Tom Wren ’91 and his family celebrated Clemson’s National Championship in Turks & Caicos this year.
IPTAY members Ben and Sandy Matranga show their Tiger spirt on their honeymoon in their over-the-water villas in Montego Bay, Jamaica. We are all in! Go Tigers!
Celebrating 24 years of marriage and raising Tigers, Macy Craig (’21), Michael Craig (’26), Steven Craig (’18), Steven Craig (’88) and Molly Craig (Sewanee Tiger, ’91).
About 5,000 residents near the southern tip of Dominica learned just how precarious their water supply was when Tropical Storm Erika’s torrential rains caused a creek to breach the cistern that holds their treated drinking water.
With their usual supply contaminated, drinking water had to be shipped to the Caribbean island. But a landslide caused by heavy rains blocked the only road into the area. There was no dock, so large boats couldn’t access the area, and the smaller fishing boats weren’t seaworthy in stormy weather.
The drinking water eventually recovered from the August 2015 storm, but it remains vulnerable. For a group of Clemson students, it’s among the first challenges in a new global engagement program, Engage Dominica. Eight of the program’s 20 students went to the island nation over spring break to begin gathering information on 10 separate projects, including upgrades to the water treatment system.
They returned to Clemson with reams of data and are compiling a presentation they will use to start building support with the Dominican government, the Cardinal Felix Foundation and other groups that might want to collaborate.
Jared Delk, a sophomore civil engineering student, said he liked having the chance to create a project from scratch, helping design it, build it and make final adjustments at the end. “Just knowing all that, it was one of the best trips I’ve taken,” he said. “It was amazing to know that the ideas that are coming from me could help people.”
Jennifer Ogle, an associate professor of civil engineering, leads Engage Dominica. “These students are working hard to build their own organization and their own agenda and relationships in Dominica,” she said. “This program helps position them to have a global impact now and after they graduate.” The projects the Clemson students are pursuing include a cap for the cistern and designs for a pier to support emergency evacuation, fishing and tourism. They also have plans for a basketball court that will direct rainwater around a low-lying primary school while giving the students a place to play.
Engage Dominica already has corporate support, which is seen as a key to success. Morgan Corp., a heavy civil contractor whose corporate office is located in Duncan, recently donated a LiDAR scanner to the program. Students used the scanner to collect images and point clouds of the proposed project sites in Dominica. Using this data, students can measure distances between any two points with a degree of accuracy within a few millimeters as well as create 3D models.
When Xavier Smith learned he was Tigertown bound in 2016, he had dual feelings of joy and apprehension. How would the cost of his college education be covered?
When he learned he would be a recipient of the Annexstad Family Foundation’s Leaders for Tomorrow scholarship, Smith was both surprised and overjoyed. “I called my entire family,” Smith said, “and they got excited, too.”
His freshman year was one filled with Clemson moments, beginning the very first day. “My roommate is one of my friends from high school, and we spent the day walking around campus meeting new people. Without the Annexstad Family Foundation Scholarship, I wouldn’t be here right now having these moments,” he said.
In addition to campus activities, the scholarship is guiding the biochemistry major along the path to achieving his dreams of going into the medical field. Smith is currently considering both neurology and pharmacy and is thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Like Al and Cathy Annexstad, Smith isn’t letting his past hardships stop him from achieving his goals, and it’s important that those who face similar situations do the same.
“We are delighted that Clemson has chosen to partner with us,” noted co-founder Al Annexstad. “Young people like Xavier represent a huge reservoir of future leaders for the country. We wish him well.”
Stepping into the Art Cellar means being greeted with bold primary colors, pretty pastels, trinkets to take home and statement pieces to hang above mantels. It’s not just a place for artists to sell their wares, but also a home for art education and mentorship.
Lindsay Louise McPhail, the Art Cellar’s owner, wanted to be an artist and a teacher. She’s living the dream — just in a different venue than originally planned. These days you’ll find her in the back of the converted restaurant’s old kitchen in downtown Greenville throwing clay or teaching printmaking for ceramics. “I’ve always considered myself an artist,” she said. “I’ve always drawn and painted, and I’m always doing projects at home.”
