Opening the Doors of Opportunity

By Amanda Childers
Photography by Craig Mahaffey ’98
& Ashley Jones

The generosity of committed donors has opened many doors within the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is a strategically planned learning environment that brings students, faculty and industry together in a collaborative space that is forward-thinking in its design and daily application. 
Inside the doors of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business are spaces honoring successful businesspeople who have left their mark on South Carolina and the world, most of whom began their journeys right here at Clemson. Like Billy and Ann Powers, their legacy and their generosity will serve as inspiration for the students who spend their college years studying and learning within these walls.
The Clemson Family is grateful to these generous benefactors who have made significant contributions to the spaces inside Clemson’s grand new facility that, as of this past fall, is now open for business.

+   A dual-tower, five-story structure across from Sikes Hall at the gateway of campus.
+   176,000 square feet of space to accommodate growth, encompassing  more than twice the square footage of Sirrine Hall.
+   Students and faculty are centrally located in one building compared to the five buildings formerly utilized.
+   Possesses the technological capabilities of a top business school, with the capacity to evolve as technology changes.
+   Facilitates and enhances the partnership between academics and industry, providing opportunities for cutting-edge and applied research.
+   Creates a flexible think tank with postdoctoral fellows, adjunct and visiting dignitaries and scholars, graduate students, and permanent faculty who tackle major business and social issues.
+   Models sustainability with quality daylighting and recycled or locally sourced materials.


Pattillo Family Foundation Classroom
David Patillo ’82 and Dan Patillo ’80
The philanthropy and dedication of the Pattillo Family Foundation have supported numerous initiatives across campus, from the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center to Lee Hall. The Pattillo brothers have shared their wisdom, serving on numerous advisory committees and boards. The Pattillo Family Foundation Classroom will empower students with a learning environment that connects values integral to successful business practices — respect, leadership, generosity and service to others — with leading-edge technologies.

Prater Classroom
Mary Ann Prater ’78, M ’83 was honored by friends and family with the naming of a classroom for the beloved accounting professor who inspired, mentored, challenged and encouraged the students who entered her classroom. Prater taught at Clemson for nearly 30 years and retired in 2012. She was the past chair of the Women’s Alumni Council at Clemson, recipient of the Alumni Master Teacher Award and recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award.

Garrison Sales Lab
Dan Garrison ’72 and Nancy Garrison
The Garrisons were Clemson’s first Cornerstone Partners in both academics and athletics. As a student, Dan Garrison learned the skills needed to successfully address business issues and discover real-world solutions. The Garrison Sales Lab is a training ground for students seeking to enhance their communication skills, hone their interviewing techniques and prepare for a successful career in sales.

Johnson Study Lounge
Ashley L. Johnson ’89
An accounting major with an entrepreneurial spirit, Johnson’s philanthropic support has impacted important initiatives across campus. Johnson was inspired to support the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business by a deep appreciation for her Clemson experience that emphasized the significance of connecting with others and the magnitude of the Clemson Family. Her vision is that the Johnson Study Lounge will be a space for students to study, create and dream.

Throughout the interior of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business are pillars that represent foundational core values and ideals, chosen by the University. These pillars are dedicated to empowering purpose-driven students and business leaders who will make a positive, lasting impact on society. They honor the following philanthropic individuals who support the college’s mission to develop the next generation of leaders.
Madison Charitable Foundation
The Perseverance Pillar was named through a gift from the Madison Charitable Foundation. The Foundation’s generosity provides an endowed scholarship and additional support for student opportunities.
Joseph A. Erwin ’79 and Gretchen Erwin
Joe Erwin’s Clemson education in political science led to a dynamic career in marketing, media publication and politics throughout which he remained deeply engaged with his alma mater. In 2012, the Erwins established the Erwin Center for Brand Communications, a pioneering communications curriculum program. The Erwins made a transformational Academic Cornerstone gift to the College of Business, providing student scholarships, programming support and funding for the new building as the Communication Pillar donor.
Richard M. Davies ’86
After graduating from Clemson, Rich Davies founded a successful real estate development firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Crediting an engaging and supportive Clemson experience as the foundation for his professional success, he has served as a member of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business’ Trevillian Cabinet, the Athletics Advisory Council and as president and board member of Dabo and Kathleen Swinney’s All-In Team Foundation. In 2017, Davies was awarded the Distinguished Service Award, the Alumni Association’s highest honor for a Clemson graduate. Davies was led to sponsor the Capitalism Pillar by his belief in the transformative effect that education can have in leveraging capitalism and free-market principles to improve the socioeconomic condition of all people across the demographic spectrum.
Marion “Bill” Beason ’61 and Pamela G. Beason
The Business Leadership Pillar is named in honor of Bill and Pam Beason. Bill Beason’s Clemson education and enterprising mindset launched him into a successful career in the textiles and fiberglass industries. Bill was a consummate servant leader who took great pride in serving as president of the Rutherford-Cleveland County IPTAY Club and the Clemson University Foundation. The Beasons also established the M. Bill Beason and Pamela G. Beason Endowment to support entrepreneurial studies at Clemson.
These dedicated spaces within the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business will help transform students into innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders who succeed in the global marketplace. Through an immersive educational experience both in and out of the classroom, students will be exposed to individual development, entrepreneurial thinking, and a customized professional education that sparks a lifelong desire for learning and giving back. Inspired by those who went before them, they will become proven, market-ready experts poised to shape the future.
Opportunity awaits, and the doors at Clemson are open for business.

Phyfer Auditorium
Cheri Dunmore Phyfer ’93, M ’99 and family
Crediting her Clemson education as the catalyst for her career as a successful business leader across global markets, Phyfer has supported numerous initiatives including the Women’s Leadership Institute, the College of Business Dean’s Excellence Fund, the WestZone project, multiple scholarships and the Phyfer Innovation Hub at Greenville ONE. Phyfer served as chair of the college’s Trevillian Cabinet, as a member of the Clemson University Foundation Board and was named to the Clemson University Board of Trustees in 2016.

Richardson Atrium
Mark S. Richardson ’83
A member of Clemson’s 1981 national championship football team, Richardson graduated with a degree in business administration. Through his entrepreneurial vision and work ethic, he built a diverse portfolio of successful business ventures. Richardson was a founding member of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business’ Trevillian Cabinet and was named to the Clemson University Board of Trustees in 2013. In 2018, he received the Brian Dawkins Lifetime Achievement Award from Clemson’s football program. Richardson’s commitment to educational access inspired support to the Emerging Scholars program, the Call Me MISTER® program, the ClemsonLIFE program and the President James F. Barker and Mrs. Marcia D. Barker Scholarship Endowment.

Melvin and Dollie Younts Trading Room
Melvin K. Younts and Dollie Isgett Younts
Although neither Melvin nor the late Dollie Younts attended Clemson, many of their children and grandchildren have Clemson degrees, and the Yountses have been passionate about giving back to the communities that fostered their success. Clemson’s fifth Athletic Cornerstone Partner, the Younts family made a gift to name the Melvin and Dollie Younts South Club in Memorial Stadium. An attorney, investor and real estate developer, Melvin Younts also named a Pillar in the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel in memory of his beloved wife and partner. Because of his passion for investing in the stock market, he has named the trading room and funded a program to support the space.