China: Tharon Howard, English professor, Wendy Howard ’05, M ’12, Xiaoli Li Ph.D. ’11 and Wu Dan Ph.D. ’10

Tharon Howard, English professor, and Wendy Howard ’05, M ’12 visited with Xiaoli Li Ph.D. ’11 and Wu Dan Ph.D. ’10 (and their children Yiyi and Daniel, who were both born when Wu Dan and Xiaoli were Ph.D. students at Clemson) in Xi’an, China.

In With the Old: Peter Galloway ’08

In Galloway’s spare time, he pores over history books, immersing himself in 17th- and 18th-century architecture.

Peter Galloway

“My wife thinks I’m crazy because all I do is read books on old houses,” he laughs. “She’s like, ‘You’re a little obsessed.’”

But there’s a method to the madness.

Peter Galloway is the owner and operator of the Printmaker’s Inn in Savannah, Georgia, a 19th-century Italianate Victorian mansion. The inn is complete with four suites, each outfitted with a bedroom, kitchenette and living space: the Henry Suite, the Button Suite, the Nichols Suite and the High Cotton Suite. The rooms are furnished with period antiques but aren’t without all the luxuries of modern living, including larger bed frames, fresh paint, comfier cushions and mattresses, and up-to-date bathroom fixtures.

The goal, for Galloway, is to give guests the feel of a bed and breakfast without all of the forced togetherness that can come with it. If guests want to mingle with others, they can hang out in the community spaces, like the outdoor seating area. Or, if they want to have a private getaway, everything they need is in their room.

Galloway bought the Printmaker’s Inn after leaving an unfulfilling management job in Florida, relocating his family to the Georgia coast. The renovation process was challenging but fun for him and his wife, and the property also left space for more development since it came with an empty lot next door. When Galloway found a circa 1740 Georgian home in New England, he was sold.

“There’s nothing like it in Savannah,” he says. “What is really incredible about the house is all the original woodwork with wood-paneled walls and huge fireplaces.”

Moving the house from Connecticut to Savannah was ambitious, requiring disassembling, moving and reassembling, but Galloway says it also has its perks, like getting to install new plumbing and electrical as they go.

“What’s cool is we can kind of customize more in this house because it has new construction elements, likethe foundation, roof and bathrooms, but with the original frame and woodwork,” he says. “It will be the most intact 18th-century house in Savannah.”

The disassembled house arrived in Savannah in mid-June, kicking off the reconstruction stage.

When Galloway talks about the project, it’s obvious he’s excited about the new addition to the Printmaker’s Inn. But more than anything, he’s happy they could save it: “The house was going to be taken down or demolished if nobody saved it or moved it, so that’s really cool that we can help preserve it, even if it’s in a different city, different state.”

What Would You Do: Raven Magwood ’12

With a highly successful, multifaceted career, Magwood didn’t always know what she wanted to do. Until her mother asked her a question that changed her life.

Raven Magwood

Raven Magwood co-owns and operates her own gymnastics training facility; has written four books; established a foundation to support underserved kids in Upstate South Carolina; has written and helped produce an independent film; and gives motivational speeches to schools and groups all over the country.

And she’s only 26.

Magwood, a Greenville native, started school and gymnastics early. At age 10, she was competing in the highest level of the sport while getting perfect grades on her report cards, which fast-tracked her through middle school and saw her starting high school at age 12. That same year, she became a national gymnastics champion.

During this time, Magwood was once asked if she’d ever thought writing about her unique experiences. She replied tongue-in-cheek: “No, I’m 12 years old!”

Nevertheless, she did start writing. Her first published book, On to Victory! The Winning Edge, scored her an invitation to be the keynote speaker at a promotional event for Stedman Graham’s new book at the time, Move Without the Ball, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite her nerves and nausea, 12-year-old Magwood got a standing ovation.

It’s obvious that writing and speaking came naturally to her at a young age, and yet Magwood remembers always hearing, “‘You’re smart, so you should be a doctor.’ It was just kind of drilled into me, not by my parents, but just by outside people.”

