Clemson team to compete in international Solar Decathlon

For the first time, Clemson will be among the 20 teams selected from universities around the world to compete at this fall’s international Solar Decathlon, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The competition, held every two years in Irvine, California, challenges teams to design and build a cost-effective, energy-efficient and visually appealing solar home, blending affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and design efficiency.

Comprising students from each of Clemson’s five colleges, along with dedicated faculty members, Clemson’s team has embraced the challenge to build and operate the home, named Indigo Pine, a three-bedroom, 1,000 square feet, net-zero energy, solar house that is cost-efficient in today’s market and comfortable in South Carolina and comparable climate zones. The name “Indigo Pine” originates from the home’s Southern roots. Indigo was historically grown in South Carolina while pine trees remain a vital cash crop to the state’s economy. The concept focuses on stitching together innovative building methods, Southern charm and local products in a home for a Southern family.

Clemson is taking the competition to a new level by choosing to “email” the house across the country then using those digital files to cut out the structural system using a CNC, a computer-controlled cutting machine. This system, referred to as Sim[PLY], allows Indigo Pine to be built virtually anywhere a CNC is available using off-the-shelf materials and handheld tools. Indigo Pine is challenging the construction and design world to think differently about light wood framing and construction in general.

Utilizing the Sim[PLY] system to email the house digitally from coast to coast rather than shipping the entire home by truck allows the team to vastly reduce the production of carbon dioxide emissions from the project. Furthermore, Team Clemson plans to construct not one but two versions of Indigo Pine, one in the South Carolina Botanical Garden this spring and the other in California this fall. This will allow for testing of the home’s functionality and will showcase the ability of the home to be built anywhere.

Clemson’s Solar Decathlon team is operating entirely on private funding from individuals and corporate sponsors.

The Unveiling of Indigo Pine: 


More information about Indigo Pine, including how to volunteer or donate. 


Technical colleges sign letters of intent with Clemson and USC

China partnership TongjiOfficials from the South Carolina Technical College System, the University of South Carolina and Clemson signed letters of intent this spring to streamline the transfer process for students graduating from in-state technical colleges.

The institutions are continuing to work through details associated with the agreement, but the move is a first step toward curriculum and program reviews, assessment of advising practices and the establishment of admission standards.

Once implemented, the program will help students transfer more seamlessly between institutions, help reduce lost time to graduation and relieve some of the added financial burden now associated with transferring. Participating students must graduate from a transfer-oriented associate degree program at a South Carolina technical college with an agreed-upon cumulative grade-point average.

Clemson to exchange Ph.D. candidates with China’s top civil engineering program

Andrew Brownlow’s doctoral research in civil engineering is about maintaining subway tunnels. Because of a new exchange program between Clemson and China’s top engineering program, the Ph.D. student from Aiken was able to travel to Shanghai, home to the world’s longest subway system.

“They have great opportunities to do research,” Brownlow said. “I made some good partnerships and had an opportunity to do some networking in one of the fastest-growing countries in the world.”

Clemson and Tongji universities will exchange civil engineering doctoral students as part of a global partnership that underscores the importance of cooperation in solving some of the world’s toughest engineering challenges.

Students who participate will be eligible for dual degrees from both universities. The agreement marks the first dual Ph.D. program in civil engineering that Tongji has signed with a U.S. university. Tongji is ranked No. 1 in civil engineering by China’s Ministry of Education. Students who seek dual degrees will remain abroad for about two years.

But students needn’t seek a degree to participate in the exchange. As part of a previous memorandum of under-standing, they can also travel to do research for about two months at a time. “The partnership is an important part of increasing the college’s and the department’s global impact and visibility,” said James Martin, chair of Clemson’s Glenn Department of Civil Engineering. “This is what preeminent departments do. They partner with other preeminent departments.”

Clemson students who study at Tongji will be immersed in the culture and language of a rapidly growing nation that has enormous civil engineering needs, ranging from roads, tunnels and bridges to earthquake-resistant buildings.

