Gantt Scholars and donors honored

In 1963, when Harvey Gantt entered Clemson, he was the first African-American to do so. Twenty-five years later, the Clemson Black Alumni Council (CBAC) established a scholarship to honor him and to recruit and retain African-American students, with special preference to South Carolina residents and entering freshmen.

This spring, donors to the Harvey B. Gantt Scholarship Endowment Fund gathered with the past and present recipients of their generosity to celebrate progress made and lives affected.

“We are better and stronger because of a young African-American man from Charleston who would not give up on his dream of studying architecture here at Clemson,” said President Jim Clements. He went on to say that Clemson is also a better institution because of the Gantt Scholars. “You are among the best and brightest students in the nation, and we are proud of you and your achievements. Your presence on campus — and your leadership and accomplishments both in and out of the classroom — have made us a better institution.”

Clements went on to thank the CBAC for supporting the scholarship, noting that their “commitment has opened the door for generations of students to attend Clemson.”

View a video of the Gantt Scholars reception:

Bradleys invest in imagination and inquiry

Forever-BradleyEach year, more than 4,000 Clemson undergraduate students enjoy exercising their imaginations through a unique, faculty-led research program because of Phil and Mary Bradley’s generosity.

Phil’s father, William F. Bradley, was a veteran student at Clemson College in the late 1930s and finished his degree in 1952 after a long leave of absence. Throughout his childhood, Phil had his heart set on Clemson and much to his satisfaction, enrolled here after high school. After his sophomore year, Phil married his high school sweetheart, Mary, and before he graduated in 1965, they had begun their own family with daughter, Renee.

Clemson’s hills are full of memories for the Charleston natives, and today they enjoy giving back to the place that gave so much to them.

It began in 2005 when Phil and Mary met with former provost Dori Helms to learn more about her vision for a new undergraduate research program called Creative Inquiry. The Bradleys also were introduced to a few of Helms’ students and took note of what they were accomplishing in their studies. To say they were impressed would be an understatement.

“Some students were starting businesses and even had patents and copyrights. It was a real eye-opener for me,” Phil said.

The Bradleys stepped up and assisted with funding the program through annual support for five years. “I really wanted to help a program that needed financial support, and there’s been unbelievable growth,” he said. The program’s growth as well as the Bradley’s continued appreciation for the students led them to provide the first major gift for the Creative Inquiry Enhancement Fund.

However, it wasn’t just the students who made an impact on the Bradleys. They also took note of how passionate the faculty members were about the students’ success and felt these mentors deserved recognition. This inspired the Bradleys to establish the Phil and Mary Bradley Award for Mentoring in Creative Inquiry — a generous award presented to a faculty member in recognition of outstanding work with undergraduate students.

Clemson traditions were engrained in the Bradley’s children, Philip and Renee, at a very young age. They are now proud alumni and have passed on their love for Clemson to their very own families. The family’s shared love for Clemson encouraged Phil and Mary to become more involved on campus. Phil was elected to the Board of Visitors in 2006 and is also a proud member of the Clemson Foundation. “This gave me the opportunity to see the needs of Clemson University and how we go about meeting those needs. It’s gotten me more involved in not just the support of athletics but what’s happening on campus and how we can further those goals,” he said.

The Bradleys are a “One Clemson” family, supporting both athletics and academics, and believe that seeing the outcomes has made a big difference in their lives. Phil and Mary often talk to one another about their relationship with Clemson and always agree that it is money well spent. “There is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of a Clemson student,” Phil said.

When Phil is presented with the opportunity to talk to someone about investing in Clemson, he always says, “Do not hesitate. Do not wait. It doesn’t matter how small. I use the philosophy that if you’re a Clemson alum, you learned, you earned and now you need to return. You need to return and give something back to Clemson. I think Creative Inquiry is a great program you can start with.”

“There is nothing like the satisfaction of knowing that you have made a difference in the life of a Clemson student.”

