Mobley receives Class of ’39 Award

Catherine Mobley

Catherine Mobley

Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that STEM education and environmental sustainability are hot topics, deemed crucial to our country’s ability to remain competitive and to our long-term economic prospects. Since long before these topics started generating headlines, this year’s Class of ’39 Award for Excellence recipient has been applying her expertise to generate innovative and comprehensive approaches to these important topics.
Sociology professor Catherine Mobley’s research in these areas has not been isolated, as she has collaborated with colleagues in a variety of disciplines across campus. Whether she’s examining human behavior as it pertains to water quality and quantity, college student perceptions of environmental issues or the academic experiences and pathways of engineering majors, Mobley’s research is marked by creative collaboration and insights that “would not otherwise emerge if I were working in isolation.”
That creative collaboration in research has been supported by more than $10 million in grants on which she has been either principal or co-investigator. And it extends into the classroom as well. She has engaged in several interdisciplinary teaching endeavors, has mentored more than 300 students seeking field experience in sociology and has served on nearly 70 master’s and Ph.D. committees. A nationally recognized expert on service-learning, she has been a core faculty member for two living-learning communities: the Community Scholars/Civics and Service House and the Leading for the Environment and Future community. Mobley also extends her sociological expertise to her community efforts as well, having served on the board of several local organizations, including the United Way of Pickens County, the Upstate Homeless Coalition and the League of Women Voters of the Clemson Area.

This recognition is particularly meaningful to Mobley, knowing she was chosen by her peers for the award. [pullquote]“I’ve been walking by the Carillon Bell monument for nearly 20 years now, in awe of the people whose names are inscribed there,” she says. “Little did I know when I was attending Clemson University in the early 1980’s that I’d be here 30 years later, pursuing the career of my dreams.” [/pullquote]
Described by Interim Dean Bobby McCormick as “a top researcher and dedicated teacher,” Mobley did her undergraduate work at Clemson, graduating in 1984. She earned her master’s in policy analysis and development at the University of Bath in England and her Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Maryland. She returned to Clemson in 1996 as assistant professor of sociology, earning tenure in 2001 and promotion to professor of sociology in 2012.
The Class of 1939 established the Award for Excellence in 1989 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the class. It is presented annually to a member of the faculty whose outstanding contributions for a five-year period represent the highest achievement of service to the University, the student body and the larger community.

Catie Sacks Rabun ’08

Catie Rabun

Paving the way for fellow entrepreneurs

Returning to her hometown of Aiken, Catie Rabun was inspired to invest in the city’s quaint but slightly sleepy downtown. Rabun majored in marketing, which afforded her a semester in Washington, DC, studying international business and trade, and enabled her to participate in a joint program in venture entrepreneurship with students at Otto-Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. Her education continued in 2010 at the University of Miami, where she earned a master’s degree in real estate development and urbanism.
Armed with a strong marketing skill set, a gutsy approach to investing in real estate, and a deep commitment to the concept of livable cities, Rabun, now settled back in Aiken, began to scour the area’s downtown in search of an affordable commercial property where she could hatch an idea that had been incubating in her head throughout college and graduate school. She formed a real estate development company with her father, David Sacks, which they named Caradasa, LLC, and eventually they bought a long neglected 20,000-square-foot office building that had once served as the operations hub for Regions Bank.
The complete re-purposing of the building began in December, 2013, and by April, 2014, Rabun saw the realization of her idea with the opening of The Mill on Park — the city’s very first mixed-use office space for start-up companies, small businesses and entrepreneurship. Caradasa has partnered with USC Aiken and the Small Business Development Center for programmatic support. The Mill on Park has become the largest office space in the city’s downtown district. With all of the 18 offices currently rented, Rabun knows now that her instinct to move forward with this project was on target.
“While I was warned about the risk of investing in real estate, I had a strong sense that this was not just a successful purchase but an investment in Aiken’s downtown life, business activity and future,” says Rabun.

The Will to Lead Executive Committee, 2014-2016

WTL_Revised_LogoPhilip H. Prince ’49, HD ’95, Honorary Chair
E. Smyth McKissick III ’79, Chair
Kelly C. Davies ’86, Co-Vice Chair
Richard “Rich” Davies ’86, Co-Vice Chair
James F. Barker ’70
Marcia Barker HA ’01
James E. Bostic Jr. ’69, Ph.D. ’72
Jan E. Childress
James P. Clements
James P. Creel Sr. ’60
Carolyn Creel ’61
Bill Hendrix ’63, M ’68
Robert “Bobby” McCormick ’72, M ’74
Mark Mitchell M ’83, Ph.D. ’87
Michael Dean Perry ’05
Betty Sheppard Poe HA ’10
Mark S. Richardson ’83
Kenneth L. Smith ’81
Joseph J. Turner Jr. ’71, M ’77

