Designing a Great Partnership

Pantone Color guideX-Rite Pantone has been a longtime corporate partner of the graphic communications department within Clemson’s Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics, but a recent in-kind donation valued at $500,000 has taken that partnership to a higher level. Clemson students will now have access to state-of-the-art spectrophotometers, scanning tables, light booths and software. Hands-on experience with this sophisticated technology will allow students to learn using the latest equipment in color measurement, ink formulation, and print-quality hardware and software.

“We are very grateful to X-Rite for working with us to provide students with the latest capabilities in color management and color measurement solutions,” said Bobby Congdon, assistant director of the Sonoco Institute. “These gifts will enable us to enhance our ink lab capabilities to become a fully functional, professional ink lab.”

Clemson has a history of building strong relationships with corporations across the country. These partnerships help the University financially but also connect our students to valuable real-world experiences. Partnerships with corporations such as X-Rite provide that vital link, helping integrate students’ classroom experience with career preparation.

Empowering First-Generation Clemson Students

John ’72 and Laurie Gutshaw believe in the power of education. Long before they met, John and Laurie both relished the educational opportunities afforded to them, eventually using that education to build substantive careers and lives. The couple, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is putting their collective power behind Clemson University through the establishment of the Kenneth John Gutshaw Jr., ’72 and Laurie B. Gutshaw Annual FIRST Grant-In-Aid Endowment — providing support for first-generation college students at Clemson.

John Gutshaw is a West Virginia native who spent his formative years in Long Island. “When it was time for me to look at colleges, I was interested in going to a Southern school because I frankly didn’t like cold weather,” recalled John. “When I visited Clemson, I fell in love with the campus, the area and its beauty.”

John received his bachelor’s degree in economics and his master’s in city and regional planning. After graduation, his career took him back to New York, where he teamed with Jim Wadley, who had recently founded a firm specializing in analyzing and accessing site selections for companies. Their company grew and eventually merged with a real estate corporation. Today, the firm of Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting is an international consulting firm.

Meanwhile, Laurie Buchanan was pursuing a successful career as a journalist. Her path took her into the inner-world of Washington politics where she held communications positions for notable members of Congress. She also worked for the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, New Jersey Transit and a global engineering consulting firm, AECOM Technology, from which she retired in 2017.

John and Laurie now enjoy a busy semi-retirement life in Florida. Their skills are still in high demand, but they carefully select what causes and organizations to allocate their energy toward and are always exploring ways to support what they are passionate about, like Clemson’s FIRST program.

The Gutshaws recently had an opportunity to meet the first group of Clemson students to benefit from their generosity and look forward to seeing what path those students take.

“Laurie and I believe one of the best gifts you can give to any young person is a college education,” said John. “College prepares you for a future career, helps you understand learning experiences and establishes enduring friendships. In the absence of having children, we decided this endowment was the best avenue — providing others with this gift — and opening the door for a first-generation college graduate makes this even more special to us.”

David Lyle Knows Their Stories

David LyleThere are 493 names etched on the stones that make up Clemson University’s Scroll of Honor — a memorial to the University’s alumni who died while fighting for their country. Through his volunteer work with the Clemson Corps, David Lyle ’68 knows the stories of all 493 soldiers.

Lyle, who participated in Air Force ROTC during his years at Clemson, has researched and verified each honoree as a former Clemson University student and hero who died in service to our country. He has spent hundreds of hours of his own time on ancestry websites, filing through paper records and driving to cemeteries to complete the work.

“I’m all in,” Lyle said. “This is where my love is.”

A native of Walhalla, South Carolina, Lyle never considered attending college anywhere other than Clemson. He enrolled in 1963, when it was still required for students to join the University’s ROTC program. He spent the next seven years — in undergraduate and graduate classes — at Clemson.

A microbiology major as an undergraduate, Lyle had not intended on spending a career in the military. But life doesn’t always end up the way we plan. In 1968, he graduated with his bachelor’s degree, and in 1970, he went into the U.S. Air Force, swapping a lab coat for a uniform.

In the Air Force, Lyle was deployed to bases from Montana to South Korea. The military, and eventually a civilian career in medical technology and research, took him all over the country.

