In May, Clemson held a ribbon cutting for the “new” Barnes Center, a spot where students can hang out with friends, relax and attend late-night programming on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The historic Barnes Center began as the Clemson College Experimental Barn or Sheep Barn. It is the oldest surviving and relatively intact structure associated with the original Clemson College Agricultural Department and was built in approximately 1904. In 2014, the Barnes family made a gift to Clemson, allowing the Sheep Barn to be transformed into the Barnes Center.
When Kate Gasparro ’14 thinks about her success, she goes back to the first conversation she had with fellow alumnus Bob Hambright ’70.
Gasparro was applying for a leadership award that bears Hambright’s name when he impressed upon her the importance of self-examination, a lesson she took to heart. She went on to win the Norris Medal, the highest honor for an undergraduate at Clemson, and is now a Ph.D. student at Stanford University.
“He’s not just a friend,” she said. “He’s a mentor. The Hambrights have been a constant part of my life. I hope as an alumnus, if I can be as successful as Bob and Susan Hambright, I can come back and be as helpful as they are.”
The relationships the Hambrights have formed with Gasparro and other students illustrate how their hands-on approach has already left its mark as they prepare to have an even deeper impact.
The Blowing Rock, North Carolina, couple recently announced a $249,000 Give Day contribution that comes on top of their previous contribution of $251,000. The two contributions together allow Clemson to create the Hambright Distinguished Professorship in Engineering Leadership.
“If we’re going to make the world a better place, the way to do it is to create more and better leaders,” Bob said. “We want to identify kids who have that potential — identify them early on and help them accelerate their development as leaders.”
John DesJardins, a member of the bioengineering faculty, will hold the professorship and continue the work he began with the Hambrights in 2014. Their contribution gives DesJardins an endowed professorship, one of the most esteemed positions on the faculty.
DesJardins thanked the Hambrights and said they are passionate about leadership.
“They are committed to the idea that all Clemson students should have the opportunity to become better leaders during their time at Clemson, and that we have a duty to provide for them the opportunities to grow as leaders in their disciplines,” he said. “Their commitment to this goal is inspiring, and I am honored to be a part of that process.”
DesJardins is charged with creating awareness of leadership’s importance and identifying and accelerating the development of tomorrow’s leaders. He oversees the Robert B. ’70 and Susan B. Hambright Annual Leadership Program in Engineering. Eight engineering students received awards in 2016, and the program goes into its sixth year in the fall. Each student receives $3,000 for leadership-related programs and a $1,000 merit award.
Gasparro, one of the early awardees, used some of her funds to attend a Dale Carnegie program in New York City. She has remained in touch with the Hambrights while working toward her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering and a master’s in international policy.
Bob received a mechanical engineering degree from Clemson in 1970 and an MBA from Winthrop University in 1974. One day during his career, it dawned on him it was a good idea to hire people smarter than he was, he said. As a leader, his job was to create an environment where people could work together toward a compelling vision. “If we could tap the collective wisdom of the group, nobody could stop us,” Bob said. “That was just an aha moment for me. From then on, I just wanted to learn as much as I could about leadership.”
Bob retired in 2010 as chief executive officer of the Southeast division of Balfour Beatty Construction Co. The company set up an endowment for the Hambrights focused on creating more and better leaders. “We wanted to be part of the process,” Bob said. “I think that’s the only way you can get the impact you want. It’s been a lot of fun.”
One hiccup in the beginning was that students had trouble spending the money because their schedules were already jam packed. That’s when the Hambrights began working with DesJardins, who helped organize the leadership program and held the forerunner to the endowed professorship, the Hambright Professorship.
Susan Hambright said that DesJardins understands the couple’s vision. “He can see in students that kernel of leadership ability, that light that some kids have, and they just don’t know what to do with it,” she said. “Hopefully, with what we’re doing, he can grow more leaders than before.”
Clemson’s research goals and thousands of students and professors have gained a powerful ally — analytics leader SAS. Through a new educational partnership, SAS and Clemson will provide research, software, services and funding to the Watt Family Innovation Center.
Thanks to the new partnership, professors, students and researchers can access and apply advanced SAS Analytics, business intelligence, cybersecurity and data management software toward that mission. SAS also provides teaching materials, onsite faculty and staff training and helps develop analytical programs.
Professors will be able to easily integrate SAS software into coursework, giving students hands-on experience with this highly marketable skill. In fact, a study of 54 million employee profiles on PayScale.com identified “Knowledge of SAS” as the No. 1 career skill that translates into salary bumps.
The Watt Center promotes student engagement, interactive learning and partnership with industry and government. SAS was recognized in March as the sixth Founding Innovation Partner for the Watt Center, joining Comporium Inc., Haworth Inc., Philips Lighting, Scientific Research Corporation and SCRA.