So, when it came time for college, she followed a pre-med track and excelled in her classes — but she wasn’t happy. Her mom noticed, sat her down and asked her, “What would you do if someone would pay you any amount of money to do it?”

Magwood’s answer was almost immediate: “I would speak. I would write. I would inspire people.”

Magwood changed her major and graduated from Clemson at 19 with a degree in communication studies. Since then, she’s continued her filmmaking; gymnastics coaching; writing with her most recent book, The 7 Practices of Prosperous Women; and motivational speaking. One speaking experience in Columbia has stayed with her.

After a day filled with speeches in different schools, Magwood remembers feeling tired and worried that she might not have gotten through to the kids who were on free or reduced lunch at the first school she spoke at, or the kids whose parents were paying $15,000 in tuition at the next. Then she heard the coordinator of the Columbia tour say to one of the school’s principals, “It’s amazing how Raven has spoken to all of these kids with all of these different backgrounds, and they’ve all related to her and gone away inspired.”

In that moment, she knew she had found it — what she would do if someone paid her any amount to do it.

Deadline Doctor: Kristine Vissage Scruggs ’03

The year is 2030. The government has seized complete control of the health care system. And treatment has become dehumanized for the sake of efficiency.

Kristi Scruggs

One troubled reporter  uncovers a dangerous conspiracy beneath it all, embarking on a shocking and equally chilling search for the truth.

Welcome to the world of Kristine Scruggs’s What They Don’t Know. Scruggs successfully published the medical thriller (her first book) in June 2017, which she wrote amidst her full-time job as a hospitalist and now outpatient doctor in Raleigh, N.C. — not to mention the births of her two sons, Henry and Jack.

Despite having her hands full with a growing family and demanding career, Scruggs was inspired by her experience in the medical field, and she made writing a book a top priority. She became especially determined after reading the memoir When Breath Becomes Air by neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, an intimate reflection penned in his last years fighting stage IV lung cancer.

“It was the motivation I needed,” Scruggs said. “You know, a lot of people talk about writing a book, but not a lot of people actually write a book and publish it. You’re not promised tomorrow, so I figured I needed to make this happen while I could.”

As a doctor, author, mother and wife, things can seem overwhelming at times for Scruggs. But her understanding of balancing work, family and creativity has a healthy dose of confidence and realistic expectation: “Everywhere I look, someone is doing a better job than me at something. But I try to remind myself that no one’s doing life exactly how I am. No one’s doing ‘me’ better.”

For now, Scruggs is focusing on her outpatient work, often visiting and treating elderly patients in their homes, a far cry from the futuristic and machine-like treatments What They Don’t Know imagines. “We do most of our care in the homes,” she says. “It’s really great because it’s mostly elderly folks who can’t get out — they’re very appreciative, and their families are very appreciative.”

While her personal and professional life is keeping her busy, Scruggs is excited about the future for her writing: “People come to me now asking, ‘Oh, it was such a good book! Do you have a sequel you’re writing?’ So, that’s definitely very validating.”

Vegas Visionary: Paul Steelman ’77

Before Steelman graduated from Clemson with an architecture degree, there was only one city in the country where you could place a legal bet: Las Vegas.

Paul Steelman

Then, in 1976, New Jersey legalized casinos in Atlantic City.

As a native New Jersian, Steelman was attracted to the area. He’d had experience working under his father, also an architect, in Longport, New Jersey, doing smaller projects. Schools,
funeral parlors, summer homes. But he was ready for something bigger.

“I was offered a position as [Atlantic City] planner, and I took the job mainly because I wanted to see how this rebirth of the city was going to work,” Steelman says. “I was the architect of the city even though I wasn’t [working as] an architect at the time.”

Growing Atlantic City into a thriving resort destination meant working with some of the day’s most famous architects. Through them, Steelman got a glimpse of his dream career. And then he got a job offer from high-profile architect Joel Bergman. He worked for nine years on Vegas design projects like the Golden Nugget and the Mirage before opening his own architecture firm, Steelman Partners, in 1987.

Now, Steelman Partners has designed more than 4,000 casino and integrated resorts worldwide, including Galaxy Macau Phase II, Sands Macao and Solaire Resort & Casino. With so much
experience in the business, Steelman understands that a casino’s design must walk the fine line between brand culture and achieving profitability, versatility and ease.

