into a smaller Alumni Board and larger Alumni Council, leading that process with courage and foresight. One colleague commented that she did “not recall having seen someone who has had an impact [on Clemson] in such varied ways, prior to turning 50.” He has demonstrated his love for Clemson through the use of his time, the sharing of his talents and the gift of his resources.

 

Leslie Dunlap Callison02aLeslie Dunlap Callison ’81
Lexington, South Carolina
Community Technology Advisor, Connect South Carolina

Consensus builder

Leslie Callison has had a lasting impact on the future economic development and educational success of many counties in South Carolina through her collaborative approach to assisting them in achieving technology certification. Committed to her local community as well, she was a founding director of Columbia’s EdVenture Children’s Museum and extensively involved in supporting her children’s schools.

Her consensus building approach was essential as she chaired the task force charged with implementing a reorganization of the Clemson Alumni Association and its governance structure, resulting in the engagement of more volunteers and enhanced vitality and responsibility. She served as president of the Alumni Association the following year, a position her father also held. She has been a loyal and vocal defender of Clemson and is recognized in Columbia as “that woman who wears orange 365 days a year.”

 

Doug Richardson016aDouglas “Doug” Duke Richardson ‘64
Clemson, South Carolina
Retired, Director of Finance & Administration for Institutional Advancement and Treasurer, Clemson University Foundation

Humble servant leader

Doug Richardson brought what he had learned during his distinguished career in banking and consulting to a position at Clemson, leading the Clemson University Foundation to great achievement, establishing structures, formalizing procedures and methodologies, and stewarding significant growth of endowments. He helped lead the real estate acquisition, financing and development of CU-ICAR. He is a veteran, with tours of duty at the Quartermaster Depot in Philadelphia and in Vietnam. In his church, he has served as a leader, peacemaker, mentor for youth and bridge builder between persons of different backgrounds and perspectives.

Active on the Class of ‘64 reunion committee, Richardson, along with his wife Wilmer, has supported current and future students through a legacy gift for the class endowment, which supports the Academic Success Center and a scholarship endowment, and the Kappa Delta Chi Brotherhood Scholarship Endowment for students with financial needs.

 

“The Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who are dedicated to enhancing the quality and value of our University. I want to personally thank our award winners for giving so generously of their time and talents for professional and public service. Their personal accomplishments serve as a wonderful model for our current and future students.”

— Clemson President James P. Clements

 

 

 

A Plan Designed to Build Futures

Chuck Fish graduated from Clemson in 1982 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, and in 2012, he and his wife, Sue, made a commitment to establish an endowed fund, ultimately to leave their legacy and provide College of Engineering and Science students from out-of-state with a wonderful college experience. This commitment originated with the Chuck ’82 and Sue Fish Annual Engineering Scholarship, which they have been funding over a four-year period.

Giving a hand up, not a hand out: Caroline Tyler Robertson ’97

Caroline Robertson_026From an early age, Caroline Robertson was a wallflower — so shy that even a teacher calling on her in high school riddled her with immediate panic. But these days, “no” isn’t even an option. A personal challenge she made to herself while at Clemson shaped Robertson into a strong-willed, determined nonprofit executive who fights tooth and nail for her clients to succeed and have the same opportunities she’s been afforded.

Since 2007, Robertson has headed up Greer Relief and Resources, making sure every can of corn feeds a hungry tummy and every monetary donation helps a family’s financial crisis.

“The legacy I’m leaving is one of fearlessness. I don’t say no to anything especially when it comes to outreach and publicity. Because I’m not just talking to someone who might just help us donor wise, but also need wise.
I want anyone who needs us to know they can get to us. In that respect we’re not afraid. We’re not afraid to ask for help. We’re not afraid to give help. We’re not afraid to say we need to give more and do more. It doesn’t take much,” she said.

In 2015, Greer Relief assisted 3,927 individuals in 1,564 households. In addition, 10+ days of food was given to 4,991 people in 1,906 households. Having the gumption to be an advocate for others started in college with a promise to no longer let shyness dominate the determined will that truly existed within her.

Each week Robertson made herself sit in the front of the class and raise her hand at least once. She also made herself take speech as a first-semester freshman. After freshman year she joined the national service sorority Gamma Sigma Sigma and became the sorority’s public relations officer. She was a founding member and vice president of membership for Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity.

By mid-college she was house manager for Tiger Paw Productions and organizing shows for James Taylor, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Hootie and the Blowfish.

“I love Clemson,” she said. “Any other place, I don’t think would have created the Caroline I am today. I have been solid orange since I stepped on that campus on Aug. 23 of 1991 and I have not looked back.”