“The Watt Family Innovation Center is a unique educational facility that quickly has become invaluable to our students and faculty and one of the most innovative in the nation,” said President Clements. “This partnership with SAS, a leader in innovative software solutions, will allow us to better serve our University community, and we are very appreciative of their generous support of Clemson’s mission.”
“The Watt Center brings together students, faculty and industry in a hothouse for learning and research,” said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. “With data and analytics at the heart of innovation today, that means Clemson can generate more of the talent in high demand worldwide.”
The second annual Give Day at Clemson more than doubled the results of the first one. Donors gave $2,107,270 in support of scholarships, teaching and facilities during the 24-hour Give Day 2017 on April 6. Last year, 3,082 donors gave $907,603 on the first Give Day.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Clemson family in support of our second Give Day initiative,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president for development and alumni
relations. “Our students, faculty and staff will benefit now and for years to come from the more than 3,000 individuals and corporations who united to move Clemson forward in a spectacular way.“
Gifts came from 3,265 donors. Fifty-one percent gave online; others donated at campus locations and by phone. Volunteers thanked many on social media who used the hashtag #ClemsonGiveDay.
The average online gift was $134.97, but several alumni donors pledged large “challenge gifts” that could be collected only when milestones were reached during the day:
- Vic and Susie Parker of Brookhaven, Georgia, made a $25,000 gift and designated it for the Samuel J. Cadden Chapel — given when the number of donations reached 500.
- Ed and Kelly Rose of Daniel Island gave $50,000 for the Dean’s Excellence Fund of the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences — given when the number of donations topped 1,000.
- The Fort Hill Clemson Club gave $60,000 for the Fort Hill Clemson Club Endowment for scholarships — given when donations totaled 1,500.
- Pat Harman of Burlington, North Carolina, gave $400,000 to the J. Pat Harman and Phoebe Harman Unrestricted Endowment for Excellence — given when the number of donations reached 2,000.
Clemson alumni employees of GE pledged a gift of $100,000 to the Watt Family Innovation Center and corporate partner Dräxlmaier gave $50,000 to support graduate fellowships in automotive engineering.
“We are so grateful to everyone who demonstrated their Clemson spirit by participating in Give Day,” O’Rourke said. “These gifts will make a difference for Clemson today, tomorrow and forever.”
Next year’s Give Day is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4. Mark your calendar now and plan to contribute.
Clemson students will work with cutting-edge design equipment, software and tools for years to come, thanks to Esko, a global supplier of integrated solutions for the packaging, labels, sign and display industries.
The company has given Clemson’s Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics equipment, maintenance and software valued at $26,703,750 over a five-year period.
“Esko has been a great partner with the Sonoco Institute for nearly a decade, and this latest gift will be instrumental in Clemson’s ongoing efforts to remain at the leading edge of research into packaging technologies,” said President Clements. “Esko’s equipment and software allow our packaging design students to leave Clemson proficient in industry-standard tools and technologies.” The Sonoco Institute is the only university program in the country with a multidisciplinary approach to packaging as a core competency.
Esko has been a partner of the institute since 2008, and the curriculum is built around the company’s equipment and software. “Esko values the Clemson relationship largely because of the amount of value the printing and packaging industry places on Clemson as a resource for talent and innovation,” said Larry Moore, Esko’s vice president of partner programs in North America.
The partnership has greatly benefited Clemson students and consequently the manufacturing industry, said Chip Tonkin, director of the Sonoco Institute and Clemson’s graphic communications department chair. “Our Esko relationship is a world-class example of an industry-academic partnership that leverages real-world tools and relevant challenges to engage and inspire our students in ways that feed the talent pipeline that our entire manufacturing industry desperately needs,” said Tonkin.
In 1963, when Harvey Gantt entered Clemson, he was the first African-American student to do so. Twenty-five years later, the Clemson Black Alumni Council established a scholarship to honor him and to recruit and retain African-American students, with special preference to South Carolina residents and entering freshmen. In February, Harvey and Lucinda Gantt were on campus for a reception to recognize the Harvey B. Gantt Scholars. Senior management major Tre Worthy thanked Gantt for his inspiring leadership. The Gantt Scholars gave Gantt a framed photo of him receiving his diploma in 1965 with the inscription of “Because of you, we can.”
At the annual Gratitude Celebration, held the evening of Legacy Day in November, new members were inducted into the Cumulative Giving and Clemson Legacy societies in recognition of their generosity and leadership. The Clemson Legacy Society honors donors who follow the example of Thomas Green and Anna Calhoun Clemson by including the University in their wills or other estate plans. Giving societies honor those whose cumulative gifts to Clemson exceed $100,000. For some inductees, this was their first time in one of the societies; others were honored for moving to a higher level society.
The bronze leaves honoring members of the Fort Hill Legacy Society, a posthumous honor for those who have given the University $1 million or more, lie under the trees next to the Calhoun Mansion.