“We have a lot of experience with what people like and are comfortable with, and we start from that experience.” Steelman explains. “We want to follow a set of rules.”

These rules consist of certain design elements that he doesn’t often stray from, things like fast elevators; soothing colors; easy access to exits, cashiers and restrooms; and ample lighting. The goal is to create a space that’s not only exciting for guests but also comfortable. Too much experimentation with core revenue features can lead to failure, Steelman
warns. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for creativity: “The direction of the columns of the garage or the color of the carpet or where you place a mirror — that’s the reason I became so interested in this [career]. It’s fun!”

Looking forward, Steelman isn’t even close to tapping out. “I’m not sure I ever want a break,” he says.

“Monday is always my favorite day of the week.”

Ring Story: Buried Treasure

When Wade Crow ’69 lost his Clemson ring, he didn’t think he would ever see it again. He tells the story of how it came back to him.

Wade Crow and sons

As a senior engineering student in the class of ’69, I ordered my Clemson ring and couldn’t wait to get it on my finger. It symbolized not only a substantial amount of hard work but also a rewarding and fun-filled college adventure. Eight years later, when my first son was an infant, I took my ring off and left it in my car while doing some yardwork. When I looked for it later, it was nowhere to be found. Although heartbroken, I never seemed to have the extra funds to replace it as our family grew to four children.

Fast forward 25 years. My son is also graduating in engineering, and I offered to give him a ring as a graduation gift. I realized it was a good time to replace mine, so I ordered two rings. The lead time on the rings was six weeks; I was like a kid waiting for Christmas. Two weeks before my ring was due to arrive, I was working in the yard with a shovel and hit something metallic. I turned over a shovel-blade of soil, and an unmistakable glitter of untarnished gold was right in front of me — “Class of ’69.”

Two weeks later, I was the proud owner of two rings. My second son also finished Clemson in engineering and received his ring in 2013. We are likely one of the only families with four Clemson rings and only three graduates to wear them!

Looking back, I recognize that it was never really about the ring. It is all about the wonderful friends and memories associated with Clemson. Same football seats for 45 years, and still going.

My Clemson: Rupal Shah M ’07

Shah moved to Haiti in 2017 for a short-term position with Partners in Health. Now, she’s living and working in Haiti long term — and is gearing up for her 11th marathon in her seventh continent: Australia.Rupal Shah Running


A | After I finished my master’s at Clemson, I went to Harvard University and worked at the school of public health for about five years as a research associate and lab manager for the department of immunology and infectious diseases. After that, I went back to school to Boston University to get my master’s in public health, then I worked as a quality improvement specialist for Boston Children’s Hospital, where I was working closely with pediatric practices with a focus on quality improvement. And then I got my job with Partners in Health.


A | I was hired as a tuberculosis lab consultant and quality improvement consultant. I had two big jobs. One was to set up the tuberculosis lab, which was a biosafety level 3 (BSL3) lab. I was there to help set up the equipment and the protocols; to ensure that the operational tasks in the BSL2 and the BSL3 were up to date; to make sure that operational management was in place; to help with fine-tuning standard operating procedures; and to help recruit, hire and short list candidates for interviews to work in the BSL2 and BSL3 labs. I was also working with the clinical staff, identifying issues with sample preparation, testing and patient care.


A | My new job is at St. Boniface Hospital in a town called Fond-des-Blancs. I’m a grant manager, so I work closely with the monitoring and evaluation team and the clinicians to make sure we’re meeting grant deliverables and that the needs on the ground are met so we can seek donations and funding accordingly.


A | I ran my first marathon in 2008 because of TeamAIDAsha, a nonprofit organization that raises money for developmental projects in India for issues such as social justice, children’s education, women’s empowerment and health care. I actually started volunteering with AID in Clemson; I was president of that chapter for a year. Their biggest fundraiser in Boston is hosting a marathon training program, so I trained with the team and ran my first marathon in Chicago in October 2008. Soon after, I learned about the Abbott World Marathon Majors, which comprises the largest, most renowned marathons in the world: Chicago, New York, Boston, Berlin, Tokyo and London. Since I ran the Chicago marathon, I thought, “Well, I should probably do the others.” I actually ran Boston twice because I ran it first during the bombing in 2013 and wasn’t able to complete the race. I ran it again the following year. Once I finished the World Marathon Majors, I was like, “Well, I guess the next thing would be to run a marathon in each continent.” My last continent is going to be in Australia on September 15, 2019. By the time I finish my Australia marathon, I will have finished 11 marathons in 11 years.


