In March of this year, the Alumni Association awarded five recipients the Distinguished Service Award — the highest honor the association bestows on those who graduated from the University. The award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments, dedication and service to Clemson, and devotion to community and public service.
David P. Rochester Sr. ’68
Since earning his degree from Clemson in 1968, David Rochester has lived a life of leadership and service.
Today, he is chair of Capital Resources Group, the investment banking firm he founded in 1983, and owner and operator of Cool Spring Farm, an Angus cattle and sport horse enterprise. He also is president of WorldWideWord, a Christian ministry that he and his wife, Catherine, founded in 2000 to fund schools and orphanages, promote health care, and provide micro business startup loans throughout Africa, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Eastern European countries.
Rochester, who was chief economist for the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. from 1977 to 1980, has published scholarly articles in numerous professional journals and has held faculty positions at several universities.
Since 1996, Rochester has been active in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Clemson Club, contributing to the club’s growth and success in alumni engagement and fundraising initiatives. He has helped create global opportunities and arrange business and government internships for Clemson students, and he regularly mentors alumni in the greater Washington area.
An adjunct professor at Clemson from 1990-2014, he was dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences from 2012-2016. He has been honored as an Alumni Fellow and with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, and he was named to the Thomas Green Clemson University Academy of Engineers and Scientists.
Watt is the founding director and chair of the founding partners board of directors of the Watt Family Innovation Center, a $50 million state-of-the-art facility devoted to interactive learning and interdisciplinary collaboration on Clemson’s campus. Opened in 2016, the building is the nucleus of a high-speed network that boosts data flow across campus and connects students with business, academic, government and economic development entities across the state and nation.
Bob Stanzione ’69
Bob Stanzione developed an interest in math and science as a high school student, and he chose Clemson because he thought it would be the right fit academically. More than 50 years later, Stanzione and Clemson continue to be the right fit for making a positive difference in the world.
Stanzione is the former executive chair and chair of the board of directors of ARRIS, a global communications technology leader. He retired from the company when it was sold in 2019 but remains active in managing his family’s farm and private investments.
A member of the board of directors of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Georgia chapter, Stanzione chaired its major gifts fundraising campaign, earning the chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
At Clemson, the Stanziones established the Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professorship for ClemsonLIFE and supported the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences with a $2.5 million Cornerstone gift.
Since joining the Clemson University Foundation’s board of directors in 2017, Stanzione has served on the executive, investment, finance and development committees.
Brad Smith ’82, ’83, ’85
Brad Smith is a three-time Clemson graduate whose impact on his alma mater can be seen, literally, all over campus.
As principal-in-charge of projects ranging from the Lee Hall restoration, renovation and addition to buildings such as the Larry B. Penley Jr. Golf Facility, Smith has helped imagine and design highly acclaimed environments that inspire students, faculty and staff.
A founding principal of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, Smith has experience in higher education, health care, commercial, civic and community projects.
As a fellow in the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, he helped lead a program that delivered financial literacy for children in grades 4-6. His leadership and advocacy for United Way of Greenville County initiatives led to McMillan Pazdan Smith receiving the 2021 Rising Star Engagement award.
Smith is a current member and past president of the Clemson Architectural Foundation and a past member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors. He was instrumental in establishing an endowment for the School of Architecture named in honor of Professor Emeritus John Jacques.
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Farris Carlos Hill ’86
Carlos Hill’s graduation from Clemson, culminating with his final position where he was responsible for ensuring the full authorization of the Air Force’s $145 billion annual budget. Hill was promoted to brigadier general in 2015 and retired from military service in 2019. He continues to work at the Pentagon in the civilian role of director of Air Force Reserve Policy Integration.
Hill served on the Alumni Association’s board of directors from 2014 to 2019. He is president of the Northern Virginia Clemson Club.
He has led efforts to make Clemson’s military history an important component of the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, helping to add the stories of 25 Clemson veterans.
In 2015, Hill established the Farris Carlos Hill Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Endowment to support retention of underrepresented students. In 2022, he established an endowment to support Clemson’s Call Me MISTER® program. Call Me MISTER works to increase the pool of teachers from diverse backgrounds available to serve particularly in South Carolina’s lowest-performing elementary schools.
Stuart C. McWhorter ’91
As a Clemson student, Stuart McWhorter spent three years as a Tiger mascot, demonstrating the laser-focused commitment to academic and athletic excellence that continues to be the hallmark of his leadership and service for Clemson.
With more than 25 years of experience in entrepreneurship and early-stage investing, McWhorter has held a variety of positions in public service and the private sector, including commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Finance and Administration.
He was chair of Nashville’s FirstBank Financial Corporation and is the lead investor and partner of D17 Holdings, parent of Outsider Media Network, ON3 Media and Spiny.ai.
McWhorter has served as executive-in-residence for Clemson’s entrepreneurship and economic engagement initiatives. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Board and a former member of the Clemson University Foundation’s board of directors.
The McWhorters made a gift to honor former Tiger mascots, they created the Angelyn “Angel” Sauls Westcott Memorial Scholarship Endowment, and they invested in the McWhorter Softball Stadium.