Duke Energy Foundation gift supports students and teachers

Four programs at Clemson will be enhanced this year by a $115,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.
PEER (Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention), which helps freshman minority students adjust to college life; WISE, which supports females in engineering and science majors; EMAGINE!, which encourages middle and high school students to consider engineering as a career; and a teacher education course that introduces S.C. teachers to the educational resources at the Duke Energy Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station will share in the grant.

“Education has always been a focal point of our commitment to corporate giving,” said Scott Miller, government and community relations manager with Duke Energy. “We have long been proud to partner with Clemson University to support efforts that continue to make a difference in the lives of so many students and teachers in the Palmetto State.”

Watt Family Innovation Center adds two founding partners

In the heart of campus, strategically located next to the R.M. Cooper Library and across from the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center, a new building is taking shape. It’s not tied to a particular college or department but rather designed to be an incubator of creativity and innovation.

The Watt Family Innovation Center, projected to open in the spring of 2016, has announced two new founding innovation partners: SCRA and Philips Lighting North America. SCRA, an applied research corporation with more than 30 years of experience delivering technology solutions, will provide $3 million for new cross-discipline operations and sustainability for supporting extended network and operations, including equipment to establish virtual connectivity between the Watt Family Innovation Center, SCRA Innovation Centers and research universities in the state. This commitment includes science and technology advancements, special projects and support for faculty, staff and students, curriculum and operations of the Watt Center.

“The immediate and comprehensive advancements to multi-party communications that these studios will provide will greatly contribute to and improve our state’s ‘knowledge economy,’” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “This collaboration will add value and users to the current health care industry core that is using the S.C. LightRail high-speed research network.”
Philips Lighting North America, a global leader in lighting that has been focusing on innovative ways of using light to enhance people’s lives for more than 120 years, has made a cash gift to support research related to Philips Lighting technology and a gift-in-kind of state-of-the-art lighting products to equip and furnish the interior and exterior of the Watt Center.

“Working in isolation is never as effective as collaboration,” said Amy Huntington, president of Philips Lighting Americas. “We believe that great partnerships encourage great results. That’s why we’re pleased to have had the opportunity to support the Watt Family Innovation Center. … I know that the work and the programs supported by the Watt Family Innovation Center will make a meaningful impact and ensure a bright future for generations to come.”

Osher Foundation awards $1 million to Clemson’s OLLI program

The Bernard Osher Foundation made a $1 million gift to Clemson’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a continuing education and membership program for older adults.

The gift — a $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds — is the foundation’s second $1 million gift to OLLI at Clemson and a recognition of the institute’s contributions to the local community, said OLLI director Julie Vidotto.

OLLI at Clemson offers lectures, courses, excursions and social events to adults ages 50 and older, as well as access to Clemson events and resources. The institute holds approximately 215 classes each year in interest areas including technology, philosophy, history, fine arts, culture, travel, nature and fitness, among others.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Osher Foundation for this latest expression of support,” said Brett Wright, interim dean of the College of Health, Education and Human Development, which houses Clemson’s OLLI program. “This generous gift will expand our efforts to make a difference in the lives of older adults, and we are thankful for our continued partnership.”

OLLI at Clemson grew out of a grassroots effort led by local retirees 12 years ago and a $5,000 commitment from the College of Health, Education and Human Development. Since then, the program has grown to more than 1,000 active members and is now housed in the Charles K. Cheezem Education Center at Patrick Square in Clemson, the result of a generous gift from the Cheezem family.

For more information about Clemson’s OLLI program, go to clemson.edu/centers-institutes/olli/.

