Sellout Crowd for Third Men of Color Summit

Freeman Hrabowski at Men of Color Summit 2019The 2019 Clemson University Men of Color National Summit opened with college professor, political commentator and TV personality Melissa Harris-Perry challenging the standing-room-only crowd of attendees to question the way we measure, define and reward achievement.

She encouraged attendees to think about “the stories we tell about the challenges facing our community, what questions we can use to challenge those stories and how these questions help us create more socially just outcomes.”

Held in May, this was the third year of the conference dedicated to help create college and career pathways for male students of color. The conference brought together 2,000 experts, educators, thought leaders and students from across the nation to share ideas, discuss what works and doesn’t work, and to consider what hasn’t yet been tried.

Attendees also chose from more than 45 breakout sessions covering topics such as “Seven Steps to Make Adversity Your Advantage” and “My Destiny Is Great. Now How Do I Get There?”

“The summit is an especially powerful experience for the students who attend because they are able to see for themselves how many people support their success,” said Julio Hernandez, chief of staff and associate director for Hispanic outreach in Clemson’s Division of Inclusion and Equity. “When resources are made available to these young men and they receive mentoring, their professional and personal growth is limitless.”

Clemson President Jim Clements introduced the 400 members of Tiger Alliance, a college access program designed for South Carolina African American and Hispanic males in grades nine through 12, and the 200 participants of Clemson’s Emerging Scholars program, which focuses on students from South Carolina’s I-95 corridor.

“I know we need to work harder to close the achievement gap that exists in this county,” Clements said, describing the work Clemson is doing to ensure all students excel. “I truly believe in the life-changing, transformational powers of education, and that education is a path to a better life not just for an individual but for society as a whole.”

In addition to Harris-Perry, speakers included Ronald Estrada of Univision Communications, author and leadership consultant Anton J. Gunn, University of Maryland-Baltimore County president Freeman Hrabowski, Joy Thomas Moore of JWS Media Consulting, UCLA education professor Pedro Noguera and Harlem Children’s Zone founder Geoffrey Canada.

Canada was introduced by his son, Clemson student Geoffrey Canada Jr. Canada challenged the high school students in attendance to stand up for what they believe in, never give up and prepare for the moment that could shape their lives.

“Nothing in this life happens without courageous people standing up and doing the right thing,” he said.  “And part of what you’re going through right now as young men is not just getting a decent education and getting into college but to figure out what do you stand for.”

The 2020 Men of Color National Summit will take place March 34 at the Greenville Convention Center.

A Campus of Overachievers

President James ClementsMany of us love to quote Dabo Swinney as he refers to “little old Clemson.” It’s a way of describing Clemson as a community that accomplishes a whole lot more than some, not familiar with our University, expect. This has been true of our football team, our faculty and staff, our students, and our alumni.

In this issue, you can read stories that illustrate that theme: Dallas Glass ’03, an avalanche forecaster and mountain guide who leads groups up the tallest mountains in the world — a far cry from the rural Alabaman landscape of his childhood. Alumni who have found and followed their passion for craft brewing, launching successful businesses and breweries. Rhondda Thomas, the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature who has shed light on the formerly untold stories of the African Americans who contributed to the development of Clemson from 1825 to the present.

Also included in this issue is a holiday gift guide, featuring products crafted and created by Clemson alumni. I think you’ll be amazed at the creativity and determination that is on display among our alumni around the country.

All of these stories make up the larger Clemson story — and that is one of collaboration, resourcefulness and tenacity, fueled with a passion for leading lives of significance and creating a better world for all of us.

Clemson continues to amaze and impress me every day as I hear the stories of the people who make up this institution.

Please keep sharing your Clemson stories with us.

Go Tigers!

Excellence in Stewardship Award

Joe Ryan and Debra Galinsky are the recipients of the inaugural Excellence in Stewardship awards, which recognize a faculty member and staff member who exemplify excellence in stewardship and gratitude initiatives with donors and volunteers.

