The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a former Clemson student. It recognizes those whose devotion to Clemson has increased the value of the University for future generations and whose lives have expressed, through service to community, profession and the public, the finest Clemson traditions.

THIS YEAR’S HONOREES have been recognized by their peers for impressive achievements in their professional lives. They have contributed to their communities both publicly and privately, serving on boards and volunteering without expectation of reward or recognition. They have stayed connected with Clemson, giving back in time, talent and resources to benefit current and future students. These five honorees reflect the characteristics that define Clemson. They are visionary, bold, competitive, determined and proud. They value family, tradition and loyalty. And they love orange.

Each of us has our own Clemson moments — when we realized that Clemson was where we wanted to spend the next four years; when a friend or mentor offered an insight that changed our direction; when we realized that our education had prepared us well for a professional position; or when we stood with a group of fellow Tigers and realized that they really are family.

This year’s honorees share with us their most significant Clemson moments.

Williams C. Smith Jr. ’82

“Choosing to attend Clemson was one of the most important and life-changing decisions I ever made (outside of marrying my wife). Little did I know at the time how impactful the University and the Clemson Family would be to me both personally and professionally.”

Anthony L. Mathis ’86

“My first experience at Clemson was during a summer career workshop for minority students after my sophomore year of high school. It was like love at first sight between me and Clemson and it ended up being the best four years of my life.”

A. Neill Cameron Jr.

“Most emotional: My dad, Class of ’41, at 95 years, walking down the hill representing the 1940 Cotton Bowl team. My daughter and granddaughter graduating. Professional: Reaching Top 20 and $1 billion in Will to Lead campaign. Personal: Over 40 years of friends for life.”

Ann Harvin Whetstone Hunter ’80, M ’82

“When I received my letter of acceptance, I think I informed everyone in my small hometown of St. Matthews. At graduation, with my mother sitting in the audience, I was so proud to have completed my degree and to be a member of the Clemson Family.”

Michael L. Watt ’84

“Finding my father’s name etched into one of the concrete sidewalks located in Trustee Park across from Riggs Hall, I realized that I had chosen his University and his major. I have
been following him ever since.”