This group of alumni might have been at ESPN’s “College GameDay” in Alabama, but Mark Johnson, Hope Burley, Morgan Eriksson, Leslie Olson, Bates Nunamaker, Allen Phillips and Will Hewston were wearing their orange and purple, sporting their rings and hoisting the Clemson flag. If you’re planning on being at a game that’s been designated as ESPN “College GameDay,” and you want to help #FlyTheFlag, email email@example.com.
Five new members have been named to the 23-member Alumni Association Board of Directors. The board is responsible for general oversight, financial audit and review, governing policies and strategic planning.
Joni Byars ’07 of Greenville is a U.S. Army veteran working for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Greenville VA Clinic, where she is housing manager for the Homeless Veterans Program. She is a founding member of the Dorchester County Clemson Club, where she served as president and
Shaun Cranford ’03 of Columbia is an attorney with the Cranford Law Firm and represents homeowners’ associations in North and South Carolina. He is former president of the Columbia Clemson Club and a recipient of the Roaring 10 Award.
Mike Hamilton ’85, M ’88 of Franklin, Tennessee, is executive director of Show Hope, a nonprofit founded to care and advocate for orphans worldwide. He is past president of the Tampa Bay Clemson Club.
Eric Thome ’00 of Charleston is owner/operator of Folbot, a manufacturer of folding kayaks. He is also a member of the Charleston Clemson Club.
Barbara Walker Webb ’89 of Neeses is a compliance consultant for Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, Columbia. She is past president of the Edisto Clemson Club. A volunteer for the S.C. Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, she has served as walk chair, co-chair and walk committee member for the Columbia Area Out of the Darkness Community Walk.
Morgann Alcumbrack, Fleming Hall and Mary Catherine Harbin were three of the more than 1,700 students who purchased their Clemson rings this past fall. The three-day fall ring sale set a record for the most rings ever purchased in a semester.
For more information about how you can purchase a Clemson ring, or other related merchandise, go to alumni.clemson.edu.
In 1975, a group of freshman women found themselves living in Benet Hall and began a lifelong journey of friendship and family. It’s a group that perfectly represents what alumni mean when they talk about the Clemson family. Every year, the Benet Babes get together to renew their friendship and catch up with each others’ lives.
This year, that group decided it was time to pay it forward, and they joined together to establish a scholarship fund. Lisa Burnett Hendrix, described as “the chief Benet Babe advocate for establishing and maintaining our scholarship,” says it best:
“In 1975, we came from different towns, states and backgrounds, to receive a quality education at Clemson University. As fate would have it, we were assigned rooms in Benet Hall and so began our lifelong friendships. As the years passed, we began to get together on an annual basis and reminisce about how fortunate we were to meet one another at Clemson.
“We decided it was time that others were offered the same type of experience. Hence, the establishment of the ‘Benet Babes’ scholarship which will allow a Clemson student to gain a great education while developing relationships that may last a lifetime. After all, we are one big family, the Clemson family, and we take great care of one another.”
Sarah Barron Stuber ’09 found that waving the Clemson flag on ESPN “GameDay” brings new Clemson friends, even in East Lansing, Michigan. She had been at “GameDay” for about an hour when Patti Dodgen walked over to say that she was also a Clemson alum and to express her appreciation for Stuber bringing Clemson to East Lansing. Dodgen’s husband is a Michigan State graduate, and they make the trip up from their home in Tampa for at least one game each year.
As they began talking, they realized Dodgen was from the same hometown as Stuber’s father, Tommy Barron ’76. Not only had Dodgen grown up next door, she also lived with Stuber’s aunt (Mary Roberts Barron) at Clemson and knew Dodgen’s mother.
“I had heard her name many times before, when my dad would tell stories of his childhood in York, but never had the pleasure of meeting her,” says Stuber. “It was a special Clemson family moment, and we spent the last two hours of “GameDay” talking and laughing about how a Clemson flag in East Lansing, Michigan, can bring together two Tiger families from South Carolina after almost 30 years.”
Clemson has recognized 10 young alumni for their impact in business, leadership, community, educational and philanthropic endeavors. This year’s Roaring 10 were selected for their commitment to Clemson’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect, and as well as involvement with and contributions to the University.
Brian Collie ’04, M ’06 of Mount Pleasant leads tax, estate planning and real estate practice for Buxton and Collie LLC. He is involved with the Clemson Emerging Scholars Program and served as a member of the Clemson University MBA Alumni Council.