The Will to Lead Executive Committee, 2014-2016

WTL_Revised_LogoPhilip H. Prince ’49, HD ’95, Honorary Chair

E. Smyth McKissick III ’79, Chair

Kelly C. Davies ’86, Co-Vice Chair

Richard “Rich” Davies ’86, Co-Vice Chair

James F. Barker ’70

Marcia Barker HA ’01

James E. Bostic Jr. ’69, Ph.D. ’72

Jan E. Childress

James P. Clements

James P. Creel Sr. ’60

Carolyn Creel ’61

Bill Hendrix ’63, M ’68

Robert “Bobby” McCormick ’72, M ’74

Mark Mitchell M ’83, Ph.D. ’87

Michael Dean Perry ’05

Betty Sheppard Poe HA ’10

Mark S. Richardson ’83

Kenneth L. Smith ’81

Joseph J. Turner Jr. ’71, M ’77

Mayberry Scholarship brightens Egan’s future

Forever-Chris EganRobert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr., who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer, was a member of Clemson’s much-touted 1981 National Championship football team. When his friends and family remember him, however, it’s not for his exploits on the field. They remember the way he went about helping other people. “Quietly and without the need for recognition,” is the way Kendall Alley ’83, M ’85, another member of that team, describes it.

So when Mayberry’s friends and family thought about how to honor his memory, they settled on a scholarship endowment that would provide partial scholarships to football trainers and/or managers. “We are confident it would have been Bob’s dream to honor those who work hard day in and day out with no expectation of recognition beyond that which accrues to the whole team,” said Mark Richardson ’83, a member of the committee that initiated the effort. Alley referred to the team managers and trainers as “the unsung individuals who are so important to the football team’s success.”

In the Clemson football equipment room, you can find one of those unsung heroes. Chris Egan operates under the same philosophy that characterized Bob Mayberry. He quietly goes about his job of cleaning helmets, organizing gear and toting bags of footballs on and off the field.

Egan’s life has not been easy. His family moved around 11 times before he was 12 years old, so his mother home-schooled six children. When he was 13, his father left, and his mother went to work outside the home, still managing to homeschool the kids. Chris dropped out of school at 14, working odd jobs to help support the family.

During what was supposed to be his senior year in high school, he took the ACT and spent a year at Greenville Tech; the next summer he worked at Camps Hope and Sertoma, based at Clemson’s Outdoor Lab. It was during that summer, working with special-needs adults and kids from underprivileged families, that he began to find his calling.

The next year, he transferred to Tri-County Tech, continuing to work at the Outdoor Lab. A chance meeting with Alphonso Smith, head of equipment for Clemson football, would prove beneficial. Egan applied to Clemson, knowing he would have to pay his way through loans and part-time work. He contacted Smith, who hired him for a position, one with long hours and not much recognition.

Being an equipment manager is not Egan’s only job. He lives and works at the Outdoor Lab as well. And he works with the ClemsonLIFE program, teaching classes for young adults with disabilities. During the summer, he is assistant director of the two camps at the Outdoor Lab. Along the way, he has finished his degree in history and begun a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on working with nonprofits.

When the scholarship committee came looking for recommendations, equipment manager Abe Reed answered without hesitation. During spring practice, Reed stopped Egan on the way out of practice, took the ball bags from him and told him he needed to talk with someone. Heart in his throat, not knowing what to expect, Egan went in to find Mark Richardson waiting for him. The two talked about the scholarship and about Mayberry, and Richardson had a chance to gauge the young man for himself before signing off on the selection.

For Chris Egan, what does a scholarship like this mean? Egan says his first reaction was “total shock.”

“In my family,” he says, “we’ve always worked very hard for everything. Hearing about that almost made me tear up — helping me get through the rest of school and pay off my loans.” For someone who sees his future as working with special-needs adults, it’s particularly meaningful. “It frees me up to do what I want to do, which doesn’t involve a lot of income. It’s pretty incredible.”

When asked what advice he’d share with other students, he pauses. “Paying for it on my own gave it extra meaning for me. Every class I took, every grade I got — it was all mine. I’d encourage students to do that — there needs to be some ownership with school and with work — realizing that you’re signing your name on everything you do, whether it’s sweeping the floor or doing a presentation for 200 people.”