Kimberly P. Johnson M ’10

Johnson pictured with members of the Friendship 9. From left, civil rights activist David Boone, who took part
in 1960s sit-ins, and Friendship 9 members Clarence Graham, James Well, Willie McCleod and W.T. “Dub” Massey. CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

Righting History

In 1961, nine young African-American college students were arrested for sitting at a whites-only lunch counter at McCrory’s Five & Dime in Rock Hill. Instead of posting bail, they became the first sit-in participants to insist on doing jail time — 30 days hard labor — that served as a model for future sit-ins and protests.
For 54 years, historians have credited the men — known as the Friendship 9 — for actions that revived the civil rights movement. But their story was little known outside Rock Hill residents or civil rights scholars.
Until they met Kimberly Johnson.
Johnson, a graduate of Clemson’s youth development leadership program, is an award-winning children’s author living in nearby York who met the Friendship 9 by chance at the same McCrory’s Five & Dime in 2011. After her conversation with them, she knew it was a story to be shared.
She released her 17th title, No Fear for Freedom: The Story of the Friendship 9 — a children’s book — in 2014. The book received a wonderful reception locally, but Johnson was restless to do more, inspired by her research on the Friendship 9 and the civil rights movement as a whole.
Moved in particular by Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, which emphasized the creation of unjust laws, she approached the Rock Hill-area solicitor to see if the Friendship 9’s convictions could be overturned.
On January 28, 2015, in a packed courthouse and the eyes of the nation on them, the solicitor presented their case — and a judge threw out their convictions.
“There is always something that we can do to make things better,” said Johnson. “This case, in a small way, has opened the door for bigger conversations about race and diversity — it also sends a message to children and adults alike that justice is possible.”
Johnson says that message was reinforced during her time in Clemson’s youth development leadership program. “The program helped me understand that we are all change agents and that we can make a difference, starting with our own communities,” she said. “In that process, we can even begin to change the world!”
More information about the Friendship 9:

New York Times: South Carolina Court clears Friendship Nine in 1961 Sit-in (includes video of court appearance)
 New York Times: Decades After Sit-in, South Carolina Seeks to Make Things Right
For more information about Johnson’s work with the Friendship 9 go to

Clemson team to compete in international Solar Decathlon

For the first time, Clemson will be among the 20 teams selected from universities around the world to compete at this fall’s international Solar Decathlon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The competition, held every two years in Irvine, California, challenges teams to design and build a cost-effective, energy-efficient and visually appealing solar home, blending affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and design efficiency.
Comprising students from each of Clemson’s five colleges, along with dedicated faculty members, Clemson’s team has embraced the challenge to build and operate the home, named Indigo Pine, a three-bedroom, 1,000 square feet, net-zero energy, solar house that is cost-efficient in today’s market and comfortable in South Carolina and comparable climate zones. The name “Indigo Pine” originates from the home’s Southern roots. Indigo was historically grown in South Carolina while pine trees remain a vital cash crop to the state’s economy. [pullquote]The concept focuses on stitching together innovative building methods, Southern charm and local products in a home for a Southern family.[/pullquote]
Clemson is taking the competition to a new level by choosing to “email” the house across the country then using those digital files to cut out the structural system using a CNC, a computer-controlled cutting machine. This system, referred to as Sim[PLY], allows Indigo Pine to be built virtually anywhere a CNC is available using off-the-shelf materials and handheld tools. Indigo Pine is challenging the construction and design world to think differently about light wood framing and construction in general.
Utilizing the Sim[PLY] system to email the house digitally from coast to coast rather than shipping the entire home by truck allows the team to vastly reduce the production of carbon dioxide emissions from the project. Furthermore, Team Clemson plans to construct not one but two versions of Indigo Pine, one in the South Carolina Botanical Garden this spring and the other in California this fall. This will allow for testing of the home’s functionality and will showcase the ability of the home to be built anywhere.
Clemson’s Solar Decathlon team is operating entirely on private funding from individuals and corporate sponsors.
The Unveiling of Indigo Pine: 

More information about Indigo Pine, including how to volunteer or donate. 