Darris Means ’07 of Athens, Georgia, is an assistant professor at the University of Georgia in the counseling and human development services department and college student affairs administration program. He serves on Clemson’s Higher Education and Student Affairs External Education Advisory Board.
Harrison Trammell ’06 of Charleston is an associate at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP. He has the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) credential and is a member of South Carolina’s chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. He participated in the Clemson Alumni Council from 2012 to 2014, serving as president of Clemson Young Alumni Council in 2013.
Jessica Barron Martin ’07, M ’09 of Charleston is a vice president in Wells Fargo’s real estate group. She participates in Clemson’s Real Estate Alumni Society and is president of Clemson in the Lowcountry. She formerly served as co-chair of the Wells Fargo Lowcountry Volunteer Chapter and was president of the Greater Orlando Clemson Club.
Joseph Branch II ’05 of Alexandria, Virginia, has been deployed eight times since graduation. His outstanding performance in the U.S. Army Special Operations command led to his selection for an Army Inter-Agency Fellowship with the National Geospatial Agency. He continues to support Clemson’s ROTC program and Tiger athletics.
Matthew Bundrick ’07 of Clemson serves as Clemson Creative Services’ director of web services. In addition to playing a critical role in the development of Clemson’s websites, he has been highly involved with the Staff Senate since 2010, serving as president from 2014-2015.
Matthew Pencek ’10 of Washington, D.C., works for MorganFranklin Consulting and has been recognized as a “Top Consultant Under 35” by trade associations. He is a College of Business and Behavioral Science Tiger Ties mentor and is involved with the Baltimore/D.C. Clemson Club.
Rick Joye ’97, M ’06 of Greenville is an executive at Michelin North America and a supply chain manager for 10 Michelin manufacturing plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. He also founded Sustaining Way, a nonprofit that brings together diverse individuals and organizations to find affordable ways to care for people while caring for the environment.
Scott Sampson ’08, M ’10 of Clemson currently serves as Young Alumni annual giving officer. Young alumni giving has increased each year Sampson has held the position. He also is involved in Clemson’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and continues to give campus tours as an ambassador.
Stephanie Sox ’07 of Columbia is executive director of the S.C. Soybean Board, representing the state’s 1,800 soybean farmers. She also serves as the Certified S.C. Grown Palmetto Series project manager and was selected as a 2014 National Top Ten Finalist for the American Farm Bureau Excellence in Agriculture Award. She is a College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences alumni board member.
Happy New Year from campus. The start of a new year and a new semester is a good time to pause and reflect on the year just completed and look ahead to what comes next.
2015 was a year of many achievements and accomplishments — more than can be listed here. We continue to rank among the nation’s top public universities, we set records in undergraduate applications and private fundraising, and we made progress on the largest construction initiative in Clemson’s history.
We advanced efforts to enhance diversity and build a culture of inclusive excellence through the re-creation of the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, launch of the President’s Lecture Series on Leadership and Diversity, appointment of a new Diversity Advisory Council and work of a Board of Trustees task force on how to document and tell the full story of Clemson’s history.
As this magazine went to press, our men’s and women’s soccer teams were heading into the NCAA tournaments, both seeded No. 2, and the football team was finishing up an incredible undefeated season and headed for post-season play.
By any measure, it was an exceptional year. So as we look forward to 2016 and beyond, what’s next?
Much of what comes next at Clemson will be driven by a new strategic plan that will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval next month. We call it ClemsonForward, because it’s about constantly moving forward, striving to reach greater heights and preparing Clemson for the next 50 years.
ClemsonForward is built on the success of the previous strategic plan — the 2020 Road Map — and remains true to our Top 20 vision. The planning process elicited hundreds of ideas and recommendations from faculty, staff and students through committees, town meetings and online discussions. Many common threads and themes emerged, which we have distilled into the following strategic priorities:
• Research — to drive innovation and economic growth, solve problems and build a strong national academic reputation.
• Engagement — the cornerstone of the Road Map and essence of the land-grant mission.
• Academic Core — the central teaching, learning and student support mission.
• Living — that is, the quality of the campus as a beautiful, supportive and nurturing place to live, work and learn, which has always been a treasured part of the Clemson experience.