Chris Egan signs his name on a lot these days. Without looking for any recognition or special attention. Just the kind of thinking Bob Mayberry would appreciate.

Clemson Forever Events

College of Business and Behavioral Sciences Donor Event

February 19, 2015

College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Donor Event

Locker Room to Board Room ONE Clemson Panel Discussion

A panel of distinguished Clemson alumni, including former student athletes, shared advice for success and answered questions in an open forum Friday, Jan. 23, at Tillman Hall auditorium. “From the Locker Room to the Boardroom: A Panel of Clemson’s Best and Brightest” featured ONE Clemson cabinet members, including professional football players C.J. Spiller, Charlie Whitehurst and Dwayne Allen; Major League Baseball pitcher Kris Benson; former Clemson quarterback and radio personality Rodney Williams. The panelists discussed how they became leaders in their professions and offer advice for young adults to become successful, whether on the field or in the boardroom.

 

Legacy Day 2014

Clemson celebrates Thomas Green Clemson’s legacy and the late Robert “Pat” Jenkins for his gift to Clemson.

 

Gratitude Gala

Clemson celebrates Thomas Green Clemson’s legacy with a Month of Milestones.

 

Clemson’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics names award for President Emeritus James Barker

The Bond Golf Practice Facility Dedication, Nov. 13, 2014

Clemson Forever

From one family to another

When Ashley Snow visited Clemson as a prospective student from Connecticut, she attended a Zac Brown concert and the spring orange and white football game. She was sold.

What sold her parents on Clemson was the community that embraced, nurtured and challenged her. “I was scared the school would be too big — that she would get lost in the shuffle of student activities and not find her way,” Lynette Snow says. “But freshman year, she was in the living learning community and met friends that she still has to this day. And she joined DSP (Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity).”

“And don’t forget DZ (Delta Zeta sorority),” her father, David, interjects “That’s her core group of friends,” says Lynette. She calls Ashley’s Clemson experience “inspiring” while David remarks that he has seen her grow dramatically.

The Snows were in town in October for Family Weekend, but also for the announcement of their $2.4 million gift to support student recreation areas and programs. The University’s recreation area on S.C. Highway 93 on Hartwell Lake will be named the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Center. The gift is the largest to the University from parents who are not alumni.

But if you’re around the Snow family very long, you could be forgiven for thinking that they might be alumni. They have settled in as members of the Clemson family during their daughter’s time here.

“I went to Bates College as an undergrad and Duke for grad school,” says David. “Lynette went to East Carolina undergrad and University of Pennsylvania for grad school. None of those schools is as inclusive of the entire family as Clemson. We have felt as if this is our school, too, while our daughter has been here, and the warmth and closeness of this community is infectious. It’s inclusive, and as a result, we feel just as much a part of Clemson as we did our own schools.”

“Maybe more,” adds Lynette.

“I’m the only one who goes here,” says Ashley, now a senior marketing major, “but my whole family now bleeds orange.”

When Ashley and her twin sister, Lauren, a student at Elon University, are asked how they would describe their family, they respond with “closeness and respect. And we love helping others.”

Their generosity to Clemson was carefully considered. David describes the criteria for their family’s investment: “Lynette and I like to give to things that are meaningful, and to people and institutions that deserve that kind of giving.”

For them, Clemson fit the criteria. “Clemson is a phenomenal school. It has a phenomenal product. It has something special that should be preserved,” David says. “And when you feel that way, you look for ways that you can help.”

University administrators identified an area of need: the intramural and club sports program, whose fields double as parking lots and tailgate spaces during football games. Often after heavy rains and robust tailgating, club sports and intramurals find themselves unable to compete. The Snows’ gift will ensure that Clemson’s active club, intramural and wellness programs will have their own spaces and dedicated fields.

“It’s pretty clear that a great institution with great facilities should have great intramural and club fields that are safe,” says David. “So we decided that was a worthy project, and we thought we’d make a lead gift to make sure that would happen for the Clemson family.”