Lyle retired in 2009 and wanted to come back home. He and his wife, Judy, had stayed connected to Clemson and were involved with an alumni group in Washington, D.C. Since moving back to Walhalla, they have also given back to Clemson. In addition to his time serving the Clemson Corps, Lyle recently decided to support the Class of 1968 ROTC Endowment through an estate gift that will provide scholarships to Clemson Corps cadets.

When asked about this decision, Lyle’s answer was simple: “Clemson is family.” He added, “Giving back through your estate is a no-brainer.”

By giving toward the Class of 1968 Endowment, Lyle is among the Clemson supporters who are ensuring that Clemson men and women will receive a world-class education while also preparing to serve their nation — both of which have significantly shaped Lyle’s life and career.

“I had no idea when I started at Clemson University where I was going to end up,” he said. “Through the years, Clemson University has changed. The Clemson Corps has become bigger than anyone ever imagined. But in many ways, this University has stayed the same. It is still a family.”

Garrison Cornerstone Gifts Make a Lasting Impact Across Campus

Garrisons at Charleston announcementBy the time Dan Garrison retired as vice president of sales for Service Corporation International, his career had taken him far from his Upstate roots. He graduated from Clemson in 1972 — with a degree in business and an ambition that led him to work and live all over the country.

But his heart never left these hills.

Garrison and his wife, Nancy, return often to visit family and enjoy Clemson athletic events. The Garrisons’ connection to Clemson was further solidified this year when they became the University’s first-ever Cornerstone Partners for both athletics and academics.

Dan spent his formative years on his family’s dairy farm in Greenville County. Choosing to attend Clemson was an easy decision, he said. Many family members and friends were “Clemson people,” so there was always a strong Clemson influence. Even when career moves took Dan away from South Carolina, the distance never lessened the bond with his Clemson Family.

When the Garrisons decided to give back to the University, they wanted to do so in a manner that would have a lasting impact. In 2017, they became Athletic Cornerstone Partners to support the University’s efforts to improve the experience of student-athletes — not only while they are participating in their sport on campus but also after graduation, to give them tools that ensure their personal and professional success. The Garrisons’ recent Cornerstone gift to the College of Business will support its sales innovation program. The J. Daniel and Nancy Garrison Sales Lab will be named in their honor.

Dan’s fond memories of Clemson remain vivd: “Since my first semester as a young freshman in 1969, Clemson has been part of my life. The education I received at Clemson goes beyond academics. My business success is in large part due to my experiences here and the real-world education I received regarding how to become an adult. Clemson is an important part of our family, and we feel privileged to be part of the larger Clemson Family.”

For the Garrisons, the most rewarding aspect of their Cornerstone gifts to Clemson is feeling a personal connection to the people and programs they are supporting. “For anyone who is considering a gift to Clemson,” Dan said, “no matter how large or small, the benefit of having a long-term impact for so many is worthy of serious consideration.”

Lindsays’ ‘Inspirational Generosity’ Supports College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

For Ron ’80 and Jane ’80 Lindsay, giving back to the University, its students and the community is a large part of who they are.

The Lindsays mentor students through their church, opening their Lake Keowee home for student retreats. They are involved in providing financial-literacy counseling for people with long-term financial problems. Ron Lindsay supports the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences as a member and former chair of its advisory board. He was recognized for his service in 2016 when he received the college’s highest honor, induction into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists. He is also one of the original members of the Leadership Circle, a group of donors who provide unrestricted gifts to support student engagement, faculty advancement and academic opportunities that shape tomorrow’s leaders.

Their latest gift — $1 million to the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences to fund scholarships and professorships and to meet the college’s greatest needs — is built on that same spirit: “We’re giving money to the dean to have flexibility to do things he needs to do as needs arise,” Ron said.

Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the college, said the Lindsays’ gift will have a deep impact on students and faculty for years to come: 

“Their generosity is inspirational, and they are wonderful ambassadors for Clemson University,” Gramopadhye said. “By giving so freely of their time and treasure, they are an integral part of the college’s success.”

Ron grew up in North Augusta, South Carolina, and Jane is from Mount Pleasant. They met at Clemson, and both graduated with bachelor’s degrees — his in chemical engineering and hers in economic biology.

