EVERY 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 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 Anthony Bowen ‘89, M ‘91
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.
E. 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 Callison ’81
Lexington, South Carolina
Community Technology Advisor, Connect South Carolina
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.”
Douglas “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