“China is the second largest economy in the world and still growing at a fast pace,” said Hsein Juang, the Glenn Professor of Civil Engineering at Clemson. “There will be a lot of opportunities for engineering firms and private consultants to offer their services to the Chinese government and civil engineering industry in the coming decades.

“Having a second Ph.D. degree at Tongji will be a big plus for Clemson students working for companies that provide engineering and business services in China.”

Artist installs “Early Hatch” at CU-ICAR

Professor Joey Manson and visual arts major David Lamm installing Manson's sculpture.

Professor Joey Manson and visual arts major David Lamm installing Manson’s sculpture.

There’s a new sculpture installation on the grounds of CU-ICAR, thanks to art professor Joey Manson. At the invitation of CU-ICAR, Manson and visual arts major David Lamm installed Manson’s sculpture, “Early Hatch,” in February. Manson, who works with industrial material, found a complementary home for his work, which he describes as “an exploration of our built, social and environmental constructs.”

“Early Hatch,” created from concrete and steel, captures one point in a cycle, according to Manson. “Larva emerges from an egg in order to collect the resources necessary to close the circle by building a cocoon, emerging as a moth and finally laying new eggs. The form of the concrete base refers to the eggs and the circular curling form is the larva. The vertical figurative elements are disruptions in this cycle.”

Manson spent many years working in New York City for museums, galleries and artists before teaching at Clemson. As part of his senior seminar class, Manson guides students through an intense four-day trip to NYC, exposing them to present and past visual artists.

Manson’s sculpture at CU-ICAR is only his latest campus collaboration. He co-teaches the Atelier InSite class focusing on public art on campus, including the installation at the Life Sciences building. His work can be seen outside of Sirrine Hall and inside the Strom Thurmond Institute.


Four Faculty Members Honored with Endowed Chairs

This past fall, Eileen T. Kraemer came to Clemson as the new C. Tycho Howle Director of the School of Computing. Characterized by Dean Anand Gramopadhye as “an impeccable researcher and scholar” with “a wealth of leadership experience,” Kraemer comes to Clemson from the University of Georgia, where she was associate dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Being an administrator has not meant that she has left behind her research, which has combined psychology and computer science to find new ways of helping students reach greater achievements in computer science. She also is interested in the human aspects of software development. Kraemer’s other area of expertise is bioinformatics. She helped build a web-based database,, that allows biologists to analyze disease-causing pathogens, such as cryptosporidium, giardia and plasmodium. The website was a decade in the making and has received more than $6.5 million from the National Institutes of Health.

At Clemson, Kraemer oversees a school whose enrollment has grown nearly 84 percent, from 387 in 2007 to 712 in 2013. The school has 31 faculty who are tenured or on track to be tenured and six lecturers; three divisions: Computer Science, Visual Computing and Human-Centered Computing; and seven undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Recruiting faculty such as Kraemer is made easier when Clemson is able to offer endowed professorships such as the one she holds, that provide support for the director’s salary and various activities, such as research.

Kraemer was one of four faculty members honored this fall with the presentation of their endowed chair medallions at a ceremony that also honored the individuals and families who have provided funding for the chairs. In addition to Kraemer were Michael S. Caterino, who holds the John C. and Suzanne E. Morse Endowed Chair in Arthropod Biodiversity; Stephen Kresovich, who holds the Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair of Genetics; and Marek W. Urban, who holds the J.E. Sirrine Textile Foundation Endowed Chair in Advanced Polymer Fiber-Based Materials.

View a video of the endowed chairs ceremony:

Tiger Band Practice Field Dedicated

After five years of planning, design and construction and more than $1 million in fundraising, the John H. Butler and Bruce F. Cook Tiger Band Plaza was dedicated during Homecoming weekend. Band alumnus and lead donor Keith Snelgrove, along with his wife, Risse, named the plaza in honor of the two former Tiger Band directors, who were college roommates at West Texas State College. The two became lifelong friends, band mates in “The Collegians” and work colleagues at Clemson.