You may have noticed that the acronym spells “REAL” — a word that came up frequently throughout the planning process, expressed in many ways:
• Real impact on the great challenges of our time.
• Real-world experiences that prepare students for success after graduation.
• Real family — supportive, inclusive and respectful.
• Real solutions to real problems facing our state and nation.
That’s not surprising, because we were founded in 1889 to solve real problems and find real solutions, and that remains the essence of the land-grant mission.
It’s not that Clemson was not “real” in the past. The University has been in the Top 25 for eight consecutive years, and it’s time to cement our place in that company. We believe the ClemsonForward plan will help us do just that.
A critical component of the plan is a reorganization that creates seven new colleges, including a College of Science, a College of Business and a College of Education. All colleges will have departmental realignments, even if the names don’t change, that are intended to sharpen their mission focus, support recruitment of outstanding academic talent and increase the opportunities for national prominence.
Throughout 2016, you will see tangible signs that the plan is being implemented. In January, we will open the Watt Family Innovation Center as a hub of engagement and entrepreneurship, and over the next few months we will erect new historical markers to document the role of Native Americans and African Americans in our early history, develop a capital improvement plan for research and academics, and launch major new research initiatives.
ClemsonForward truly reflects the energy and attitude of Clemson’s DNA, which is built on core attributes of vision, drive, determination, optimism, family — and, yes, competitiveness, as we look to make a positive difference for our students, state and nation.
You can find more about ClemsonForward online at clemson.edu/forward.
The 2015 Freshman Class Every August, the campus is energized by the arrival of curious, intelligent and engaged freshmen from towns as close as Six Mile and far away as Hong Kong. These freshman, even as they’re learning what it means to be a member of the Clemson family, are bringing their talents, abilities and intensity to make Clemson, and the world, a better place.
Expect to be impressed when you meet a Marine, but when that Marine is a 95-year-old Pearl Harbor survivor who challenges you to a pull-up contest, prepare to be blown away.
This is one of many things Will Hines of Spartanburg has learned in conducting the Veterans Project, an ongoing undergraduate research project to collect and preserve the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations can hear those stories directly from the men and women who lived them.
Former Marine Staff Sgt. Robert A. Henderson’s story begins in Hawaii on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, as a plane with a perplexing paint job thunders overhead “close enough that I could have thrown a rock and hit it” toward a row of U.S. Navy ships docked in the harbor, he said. He thought it was part of a drill until the plane dipped and released a torpedo. The violent chaos in the two hours that followed would define much of the 20th century.
Henderson described in gripping detail the many months of combat he experienced, culminating in the Battle of Okinawa. “I was in the first and last battles of the war,” he said.
Hines videotapes every word. One copy will go to Henderson and his family, and one copy will go to the Library of Congress to be preserved forever.
When asked how he stays so healthy at 95, Henderson takes Hines out to his garage to show off his home gym where he exercises three times a week. He demonstrates by doing 12 pull-ups without breaking a sweat and dares Hines to match him.
Hines, a business management major from Spartanburg, became involved in the project because of his lifelong fascination with history. His interest in veterans stemmed from his relationship with a great uncle who served in the Pacific during WWII. After Henderson’s interview, Hines is slated to interview a Vietnam veteran and a Battle of the Bulge veteran. It’s quite a day for a history buff.
“I can’t speak highly enough about the altruism and the character of the students who have been involved in this project. As a veteran myself, I really appreciate what they’re doing,” said historian Vernon Burton, author of The Age of Lincoln and the Veterans Project’s faculty adviser. “They care about our history, and they care about these people and the sacrifices they’ve made.”
To date, Clemson students have preserved the stories of 87 veterans from all branches of service with hopes that the project will continue as new students cycle in.
“It is very important to document these veterans’ stories as told from their own mouths while we still can,” said Burton. “Beyond that, this program provides an incredible opportunity for students here at Clemson to experience history firsthand while developing historic and analytical skills. The use of new technology and interviewing techniques will serve them as they move forward in their careers. Most importantly, they’re helping to create an amazing resource for historians of the future.”
After interviewing Marine Staff Sgt. Robert A. Henderson, Clemson student Will Hines of Spartanburg makes the seven-minute drive to another veteran’s home. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Arthur T. Ballard was an F-105 fighter pilot during the Vietnam conflict with 68 combat missions under his belt when he was shot down and captured Sept. 26, 1966.