Raymond E. Jones ’86

raymond jones
Problem solver on an international scale
What Raymond Jones learned in mechanical engineering at Clemson was how to learn and how to solve problems. And he’s doing that at ExxonMobil Development in a big way.
A vice president with ExxonMobil Development Company, his region of the world is Asia Pacific (Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam). The company executes multi-billion dollar projects around the world, and Jones manages a portfolio of projects aimed at bringing oil and gas to market. “Our role,” he says, “is to take resources identified by our exploration company, develop an economic concept, design the facilities and execute the project for turnover to our production company for operations.”
His biggest challenge, he says, is trying to get all of the constituents — including foreign governments and foreign contractors — to line up on a common objective and execute the project flawlessly. He has worked in Qatar, Australia, Nigeria and Europe; now he’s based in Houston, but travels regularly to the countries in his portfolio, checking in at different stages of the projects, making sure everybody is “pointed in the right direction, trying to tackle the same hill.”
Jones came to Clemson in 1982, wanting to be an engineer, but he says he “didn’t really know what an ‘engineer’ was. The professors and staff at Clemson opened my eyes to opportunity and, for that, I will always be grateful.” He joined Exxon (now ExxonMobil) Pipeline Company after graduation as a pipeline engineer, designing pipeline systems to move oil and gasoline from fields to refineries and from refineries to terminals.
The longer he stayed in his career, he says, “the more it was about knowing how to learn, how to solve problems, how to take details and put it in a form others could understand — to communicate the ideas.” And that’s what he passes on to the new engineers who come in: “Just learn how to learn and learn how to communicate.”

Mayberry Scholarship brightens Egan’s future

Forever-Chris EganRobert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr., who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer, was a member of Clemson’s much-touted 1981 National Championship football team. When his friends and family remember him, however, it’s not for his exploits on the field. They remember the way he went about helping other people. “Quietly and without the need for recognition,” is the way Kendall Alley ’83, M ’85, another member of that team, describes it.
So when Mayberry’s friends and family thought about how to honor his memory, they settled on a scholarship endowment that would provide partial scholarships to football trainers and/or managers. “We are confident it would have been Bob’s dream to honor those who work hard day in and day out with no expectation of recognition beyond that which accrues to the whole team,” said Mark Richardson ’83, a member of the committee that initiated the effort. Alley referred to the team managers and trainers as “the unsung individuals who are so important to the football team’s success.”
In the Clemson football equipment room, you can find one of those unsung heroes. [pullquote]Chris Egan operates under the same philosophy that characterized Bob Mayberry. He quietly goes about his job of cleaning helmets, organizing gear and toting bags of footballs on and off the field.[/pullquote]
Egan’s life has not been easy. His family moved around 11 times before he was 12 years old, so his mother home-schooled six children. When he was 13, his father left, and his mother went to work outside the home, still managing to homeschool the kids. Chris dropped out of school at 14, working odd jobs to help support the family.
During what was supposed to be his senior year in high school, he took the ACT and spent a year at Greenville Tech; the next summer he worked at Camps Hope and Sertoma, based at Clemson’s Outdoor Lab. It was during that summer, working with special-needs adults and kids from underprivileged families, that he began to find his calling.
The next year, he transferred to Tri-County Tech, continuing to work at the Outdoor Lab. A chance meeting with Alphonso Smith, head of equipment for Clemson football, would prove beneficial. Egan applied to Clemson, knowing he would have to pay his way through loans and part-time work. He contacted Smith, who hired him for a position, one with long hours and not much recognition.
Being an equipment manager is not Egan’s only job. He lives and works at the Outdoor Lab as well. And he works with the ClemsonLIFE program, teaching classes for young adults with disabilities. During the summer, he is assistant director of the two camps at the Outdoor Lab. Along the way, he has finished his degree in history and begun a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on working with nonprofits.
When the scholarship committee came looking for recommendations, equipment manager Abe Reed answered without hesitation. During spring practice, Reed stopped Egan on the way out of practice, took the ball bags from him and told him he needed to talk with someone. Heart in his throat, not knowing what to expect, Egan went in to find Mark Richardson waiting for him. The two talked about the scholarship and about Mayberry, and Richardson had a chance to gauge the young man for himself before signing off on the selection.
For Chris Egan, what does a scholarship like this mean? Egan says his first reaction was “total shock.”
“In my family,” he says, “we’ve always worked very hard for everything. Hearing about that almost made me tear up — helping me get through the rest of school and pay off my loans.” For someone who sees his future as working with special-needs adults, it’s particularly meaningful. “It frees me up to do what I want to do, which doesn’t involve a lot of income. It’s pretty incredible.”
When asked what advice he’d share with other students, he pauses. “Paying for it on my own gave it extra meaning for me. Every class I took, every grade I got — it was all mine. I’d encourage students to do that — there needs to be some ownership with school and with work — realizing that you’re signing your name on everything you do, whether it’s sweeping the floor or doing a presentation for 200 people.”
Chris Egan signs his name on a lot these days. Without looking for any recognition or special attention. Just the kind of thinking Bob Mayberry would appreciate.