A | It feels amazing. I feel on top of the world. There’s nothing I can’t do now. Really, when people say, “Oh, I couldn’t call them because I didn’t have time” or, “Oh, I didn’t get a chance to finish this” — there’s just no “I can’t” anymore. I feel like anything that you want to do, literally anything, is possible. I honestly believe that.

Reunion Regatta

Clemson Crew celebrated its 30th anniversary by hosting a reunion regatta, where alumni got to race on Lake Hartwell once more.

Rowing on Lake HartwellWearing sunglasses and carrying boats on their shoulders, present and past members of the Clemson University Rowing Association, also known as Clemson Crew, strode out to Lake Hartwell for a friendly regatta. The conditions were perfect, not unlike 30 years ago when Clemson Crew’s founding club members rowed out onto the lake for the first time.

In 1988, the club was born out of a shared passion for rowing among six students. Since then, that passion and bond has grown to produce a reunion of more than 1,000 alumni, students and friends on March 1, 2019. The group gathered on the lake to host their own informal regatta a day before the Clemson Sprints Collegiate and Masters, which would play host to many other rowing clubs including Atlanta Rowing Club, High Point University and the University of South Carolina Rowing Club. Alumni raced alumni across the lake, just like old times for some. Founding members Steven Diacumakos and Bill Palmer spoke about the connection between club members that spans class years.

“My feeling is that every generation has done a great job of building on that momentum that the team started with,” Diacumakos said, who was club president from 1990-91. “Every generation has been a great steward of that energy.”


A hand-drawn boat and a picture of a Concept 2 rowing machine ripped straight from an advertisement were splashed across Clemson Crew’s original fliers, which relayed a simple message: A date and time for the first meeting along with student Phil Pyle’s phone number.

At the beginning of the meeting, Pyle took the lead and assumed the role of president. He worked with the other founding members to establish a club proposal and a budget to get the ball rolling. After the meeting, Bill Palmer had only one question for Pyle. “I asked, ‘Where do we go from here, and who did you row for in high school?’ And he said ‘Oh, I never rowed. I grew up in Philadelphia,’” Palmer laughed.

Six founders oversaw the genesis of Crew, and 47 members joined shortly after. From day one, the club was coed and had simple rules: Pay your dues, don’t cause trouble and show up to practice. More students joined the club after its founding, but Crew faced an immediate conundrum: They had no boats. Without the necessary equipment to row, they started with early-morning runs. Missing a run without an excuse could get a member kicked off the team, but every rower was treated fairly.

Jon Morgan, one of the first members, recalled the rigor of those early runs: “I was one of the stragglers at first, but Phil was never mean or abusive. He always said: ‘Finish. Just finish.’ Within a few months I was keeping up with everyone else, because he motivated me to do so.”

Within the year, Crew would obtain their first two boats: an eight-person boat in poor condition and a four-person boat that was surprisingly heavy and worn-out. They had no oars, so they borrowed a set of wooden ones from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. But their problems with equipment didn’t keep them from starting practice.

Having eight people rowing in unison is no simple task, but when it clicks, the experience borders on spiritual. Palmer, who had prior rowing experience, helped early members achieve their rhythm. “I was trying to beat it into their heads that it’s effort on the drive and easy on the way up, and they started to get it,” Palmer said. “And then they took 20 strokes, and it was just symphony on the water. I told them, ‘That’s it.’”

Crew participated in their first regatta at Duke University, and although they didn’t win first place the experience brought them closer together. “At that point, we were a rowing team,” said Morgan.Reunion Regatta


The Duke regatta was the first of many. Clemson Crew went to Tennessee, Virginia and Florida, not to mention many events held in South Carolina. They eventually managed to acquire some quality equipment through donations and the club’s budget. With new tools to help level the playing field, Crew realized their potential, and their performance improved.

