Crystal Pee honors her grandparents to bridge the gap of access
Crystal M. Pee ’18 is a firm believer in honoring the blessings of life. When she got her first job out of graduate school as a diversity, equity and inclusion consultant, she didn’t hesitate to return that blessing by giving back.
She recently pledged a gift to her alma mater to establish the Major and Mazie Booth Diversity Scholarship Endowment at Clemson University, in loving memory of her grandparents. Although Pee never had the opportunity to meet her grandfather, his story was instrumental in her pursuit of an engineering degree. He was a self-taught “engineer,” with a pretty keen business mind thrown in for good measure. In the 1950s, he physically built a house for his family that still stands today. He designed and constructed an irrigation system for his family farm. He performed cost analysis to figure out how to pay for materials and labor, as well as track all his drawings and calculations in a notebook. He did all these things without the benefit of a formal education.
“The scholarships and fellowships that I received helped me out so much as a student, I could not wait to do it for others when I got the opportunity.”
Pee feels the only difference between herself and her grandfather was access to resources and the opportunity to attain a college education. She established the endowment in his name in order to bridge the gap of access and provide opportunity for minoritized students who have the desire to complete a degree program at Clemson.
There is no lack of inspiration within the Pee family. Pee’s parents have dedicated themselves to a life of service and ministry. She was empowered from a young age to be anything she wanted to be. With her family’s encouragement, and her accomplished grandfather as inspiration, she chose chemical engineering at Clemson, where she excelled.
Pee says, “I started this scholarship at the University I love to honor my maternal grandparents and the people in my life who have been a blessing to me. The scholarships and fellowships that I received helped me out so much as a student, I could not wait to do it for others when I got the opportunity. The Major and Mazie Booth Diversity Scholarship Endowment is my way of giving back to Clemson and providing access and opportunity to those who want to pursue a degree at Clemson University.”