What began as a beautification concept for the practice field turned into an initiative that raised enough for the renovation and to establish a $500,000 scholarship endowment for Tiger Band members.

Spirit Walk, gateway to the plaza and field, is a paved pathway from the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, home of Tiger Band, to the practice field. Inspirational quotes are etched into markers every five yards along the walk, similar to those on a football field.

Visitors can choose an ADA-accessible alternate pathway that takes them by a Tiger Band history wall that marks major events and milestones of the band. The plaza incorporates brick pavers with naming opportunities for band alumni and friends. Proceeds from the brick sales will go to the Clemson University Tiger Band Association (CUTBA) scholarship fund.

CADENCE COUNT: Clemson Hits the Top 20

This fall, Clemson broke into celebration mode when the U.S.News & World Report rankings hit the street. Sitting beside Clemson University’s name on the listing of national public universities was a #20.

The audacious idea that Clemson could rank among the top national universities in the nation was first articulated by President Emeritus Jim Barker in a 10-year plan he set forth in 2000. At that time, Clemson was tied for 38th. It was a bold goal, and it took a bit longer than 10 years.

So what does it mean to be top 20? For alumni, it means that your degree keeps gaining value each year, as public recognition of a Clemson education grows. There are both quantitative and qualitative factors that go into the rankings. Here are just a few of the pieces of that puzzle.


Up & Coming Universities

One of 11

Recognized for Writing Across Disciplines program


Alumni Giving


Best Undergraduate Engineering Program


Best Undergraduate Business Program


Average ACT Score (28)


Average Math SAT Score (637)


Average Critical Reading SAT Score (609)


Percentage of Incoming Freshmen who Ranked in top 10% of High School Class (56%)


Fall 2013 Acceptance Rate


Average Freshman Retention Rate


Classes with Fewer than 20 Students


6-year Graduation Rate


Student-Faculty Ratio

ClemsonLIFE Students in the Spotlight

If you’ve attended football games, you may have seen student equipment manager David Saville on the sidelines. Saville, who has Down Syndrome, hit the national spotlight this past year when he was featured in ESPN commentator Holly Rowe’s “Front Rowe” series as well as being a keynote speaker at the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention.

At the convention, Saville was introduced by former Clemson All-America football player Dwayne Allen, who now plays for the Indiana Colts. “I went into the relationship,” Allen said, “thinking I would learn something about Down Syndrome. I came out learning about a kid who loved video games, loved to eat hamburgers, knew every college team mascot. The only out-of-the ordinary thing I learned about him is his extraordinary ability to love. David loves everyone; it doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’re about.”

Saville is enrolled in ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone), a four-year post-secondary program focused on vocational and independent- living success for young adults with disabilities. For the first two years, students live in apartments on campus with an on-site independent living assistant while taking classes on independent living, employment, personal finances, health and nutrition. During the last two years of the program, students live in off-campus apartments and are employed in the local community.

In Saville’s keynote, he quoted one of Coach Dabo Swinney’s life lessons: “The only real disability in life is a bad attitude.” Rion Holcombe, another ClemsonLIFE student, hit national news last year when a video of him receiving his acceptance letter went viral. “CBS Evening News” covered Holcombe’s journey from acceptance to move-in.


Watch David Saville’s speech at the NDSC on 9/12/14:

 Watch Holly Rowe’s feature on the ClemsonLIFE program:

Additional videos and articles about Saville can be accessed below:–clemson-manager-david-saville-s-locker-room-victory-dance-160355527.html

Clements to Co-Chair Commerce Advisory Committee

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has selected Clemson University President James P. Clements to serve as a co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE is a federal advisory committee charged with identifying and recommending solutions to issues critical to driving the innovation economy, including enabling entrepreneurs and firms to successfully access and develop a skilled, globally competitive workforce.

