distinguished service awarDS

Starting Five

Illustrations by Chris Turner

Like many other events in 2021, Clemson’s Distinguished Service Award ceremony was delayed. But in February 2022, the Alumni Association honored five alumni, ranging from the Class of 1965 to the Class of 1986, with the highest honor they bestow on alumni.

The DSA is based on personal and professional accomplishments, dedication and service to the University, and devotion to community and public service. These five honorees have long resumes and even longer lists of personal and community achievements.

Phil Bradley ’65

Retired Owner, Allstate Insurance Agency

Charleston, S.C.

After graduating in 1965 and serving three years in the military, Phil Bradley returned to Charleston and began a five-decade career in the insurance business. He retired in 2018 and lives on Johns Island with his wife, Mary H ’15.

Bradley has chaired the University’s Board of Visitors and served on the Clemson University Foundation’s board of directors. He is a member of the Charleston County Clemson Club and has served two terms as chair of Clemson in the Lowcountry.

The Bradleys are donors to both academics and athletics. The first major benefactors of the Creative Inquiry program, they also have contributed significantly to ClemsonLIFE, the Watt Family Innovation Center, the Early Childhood Education Center, and annual awards in teaching and mentoring. Longtime members of IPTAY, they supported the facilities at the West End Zone, where the patrons’ locker rooms are named in their honor.

Marvin G. Carmichael ’71, M ’76

Nationally Respected Student Financial Aid Leader

Seneca, S.C.

Marvin Carmichael began working at Clemson as a student in 1967, as a full-time employee in 1971 and as a member of the Office of Student Financial Aid in 1973, where he was a driving force in shaping state and national student financial aid policy, legislation and funding for four decades.

An adviser to the South Carolina General Assembly, he was instrumental in crafting legislation and regulations for the LIFE Scholarship. He chaired the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the NCAA’s Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism.

In 2000, he became assistant to the president and liaison to the University’s Board of Visitors and President’s Advisory Board. In 2005, he was appointed assistant to the president and chief of staff, the post he held until his 2016 retirement.

Carmichael passed away in October 2021.

“These individuals are exemplary in terms of their selfless service to others, their professional accomplishments, and their outstanding devotion and commitment to Clemson. They’ve set a high bar, and the Alumni Association is proud to recognize each with such a fitting honor.”

Wil Brasington ’00

Alumni Association Executive Director

Robert B. Hambright ’70

Retired Construction Industry Executive

Blowing Rock, N.C.

After 25 years leading J.A. Jones Construction, one of the nation’s largest construction companies, Bob Hambright served as president and chief executive officer of the Southeast Division for Balfour Beatty, a provider of general contracting, at-risk construction management, design-build and privatized military housing services.

As a member of the Clemson University Foundation’s board of directors and chair in 2019-2020, Hambright drove the improvement of donor stewardship and restructuring to enhance support for fundraising activities.

Within the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, Hambright and his wife, Susan, have created the Hambright Scholars Program, the Robert B. ’70 and Susan B. Hambright Annual Leadership Program in Engineering and the Hambright Distinguished Professorship in Engineering Leadership. They are also major donors to athletics.

Raymond E. Jones ’86

Vice President, ExxonMobil

The Woodlands, Texas

As vice president of surface engineering for ExxonMobil’s Upstream business, Raymond Jones is responsible for the development and deployment of engineers to support ExxonMobil’s global business. He focuses on improving opportunities for underrepresented employees and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, which creates opportunity for the development of Black executives.

Jones serves on the Clemson University Foundation’s board of directors. He also is the ExxonMobil executive Clemson contact and chairs the Clemson Alumni Group for his Texas campus.

He works to enhance programs to educate, recruit and retain underrepresented populations in STEM fields. In 2011, he and his wife, Carla, established the Raymond Jones Family Scholarship Endowment to provide financial assistance to underrepresented students in CECAS.

Michael P. Nieri ’86

Great Southern Homes Founder

Chapin, S.C.

Michael Nieri is founder, owner and president of Great Southern Homes, ranked by BUILDER magazine in 2020 as the nation’s 44th-largest homebuilder. He received the magazine’s 2020 Hearthstone Humanitarian Award, honoring his commitment to public service.

Inducted into the S.C. Housing Hall of Fame in 2018, he was twice recognized as “Builder of the Year” by the Building Industry Association and is a past president of the BIA Charitable Foundation.

Nieri and his wife, Robyn H’20, are Cornerstone Partners for academics and athletics at Clemson, with gifts to develop the Nieri Family Student-Athlete Enrichment Center in 2015, and to the Department of Construction Science and Management in 2019, which now bears the family’s name. Nieri serves on the department’s advisory board and recently led fundraising efforts for a new remote laboratory classroom.