William Brooks Thayer ’52 is the most recent inductee into the Fort Hill Legacy Society, honored with a bronze leaf bearing his name during the Legacy Day celebration in November.
Thayer served his country as an officer in the Air Force and served his community as a talented agricultural engineer. He established the William B. Thayer ’52 Quasi-Endowment for Excellence, designated for Clemson’s areas of greatest need.
Clemson’s Legacy Day was started in 2009 to recognize the fact that Clemson was founded by an act of philanthropy by Anna and Thomas Green Clemson. To learn more about the Fort Hill Legacy Society, or to see pictures of the day’s events, go to clemson.world, and click on “Clemson Forever.”
With key support from the Walmart Foundation and its U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund, Clemson textile experts are working with the world’s most widely used fiber, polyester, to develop technologies that will make dyeing it more economical and environmentally friendly.
Chris Cole, a faculty member in materials science and engineering, has extensive experience in both textile and apparel design and fabrication, while her collaborator, Philip Brown, also a faculty member in materials science and engineering, is recognized nationally and internationally for his work in designing and extruding textile fibers.
The nearly $1 million award from the Walmart Foundation allows the research team to pursue three primary research objectives: reduce the amount of dyestuff required to color polyester; reduce the energy required to color polyester; and lower the amount of colored effluent from polyester dyeing processes. Effluent is the liquid waste remaining from the dyeing process, and as Cole has noted, “There’s a lot of dye used in dyeing polyester to be able to get the colors that we all know and love like our bright Clemson orange.”
The award was announced by the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. Conference of Mayors at the 2016 meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. Clemson is one of five universities conducting research through this opportunity, which is focused on supporting research that strives to create new manufacturing technologies and to reduce the cost of producing goods in the U.S. with the ultimate goal of creating jobs that support America’s growing manufacturing base. Clemson’s award is supporting 2½ years of research.
Within Clemson’s Olin Hall is a unique machine that has enabled the research team to design a polyester fiber that will dye more easily. “The funding provided by the Walmart Foundation has allowed me to build this machine — something that has never been done before — and it’s phenomenal,” said Brown. “There’s only one in the world.” Researchers in the industry have attempted to dye polyester using copolymers, but due to fiber manufacturing technology limitations, they typically used a single polymer. This technology also suffered a very poor wash fastness unlike the technology Brown and his researchers have developed. “We might dye a fabric a brilliant orange, but after it was laundered a few times you could see the color was starting to fade with these other polymers,” said Cole. “Because of Dr. Brown’s expertise and the facilities we have at Clemson, we can now build fibers where we can take advantage of being able to get the dye in quickly with intense colors and excellent dye pickup by the fibers. We’re not leaving as much dye behind at the end of the cycle, but at the same time we’re going to be able to get the wash fastness and the light fastness that the commercial market requires.”
Materials science and engineering makes it a priority to get students involved in projects that provide them with hands-on research experience. “By being part of a major research project, students can see the techniques that we use, how to design a large project, how to build a team effectively for a large project and the communication skills you have to have,” said Cole. Another benefit is that students are introduced to the manufacturers who are their potential employers. With another award from the U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund announced this year, these two researchers are optimistic about expanding their research program to look at how they might develop polyester fibers that achieve a high level of water and oil repellency at lower economic and environmental cost.
Continuing in the footsteps of Clemson founder Thomas Green Clemson, who established the University with a legacy of land, Peter LeRoy “Roy” McCall Jr. ’53 has established a new scholarship endowment through a gift of land valued at more than $1 million. The Peter LeRoy “Roy” McCall Jr. ’53 Scholarship Endowment will fund scholarships for students in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences like Carlos Morales Jr., a freshman agricultural mechanization and business major. “This gift will make a huge difference for students,” said Morales. “The scholarships I received have allowed me the opportunity to attend Clemson, and my decision to attend Clemson was supported by generous donors like Mr. McCall.” “I am proud to know that this gift is an asset to Clemson and to the fellow students who will take advantage of this scholarship program.
I wish the students well,” McCall said when the gift was announced at the South Carolina
Farm Bureau CAFLS Alumni Tailgate in November. “Mr. McCall’s gift will benefit Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences literally forever. It is a demonstration of faith in the future and of faith in Clemson,” said President James P. Clements. McCall earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Clemson in 1953 and has been a long-time supporter of his alma mater. In 2009, he established an endowment to provide Universitywide scholarships that have helped more than 75 students attend Clemson.
He has also supported Clemson’s Scroll of Honor and Military Heritage Plaza, the WestZone project in Memorial Stadium and the Class of 1953 Golden Anniversary Scholarship Endowment. In addition, McCall supports the Clemson University President’s Fund. “Mr. McCall’s gift of a scholarship endowment to the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences will open doors for deserving students to attend CAFLS and will have a direct, positive impact on our ability to educate the next generation of agribusiness leaders,” said George Askew, dean of the college and vice president of Public Service and Agriculture.