“There were times where it was questionable if I could even afford to go to school, but I wouldn’t take no for an answer and did whatever needed to be done. Now, I take that same attitude into Greer Relief,” she said.
“We do whatever we can do to help.”

Runnin’ Wild: Christy Belcher ’03

Christy Belcher_030AChristy Belcher wrapped her arms around the newborn giraffe much like she did a foal during her field training at Clemson. Belcher had arrived at the Greenville Zoo early Feb. 2 after receiving a 5 a.m. phone call. Initially, she ignored the call, thinking she was hitting snooze on her alarm. The phone rang again. She sprang awake, now realizing what was happening. The zoo’s female giraffe, Autumn, was giving birth to her third calf.

Adrenaline racing, Belcher hurried through the dark and fog to the downtown Greenville Zoo. When she arrived, Autumn was standing in her stall, in the early stages of labor. Tatu, a boy, was born at 6:16 a.m.

“Those few moments of watching for the baby to take its first breath seemed like an eternity to me,” Belcher said. “Once I saw it breathing I felt much better about it.”

Tatu was standing within an hour.

“We’ve had a lot of sleepless nights, but it’s well worth it,” Belcher said.

A 2003 graduate of Clemson’s Animal and Veterinary Sciences program, Belcher has been a veterinarian at the Greenville Zoo since 2009. An Easley native, she was always fond of animals. As a child, she would sneak turtles and snakes into her home against her mother’s wishes.

Belcher’s training with livestock on the research farms at Clemson would serve her well as she transitioned to a career working with the 350 exotic animals at the Greenville Zoo.

“The giraffes receive the same vaccines that we use in horses and cows,” she said. “The vaccine that my cat at home gets is the same rabies vaccine that our leopards and lions get.”

After Clemson, Belcher studied in the Caribbean and at North Carolina State University and Texas A&M University. At the Greenville Zoo, Belcher helped design the first Winter Zoo Vet Camp and collaborated with Clemson’s Animal and Veterinary Science department to design a pre-veterinary science summer internship eligible for college credit.

“Everyone asks me, ‘How do you know how to work on a giraffe?’ It really did start with my training and education at Clemson, just being out on the farms with the horses, with the cows, with the goats and the sheep,” Belcher said. “I like to tell people to always embrace the education [you] are getting at Clemson because you never know what that’s going to prepare you for.”

Alumni Authors

Clemson Tigers can be found in every profession, and many are published authors. Here is a short, but not exhaustive, list of alumni authors and some of their books that may pique your interest.


Scott AbellaScott Abella M ’02

Conserving America’s National Parks (CreateSpace) shares the status of conservation challenges and successes in America’s 408 national parks.

 

 

JohnSeketaJohn Seketa HA ’13

Clemson Through the Eyes of the Tiger (John106Publishing) documents the grit and sweat that goes into becoming the Clemson Tiger mascot. More than 70 people have donned the suit that brings stadiums of cheering fans to their feet each season.

 


McCarty.Hubbard.QuisenberryBert McCarty ’81, PhD ’86; L. Ray Hubbard Jr. ’82, ’83, PhD ’13; Virgil Quisenberry, professor emeritus of soil physics

Applied Soil Physical Properties, Drainage, and Irrigation Strategies (Springer). This practical guide aims to demystify the complicated math used in soil physics formulas.

 


Whittle_Growing Up ClemsonJerry Whittle ’79

Growing up in Clemson: Blessed in the Fifties (Amazon Digital Services) details the experiences of growing up in a small college town from 1950-1960.

 

 


Robert ElderRobert Elder ’03, M ’05

The Sacred Mirror: Evangelicalism, Honor, and Identity in the Deep South, 1790-1860 (University of North Carolina Press) challenges the traditional interpretations of the rise of evangelicals in the South, including in the Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian denominations.

 


David DownsDavid J. Downs ’99

Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity (Baylor University Press) looks at how care for the poor was also an atonement for sin in early Christianity.

 

 


Bradley_Wilderness and DisasterDavid E. Bradley M ’88

Wilderness and Disaster Survival Guide (self published) tackles survival scenarios from animal dangers to natural and man-made disasters.

 

 

 

WOODWALKEREmily Benson Martin ’10 M ’12
Woodwalker (HarperCollins) is an epic fantasy about the adventures of Mae who is exiled from her home and her people. As Mae embarks on her own, she comes across three out-of-place strangers and risks death to help a deposed queen regain her throne. Read an excerpt here.