At the same time, Crew kept an eye on their finances. Since they were (and still are) an entirely student-run organization, the leading members ran the club as if they were running a business.

Pyle had a contact on the Clemson Board of Trustees who helped jumpstart the club with $5,000, and Crew paid for additional expenses with money from the University’s student club fund and donations from supporters they’d garnered over the years. Most of their structures, including a floating dock and brand-new boathouse, were built by Crew members and friends from donated materials. When traveling to regattas, they would see if there were any friends willing to house them for the night. Eventually, Crew decided they wanted to host their own regatta, and it seemed they would have to pay out-of-pocket.

The club started charting a plan for the regatta. Around this time, Palmer was outside building new boat racks one afternoon. A jogger stumbled across the scene and spoke with Palmer, who explained what he was doing. After the stranger realized that the club’s activities were in March and April (a dry period for sports fans after the end of basketball season), he offered to help fund the regatta. It turned out that the stranger “was some bigwig at the local bank. They threw $3,000 at us to run the regatta. It was incredible,” Palmer said. The event was a success and it drew more attention the club.

Reunion RegattaWithin a few years of its founding, Clemson Crew established itself at several regattas. “You got to know the national and international teams,” Morgan said. At an international race in Augusta, Georgia, Clemson Crew raced against a number of skilled teams, including a visiting Russian team. “The Russian teams still had clothing that said CCCP on them,” Morgan said. “That was from the USSR, so it was pretty intense to see that those guys still had their old rowing gear.” Interested in one Russian rower’s woolen tank top, Morgan offered to buy it. But the rower wasn’t interested in money. Instead, he asked for Morgan’s extra pair of Levi jeans. “I said, ‘You got ‘em.’” They traded right there at the regatta.


Clemson Crew’s tightknit community has continued to evolve over the years, but their sense of loyalty and belonging has remained intact.

Diacumakos said that he was touched “to see that a couple generations had come through the years, and the enthusiasm and the culture, and a lot of the things we used to do are still in the team.”

Morgan said, “There’s people that row who have no idea who we are. And they keep this organization going with the same spirit we had. I’m impressed that they have kept it running at such a high level.”

Before the club’s first official meeting in 1989, Frank Howard was asked about the possibility of Clemson Crew gaining varsity status. “We ain’t gonna have no sport at Clemson where you sit on your butt and go backwards to win,” Howard said.

According to Pyle, Howard would later admit his support for Clemson Crew, but the rowers still joke about it to this day.

“I guess we proved him wrong,” Palmer said, laughing.

First Fraternity

Members of Sigma Alpha Zeta gathered to celebrate the 60th reunion of the University’s original fraternity.

Sigma Alpha Zeta Group Photo

Seven students and a table. That was all it took to form Sigma Alpha Zeta, Clemson’s first national fraternity and the organization that helped paved the way for all 46 Greek letter fraternities and sororities on campus today.


In the fall of 1959, Winston Fowler, a young Clemson student, traveled to the University of Virginia as a cheerleader. When he was mingling with other students, he heard about their university’s notable and highly secretive Seven Society.

“I got very little background information,” Fowler ’62 remembered. “I was just a sophomore talking to people.” But what he heard was promising. Seven Society, aside from being an organization known for its secrecy and generosity, was a social group that gave its members a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their college experience. For Fowler, this was an important piece of the puzzle.

When Clemson University was an all-male military school, incoming students were divided into “companies” that provided a chance to socialize and make lifelong friends. In the post-World War II era, this tradition faded away, and by 1959, Clemson was still without fraternities, official or otherwise, to fill the gap. It was an awkward time for new students seeking recreation since all official organizations at that time were subject to close scrutiny.

These organizations, such as Tiger Band and Taps, “were an approved form of social gathering, but it didn’t meet the needs of a purely social fraternity without the service aspect of it,” said Jeff O’Cain ’69, who pledged in 1967. “You had to be personally involved in doing something for the University to be recognized as a group.”