Explore the world with your Clemson family

Wayne and Shirley Bennett hosted this group of 21 for the Clemson Alumni Danube Cruise this past year. Their enthusiasm is infectious as they talk about the cities they explored, the things they learned, the people they enjoyed and the comforts of cruising down the Danube River through eight countries and 12 cities. A particular highlight was having a Clemson expert along to share tidbits about the history and culture of the areas in which they were traveling.
Alumni trips offer unequaled access, educational value and the knowledge of Clemson experts to enrich your experience. You can relax, explore and immerse yourself in dream destinations without having to worry about making arrangements and reservations.
Has the travel bug bitten you? Trips this year include Alaska, the Swiss Alps, the Pacific Northwest and Nashville. Contact Randy Boatwright at for more information.

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.
Lawrence V. Starkey Jr. (’56 A&S)
The Inheritance
(CreateSpace) is a suspense novel based on how great wealth can strain family relationships.
Little Pee Dee Cover
William S. Walker (’67 HIST)
Down the Little Pee Dee, Paddling South Carolina’s Legendary Blackwater River
(Dog Ear Publishing) takes readers on a 109-mile journey down the river with adventures and personal narrative.
FROGS Ken Dodd_covers
C. Kenneth Dodd Jr. (PhD ’74 ZOOL)
Frogs of the United States and Canada (Johns Hopkins University Press) is a two-volume, fully referenced resource providing color photographs and range maps for 106 native and nonindigenous species. The book was selected for the 2014 Wildlife Publications Award — Outstanding Book Category.
DeMint bookcv
Jim W. DeMint (M ’79 BUSADM)
Falling in Love with America Again (Center Street) shares the inspirational stories of individual Americans across the country who are rekindling the fires of patriotism and activism.
Ron Rash (M ’79 ENGL)
Nothing Gold Can Stay (Ecco) is a collection of stories that take place in western North Carolina.
Jerry N. Whittle (’79 ENGL)
Slingshot, Standing with Better Angels, Two Hearts Make a Bridge, Honeysuckle Time and Santa Rides Again (Amazon Digital Services) are novels with settings from South Carolina to Tennessee to Louisiana.
reluctant copilot_Durham
W. Kelly Durham (’80 POSC)

The Reluctant Copilot (Amazon Digital Services) is a novel set in the flak- and fighter-filled skies over Nazi-occupied Europe as two men battle for the respect of their crew and for survival against their common enemy.
For Better or Worse_new proof
Leigh Anne Whitlock Hoover (’83 SED-EN)
For Better or Worse
(Jan-Carol Publishing) is a mother’s memoir that chronicles a family’s emotional journey through the joys of a wedding and the life events that follow.
The story of Philadelphia Eleven
Darlene O’Dell (M ’88 ENGL)
The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven (Seabury Books) is the story of the first eleven female priests in the Episcopal Church and how their ordinations set off a media firestorm and upended centuries of customs defining the role of women within the church.
SOUTH Book Cover
Wendy Nilsen Pollitzer (’88 PRTM)
South (Starbooks) features 50 essays about the Southfrom notable musicians, athletes, journalists, writers, business leaders, artist, actors, clergy, chefs and more. It captures the heritage and treasures of the region through a collection of photographs.
Cancel the Wedding
Carolyn Tempel Dingman (’91 DESIGN)
Cancel the Wedding (Harper Paperbacks) is the story of a woman’s journey to discover the secrets of a request from her mother’s will and the shocking truths about the past.
Sean C. Foley (’91 ENT)
The Iguana’s Eyes (Columbia Vista Publishing) is a young adult novel about 13-year old Madeline Bloomfield
suddenly finding herself alone in the world and her experiences with adventure and friendship.
Patrick M. Duffy Jr. (’92 POSC)
Parenting Your Delinquent, Defiant, or Out-of-Control Teen (New Harbinger Publications) is designed to provide practical and effective skills for parents faced with challenging behavior.
Adrian M. Hunter (’94 INDE)
Bello One (iBooks) is a poetic endeavor.
Stigma Surrender
Brian K. Feltman (’99 SED-H, M ’02 HIST)
The Stigma of Surrender: German Prisoners, British Captors, and Manhood in the Great War and Beyond (UNC Press) examines the experiences of the approximately 130,000 German prisoners held in the United Kingdom during World War I.
Jacob B. “Jake” Moran (’02 MKTG)
Can You Hear Me Now? (WestBow Press) chronicles one man’s faith journey. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to funding mission work in eastern Uganda.
great awakening cover current 2
Chaise A. Crosby (’07 FINMGT)
The Great Awakening (CreateSpace) is a novel set in the Carolinas that promotes sustainable farming with realism and humor.
Daniel R. Rodriguez (’14 PRTM)
Rise: A Soldier, a Dream, and a Promise (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) details the Clemson student-athlete’s
experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If you’re a published author, send us a high resolution image of your book cover so we can include you in next spring’s “Alumni Authors.” Send to Julia Sellers at or 114 Daniel Dr., Clemson, S.C. 29631.