After graduating from Clemson with a bachelor of fine arts in visual arts and working a few years, McPhail was planning to go through South Carolina’s Program for Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) to go into a traditional K-12 classroom and teach art. But then an underground art gallery in downtown Greenville put up a “For Sale” sign. “I called the owner, and she said her husband was sick, and she could no longer care for him and the business,” she said.
McPhail acted fast. Without any formal business education, she quickly got together a deposit for the business, developed a business plan and dove into an adventure she’d never planned. “It’s hard to describe just how surreal it all feels. I just feel very lucky that I get to do art every day and pursue my passion.”
McPhail’s gallery was on South Main Street for two years before outgrowing the space and moving to North Main Street. Now across from Noma Square, she features more than 50 local artists in gallery space. In addition to offering monthly classes in painting or ceramics, McPhail’s business also houses three other artists-in-residence working in the studio.
The new space also gives artists more visibility than ever before with the new layout and the location, McPhail said.
“As an artist, the main thing you want is visibility, “she said. “Artists want to be working and creating in the studio. They may not have somewhere to display and sell, nor want to do it themselves. We provide that space downtown for them.”
“If you don’t have an ‘I Am,’ someone will have a ‘You Are’,” said Khalilah Shabazz of Indiana University, demonstrating how men of color are labeled. “Have a clear definition of yourself!”
This spring, as most districts were preparing to end the school year, Clemson was focused on helping minority students who too often never make it to graduation day.
Clemson’s inaugural Men of Color National Summit was held in late April at the TD Convention Center in Greenville. The summit’s mission is to close the achievement gap for African-American and Hispanic males, who trail other demographic groups in high school graduation and college enrollment rates. This now-annual event will benefit students and their communities by identifying and promoting strategies that foster success from cradle to career.
Educators, business professionals, advocates and community leaders from 27 states attended. At the heart of the event is the Tiger Alliance — a cohort of 325 ninth through 11th-grade students from the Upstate and I-95 corridor. The 2017-18 Tiger Alliance cohort’s experience at the summit included meeting inspiring role models and attending workshops that emphasized proven, real-life skills.
The summit enjoyed strong support from the Upstate, including presenting sponsors, the city of Greenville and Greenville County. The nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show” broadcast live from the summit.
In addition to 30 breakout session speakers, high-profile keynotes included Tavis Smiley, host of the PBS talk show “Tavis Smiley” and PRI’s “The Tavis Smiley Show”; John Quiñones, journalist and host of the ABC newsmagazine “What Would You Do?”; Desmond Howard, Heisman Trophy winner and ESPN college football analyst; Roy Jones, executive director of Clemson’s Call Me MISTER® program; Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and David J. Johns, former executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans.
With the support of Clemson President James P. Clements, the event was spearheaded by Lee A. Gill, Clemson’s chief diversity officer and special assistant to the president for inclusive excellence. Gill gives the lion’s share of the credit to co-chairs Chuck Knepfle, associate vice president for enrollment management, and Julio Hernandez, associate director for Hispanic outreach, as well as a host of dedicated staff and volunteers.
A 20-year higher education veteran, Gill came to Clemson in 2016 from the University of Akron, where he had led the Black Male Summit for nine years. He hailed the first Clemson summit as a huge success.
“The Clemson summit exceeded my wildest dreams,” Gill said. “It took us nine years at Akron to reach the 2000-person level. In our first year here, to attract some 1,700 people was just outstanding. From the very start, the city of Greenville, the County of Greenville and the superintendents of the school districts understood the importance and possibilities for this event. Their support went beyond anything I ever imagined.” Gill added, “The Tiger Alliance is where the rubber meets the road. This is where our emphasis will be from now into 2018 and for years to come.”
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Confirmed keynotes for the 2018 summit include Roland Martin, Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Lamont Hill.
Leigh Anne Clark and her research team have discovered genes in collies and shelties that explain a number of traits in the two breeds. Their most recent discovery could have implications for humans as well.
There are some hard-working Clemson employees on campus this summer, but they’re a little different from your typical faculty and staff.
It’s a small unassuming building that looks like it belongs in an earlier time. Many people on campus aren’t aware of its existence, and few have been inside.