So, when Fowler returned from his trip to Virginia, he decided to tell his friends about what he had found. Sitting at a round table that could only fit seven, they decided to form an under-the-radar social fraternity in lieu of a full-blown secret society.

SAZ Anniversary

Maybe it was destiny, or maybe it was just a bit of good luck, but Fowler and friends quickly came across a piece of relevant information: The Board of Trustees had unexpectedly decided in their last meeting that they might allow probationary local fraternities on campus.

“Let’s be the first!” Fowler said to his friend Bill Shachte ’63. The plan changed. They drafted a charter and were ready to become officially recognized. After some further encouragement from the others in the group, Shachte gave their proposal to the Dean.

It worked. Sigma Alpha Zeta became the first official fraternity at Clemson.


Sixty years passed, and the “Zetas” haven’t missed a step. In 1959, the first seven members went on to tap seven more, leading to the original 14. Although the fraternity started small, it only continued to grow, and by the time Sigma Alpha Zeta became defunct in 1970, the fraternity had a total of 209 members — each one a loyal supporter of the University and their fraternity.

Tight ties kept the Zetas together and still do, evidenced by the reunion that ran from March 29-31 in Columbia, where over 130 Zetas and special guests gathered for recreation and reminiscing.

Highlights of the event included a golf tournament with trophies ranging from “longest drive” to “worst putt,” a Zeta history reading, door prizes and a ladies mimosa party with special gifts presented by the first Zeta president, Winston Fowler, and the last, Bob Ogletree ’70. Saturday morning, a memorial was held for the 38 deceased members.

The event also featured video appearances from President Clements and Coach Swinney. Clements thanked the Zetas for their selflessness throughout the years: “You had 209 members over your 10-year existence as a local fraternity, and all of you have been outstanding and loyal alumni over the past 60 years. Thank you to those original 14 members for taking the chance to start something new, and thank you to all of you for your support of Clemson. Enjoy your celebration, and go Tigers!”

Since Clements was unable to make it to the reunion in person, he sent the Tiger in his place.

“The Tiger came busting through the door; ‘Tiger Rag’ was playing. The whole place went bonkers,” said O’Cain.

The Tiger’s surprise appearance energized the guests, especially since many of the Zetas had been the Tiger in the past.

Reunion Program

An auction was held afterward that featured several items, including a custom Zeta-made wine bottle. The crown jewel was a signed championship football that had been briefly introduced by Coach Swinney in his video appearance. When the video ended, O’Cain walked on stage, saying, “Boy, I sure wish I had that football!”

Then, the football went sailing from the back of the room into his hands.

Ogletree, the last Zeta president, won big and went home with the football. All proceeds from the auction went to Dabo’s All In Team Foundation.

The reunion was the result of a titanic effort to find and contact all living Zeta members, several of whom had not been in touch for decades. Linda Williams (wife of an early Zeta member) spearheaded the outreach and was aided by alumni in Columbia. Zetas Turk Matthews ’69, David McLellan ’71 and O’Cain worked to plan and budget the event.

“The real highlight was in the number of people who attended,” said Fowler. “It was just very heartwarming to see people you hadn’t seen in 20 or 30 years, sometimes 40 or 50 years, or maybe since graduation. That was the big highlight.”


The announcement of the 60th reunion was a happy surprise for many, but it was not the first time the Zetas reunited — and it will not be the last. They still meet at least once a year at the University, usually on weekends when campus is quiet. They tour the facilities, including the Sigma Alpha Zeta Presentation Room (also known as Room 201A) in Cooper Library. The room was gifted by the Zetas and is maintained by a perpetual fund. To them, it was simply a chance to give back.

Sixty years ago, Fowler was impressed by Seven Society’s loyalty to their university and decided that Sigma Alpha Zeta would do the same. Over the years, they’ve made gifts to the University sometimes overtly (the presentation room, for example) and sometimes subtly, like a secret society might.

Regardless, the Zeta spirit remains unique. It’s an aged-to-perfection concoction of respect, energy and that quintessential Clemson loyalty.

“It was a spirit that we derived from our responsibilities to Clemson and our responsibilities for each other,” said O’Cain. “For love and affection and brotherhood.”