Ron Lindsay took a job with Eastman in Kingsport, Tennessee, immediately after graduation and stayed with the chemical company for 36 years before retiring in 2016 as chief operating officer. “Eastman benefited tremendously from Clemson engineering students,” he said. “We hired quite a few, and they were always very well-equipped.”

After retirement, the Lindsays moved to their lake home about 30 minutes from campus. The move put them closer to their three grown children — Ryan, Elizabeth and Lauren — and their 2-year-old granddaughter, Blake.

Nate Matzko, a biochemistry and genetics major from Irmo, South Carolina, said he met the Lindsays through church and that they have been a great support system when college gets stressful. “I’m not surprised they’re making the donation,” he said. “They are two of the most loving, generous people I’ve been able to come across.”

The Lindsays’ return to the Upstate gives them a chance to get to know the students and professors they are helping.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back,” Jane said, “and grateful that Clemson University brought Ron and me together when we were students.”

Phyfers Become Third Cornerstone Partner for Academics

Ben and Cheri Dunmore ’93, MBA ’99 Phyfer have given $2.5 million to support the College of Business and student scholarships. With this transformational gift, the Phyfers became the third Cornerstone Partner for Academics.

The Cornerstone program is made up of visionary individuals who commit funding of $2.5 million or more to help set the course for Clemson’s future as one of the nation’s top-ranked public universities. 

“This is a remarkable gift from a remarkable couple,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “Cheri and Ben both have very successful careers in business, and their gift will help give Clemson students the education they need to start their own paths to success.”


  • $2 million for Phyfer Auditorium; it’s the largest gift to date for the new College of Business building.
  • $380,000 for the Phyfer Innovation Hub at Greenville ONE.
  • $120,000 for student scholarships.

“Clemson University is a significant part of our lives,” says Cheri Phyfer. “While we love Clemson football, academic success — particularly in the business school — is very important to us. We are excited to make this gift to help further the University’s business programs and impact the lives of students for years to come.”

The Phyfers have previously given to other initiatives including the Women’s Leadership Initiative, the College of Business Dean’s Excellence Fund, the WestZone project and several scholarships.

After graduating from Clemson, Cheri joined Sherwin-Williams, where she rose to become president and general manager of the consumer brands division. She joined Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group as president of Moen U.S. in 2018. 

She was named to Clemson’s Board of Trustees in 2016 and is a former member of the Clemson University Foundation board and a past chair of the College of Business’ Trevillian Cabinet. 

Ben is a real estate investor/developer who has built properties in the Atlanta and Cleveland areas. He also serves on Clemson’s MBA executive board. The Phyfers live in the Cleveland area with their daughters, Allison and Danielle.

Scott Family Gift Will Help Recruit, Retain Top Students

Micky ’75 and Amy Scott know the vital role the forestry industry plays in South Carolina’s economic vitality and environmental health. 

The Scotts, with Micky’s brothers Bill and Hank, are fourth-generation owners of wholesale lumber and pole manufacturer Collum’s Lumber Products in Allendale, S.C. Collum’s was founded in the 1930s and has grown into one of the most advanced sawmill and planer operations in the Southeast. 

Now, the Scotts have given more than $1 million to the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences to create three endowments that will support the recruitment and retention of students in the college; provide enrichment opportunities to students in the forestry and environmental conservation department; and fund scholarships for students to participate in Forestry Summer Camp, a seven-week experiential learning curriculum to build skills essential to professional success in the forestry industry.

“That scholarship was one of the reasons I was able to stay in forestry.”

Dean Keith Belli said the Scotts’ gift will help the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences recruit and retain the best students and enhance the forestry curriculum with hands-on learning opportunities. Billy Fox, a veteran and junior forestry major from Wallkill, New York, is one of those students. Fox participated in the Forestry Summer Camp and said the experience honed his skills and opened his eyes to the array of careers in the forestry industry.

“I’m a hands-on learner, and I need to experience things for myself to learn them best,” Fox said. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford Forestry Summer Camp if it hadn’t been for scholarship money. That scholarship was one vof the reasons I was able to stay in forestry.” 

Micky Scott, whose bachelor’s degree is in forest management, is chair of Clemson’s Timberland Legacy Advisory Committee and a board member of the Wood Utilization + Design Institute.

An Unlikely Beginning for a Legacy

Marilyn Godbold’s life-changing gift began in an unlikely place — a meeting she attended as a guest.