Joe Ryan
Joe RyanRyan, who holds the Sue Stanzione Distinguished Professorship for ClemsonLIFE, is founder and executive director of ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone), a nationally recognized post-secondary education program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. Ryan has been key in establishing funding priorities to assist with fundraising efforts, and his careful stewardship of philanthropic dollars has allowed the ClemsonLIFE program to hire additional staff, establish a distinguished professorship and provide financial aid to students in need.


Debra Galinsky

Debra GalinskyGalinsky has exemplified similar principles of stewardship in her role as an administrative assistant in the Department of Psychology. In addition to her other responsibilities, she launched a direct mail campaign to reengage the department’s alumni, which resulted in the creation of two new alumni awards, the renewal of alumni connections and an increase in donations to the department. She is also exploring other ways to engage alumni, such as a newsletter, a tailgate and an advisory board.


Club News

Library of Congress

Preserving Veterans’ Stories

The Library of Congress was the site of the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., Clemson Club’s gala on May 14 to celebrate Clemson’s military history and veterans. For the event, the club partnered with Veterans History Project, a Library of Congress project that collects and preserves the personal stories and histories of the United States military. In a Creative Inquiry led by history professor Vernon Burton, students assist Veterans History Project by conducting interviews and collecting materials before digitizing them and sending them to the Library of Congress.

At the event, Sen. Tim Scott, Congressmen Jeff Duncan ’88* and Ralph Norman, Lt. Gen. Gene Blackwell ’63*, Maj. Gen. Ed Jackson ’86*, retired Maj. Gen. Mark Dillon, Maj. Gen. Timothy Kelly and Brig. Gen. F. Carlos Hill ’86* were in attendance, along with members of Clemson Corps and current cadets. A sold-out crowd of 200 alumni, parents and friends of the University enjoyed the event.


Philly Golf Tournament

On June 7, the Philadelphia Clemson Club hosted its third annual golf tournament and silent auction dinner at Rock Manor Golf Club in Wilmington, Del. Sixty-eight golfers participated, and there was a special appearance by the Tiger Cub. Over $7,000 was raised that day for the club’s scholarship fund.


Scholarship Banquet

The Spartanburg Clemson Club held a scholarship banquet and silent auction on April 30, which included a taco bar buffet by Cribbs Catering and desserts by Big Ben’s Desserts, notably his famous banana pudding. The event featured Women’s Basketball Head Coach Amanda Butler and Tim Bourret, former sports information director, along with appearances by IPTAY, the Alumni Association and the Women’s Alumni Council.


Tailgate Tavern

On May 13, the Aiken County Clemson Club put on a “Celebrity Waiter Night” at Tailgate Tavern in Aiken, S.C., to benefit Children’s Place. Celebrity waiters included members of the Women’s Alumni Council and celebrity hosts Sally Tice and Allison Basile. The 2019 National Championship game was played, and there was a Clemson-themed menu for guests to enjoy

Call for Thomas Green Clemson Medallion nominations

Clemson MedallionClemson University is currently accepting nominations for its highest public award, the Clemson Medallion. The award is bestowed by the Board of Trustees and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a long and sustained commitment and significant service to the University.
Recipients of the Clemson Medallion are recognized as having earned the collective respect and admiration of the Clemson Family. As the highest honor, it is bestowed in a most selective manner, and to a maximum of two recipients every other year. 2019 is deemed a selection year.
Background of award
This award is reserved principally for nominees who graduated from Clemson and others who have cultivated a meaningful relationship with the University. The award is reserved only for those individuals who exemplify the dedication and foresight of benefactor Thomas Green Clemson, who advocated for scientific education and the advancement of agriculture when higher education in those studies in the United States was in its infancy. Thomas Green Clemson not only provided financial support to the institution but was also a model as an agricultural scientist and man of learning for his fellow South Carolinians.
Explore the nomination application here. Only nominations through this electronic form will be accepted. No less than three and no more than 10 letters of support are required per nomination. The nominator’s cover letter will be considered a letter of support. Please attach all supporting documentation when submitting the final nomination form for consideration.
The deadline for submissions is 4:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 2019.