“I’m honored to be asked to serve in this capacity, and I believe my participation will create opportunities for Clemson University and for the state of South Carolina,” said Clements. “The council’s mission aligns perfectly with Clemson’s commitment to workforce development for new and emerging industries, research-driven innovations that spur economic growth, and resources that support the launch and growth of new businesses. My appointment is a reflection of the outstanding work being done by our faculty, staff and students.”

Clements will advise Pritzker on issues related to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship — with an emphasis on proven programs that create jobs and boost innovation.

The Clemson Medallion

In October, trustee Ellison Smyth McKissick III of Greenville and retired professor Jerome V. Reel Jr. of Clemson were awarded the Thomas Green Clemson Medallion, the University’s highest public honor. The medallion is awarded to those members of the Clemson Family whose dedication and service embody the spirit of the University’s founder.

“These two gentlemen each have devoted decades of their lives to Clemson and its faculty, staff and students,” said President James P. Clements. “Clemson would not be the university it is today without their hard work and leadership. It is a great honor to recognize them for their dedication, exceptional example and continuing impact.”



Smyth McKissick’s father was a great believer in an honest day’s work and admired hard-working people. The younger McKissick learned this lesson well and began work at age 16 in the spinning room of his family’s textile company, Alice Manufacturing.

McKissick entered Clemson in 1975 to study business, then went on to the University of South Carolina for an MBA in 1981. He characterizes his time at Clemson as a life-changing experience, and says he “grew up” in Sirrine Hall. He then returned home and to Alice Manufacturing, where he had the pleasure of learning and working alongside his father.

Soon after his father’s death in 1998, he took the reins as president and CEO, knowing the company needed to transform its business model to survive the many changes in the U.S. textile industry. He credits the success of his family’s business and its re-creation to the dedicated people within the company.

The McKissick philosophy of hard work is evident in his involvement and investment in Clemson. A successor member of the Board of Trustees since 1998, he has chaired or served on almost every board committee, including the search committees for Clemson’s 14th president, James F. Barker, and 15th president, James P. Clements.

An IPTAY member, McKissick supported the WestZone initiative; served as Clemson University Foundation director; is a member of the Thomas Green Clemson Cumulative Giving Society; and is a charter member of the President’s Leadership Circle. McKissick chairs the University’s $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson campaign, the largest fundraising initiative in Clemson’s history. In 2012, he received the Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

McKissick has served as a leader in numerous textile industry organizations and is an active member of Christ Church Episcopal. He and his wife, Martha, live in Greenville and have three children, Smyth, Holly ’13 and Caroline.



Clemson University historian since 2002, Jerry Reel has quite a history with the University. His career at Clemson went from potentially short-lived to honored professor and academic leader for 50 years.

The New Orleans native began putting down his roots in Clemson in 1963, when he joined the faculty while still finishing up his Ph.D. in British medieval history at Emory University. His plan was to stay long enough to finish his research, but he never left.

Reel began as an instructor, advanced to assistant and associate professor, and was named professor of history in 1971. He worked with student groups including Tiger Brotherhood, Blue Key, Golden Key, Omicron Delta Kappa and Order of Omega. He served as adviser to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for more than 25 years.

Reel served as dean of undergraduate studies, vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies, and senior vice provost. He was named professor emeritus in 2003 and was honored with the Governor’s Award in the Humanities in 2011.

For decades, students filled his “History 101 ­— History of Clemson” course in which he indoctrinated generations with stories of the families who founded the University and the leaders who presided over it. Reel is the author and co-author of several books on Clemson history.

Reel is a member of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, and past president of the National Opera Association and the national Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He is active in Fort Hill Presbyterian Church, serving as an elder.

Students nominated Reel as an Alumni Master Teacher in 1975. Friends and former students honored him in 2009 with the establishment of the Jerome V. Reel Jr. Endowed Scholarship. Reel has direct Tiger “orange bloodlines” throughout his family. His wife, Edmeé, holds a master’s degree, and all three of his children and their spouses are alumni. One grandson is a current student.