Godbold’s affinity for Clemson began with her husband, Asa Godbold, who graduated from Clemson in 1969 with a degree in building construction. Asa Godbold was named to the Board of Visitors, and since spouses are routinely invited to the meetings, Marilyn attended every meeting with him. Though she had no prior connection to Clemson, she quickly fell in love with the University.

“Marilyn had never even set foot on campus until after we met,” Asa said. “She bought into everything Clemson and almost made me feel guilty over whether I was as involved as she was.”

At the final Board of Visitors meeting of Asa Godbold’s term, Marilyn sat in on a presentation about ClemsonLIFE and its goal of providing a postsecondary education to students with intellectual disabilities. On the way home, Marilyn immediately decided to change her will to make ClemsonLIFE a part of it.

“ClemsonLIFE resonated with everything she was as a person, and she wanted to make this program available to anyone who needed it,” said Asa.

Marilyn died in late 2017; her planned gift to ClemsonLIFE will provide grants and financial aid.

His wife’s generosity inspired Asa to continue giving himself by creating the Asa and Marilyn Godbold Clemson FIRST Grant-in-Aid, a scholarship for first-generation students.

“I have now given to Clemson for 49 consecutive years, and in one fell swoop, Marilyn gave more than I have ever given cumulatively,” he said. “I am hoping that between the two of us, we will keep Thomas Green Clemson’s will and vision alive forever.”

Rooks Honor Mentor and Friend


Ben Rook ’68, M ’74, the owner of Design Strategies in Greenville, has spent his career working on many different solutions to one question: “How can we make that happen?”

He and his wife, Becca, make things happen in many arenas: education, architecture, business and community-centered philanthropy. At Clemson, their latest gift of $100,000 will provide opportunities for architecture students by funding an endowment created in the name of mentor and friend George C. Means Jr.

Means established a health-focused studio in the School of Architecture at Clemson that has grown into today’s Architecture + Health graduate program. As the program celebrates its 50th anniversary, the Architecture + Health studio will officially carry the name of George C. Means Jr.

Ben said that when he first came to Clemson from Newberry, South Carolina, he had no idea what architecture really was. “I knew I liked making art, and I liked building treehouses,” he said, adding that Means had a gift for molding young people into “what they would be, even when they didn’t know what they could be.”

Ben graduated in 1968 and earned his master’s degree in 1974. In between degrees, he met his wife while working in Charlotte. After a long courtship, they married, with George Means as best man.

For a few years, Ben taught full time at Clemson and was an assistant campus planner. Becca educated younger students in Anderson and earned a master’s degree in education at Clemson. Ben’s career led them to Greenville, then to Charlotte and back to Greenville.

Ben wants people to remember that Means was a man with big ideas and an unparalleled devotion to students. Through the many lives he shaped over the years, Means’ influence traveled far beyond the studio that now bears his name.

The Rooks said they want their gift to the Means endowment to help keep Clemson a place where extraordinary teachers can deliver extra care and individual attention to each student. “That is what makes Clemson great,” Ben said.

Wood Utilization + Design Institute adds Katerra as founding member 

The California-based construction and technology services company Katerra has joined Clemson’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute as a founding member, giving $50,000 toward the institute’s mission of researching, educating and providing resources for industry stakeholders in a variety of disciplines to advance wood-based products.

“Clemson is delighted to have Katerra as one of its founding partners,” said Pat Layton, institute director. “The innovation they are bringing to the construction industry to set forward a path to increase efficiencies within building construction systems may provide a transformational change in how we build homes and communicate in the future.”

Hans-Erik Blomgren, Katerra’s director of testing and characterization, praised the institute for “bringing together diverse stakeholders to advance the wood products industry in South Carolina and throughout the Southeast,” and described his company’s collaboration with the institute as a way to “drive positive economic and environmental outcomes for end consumers, companies and students alike.”

The forest industry has a
$21 billion impact on the South Carolina economy. More than two thirds of land in the state —
12.9 million acres — is forested. Clemson’s Wood Utilization + Design Institute is strategically positioned to drive the development, demand and use of wood products and to address the industry’s needs for the next generation of talent. Researchers with the institute currently are testing cross-laminated timber to determine burn rates, wind resistance and structural load.