The Snows’ gift is part of Clemson’s $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson campaign.

The first class of Barker Scholars, pictured, left to right, with President Emeritus and Mrs. James Barker: Allison Hanratty, Samantha Cuffe, Landon Bulloch, Ryan Heard, Zachary Nesbit. Not pictured: Brandi Patterson, Matthew Hapstack, Caroline Marwede and Christine Duoos.

The first class of Barker Scholars, pictured, left to right, with President Emeritus and Mrs. James Barker: Allison Hanratty, Samantha Cuffe, Landon Bulloch, Ryan Heard, Zachary Nesbit. Not pictured: Brandi Patterson, Matthew Hapstack, Caroline Marwede and Christine Duoos.

 

First class of Barker Scholars named

This past fall, the first class of Barker Scholars was announced. These nine students are recipients of the scholarship fund that was established to honor President Emeritus and Mrs. James Barker. To date, the Barker Scholars Endowment has grown to more than $3 million, with gifts from 2,161 donors, including 85 founding partners who gave $25,000 or more.


Forever Hendrix Spouses

The Hendrix family: Helping students experience the world

It all started with an empty mayonnaise jar and a dream.

In the 1980s, Pam Hendrix wanted to go to Europe with her family. But with four children, travel abroad was expensive, so she made a deal with her husband, Clemson trustee Bill Hendrix ’63, M ’68. If she and the children could save up enough money to pay for half of the trip, Bill said he would match their savings to fund the trip. So she washed out a mayonnaise jar and started filling it up.

Over a period of years, Pam and her children — Jill, Joy, Holly and Jim — watched the jar fill several times. Through saving and working together toward a common goal, they ended up saving more than their half of the cost of the trip, and the family was able to take a tour of Europe, visiting Rome, Paris, London and Geneva.

Forever Hendrix money jar“We started putting in money, and the more we put in, the more we wanted to put in,” Pam said. “At some point, we filled up the jar, and I opened an account, and we just started stuffing money in every chance we got.”

“It was fun because we all felt like we were working toward the same goal,” said Holly Hendrix Cirrito ’95. “We spent years saving up pennies and nickels and quarters, and everyone was a part of it, which made it feel very special.”

“It showed us that working hard over time toward a goal is important, and that you can achieve your goals if you stay focused, even if you start out small,” said Jill Hendrix Ganzenmüeller ’92. “We learned that saving pennies and dimes can make a difference.”

That trip left a lasting impression on all four of the Hendrix children, and nearly 30 years later, they are making it possible for Clemson students to have the same amazing experience. In honor of their mother, they, along with their spouses, established the Pamela Maddex Hendrix Dream Jar Study Abroad Endowment.

“We felt like this was a wonderful opportunity to give my mom some well-deserved recognition,” said Jim Hendrix ’98. “We knew that by joining forces and doing it together as a family, we could have a greater impact on students’ lives.”

“My mom is a very special person, and she always puts her family first. We all have a love for travel, and it came from her,” said Joy Hendrix Yonce ’93. “We wanted her to know how special we feel that she is, and we wanted to help future Clemson students — hopefully, they’ll get that travel bug that we all have.”

Bill and Pam are excited to see their children giving back to Clemson.

“I think it’s wonderful that they wanted to honor their mother this way,” said Bill. “She has always loved travel, and she remembers every place we’ve ever been. It just seems natural for Clemson students to benefit from her love of travel.”

 

Performing arts programs inspire imaginations

Robert Allen ’08 has achieved something that many people only dream of — he’s made it to Broadway. You won’t see him under the spotlight, though. He is a sound engineer, working on various Broadway and off-Broadway productions, sometimes traveling with touring companies, to make the performers on stage sound amazing for their audiences.

Allen graduated in performing arts with a concentration in audio technology, but he had been attending programs at Clemson’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts for years before enrolling at Clemson.

Allen was one of the thousands of children who file into the seats at the Brooks Center every year to enjoy performances of classical music, children’s plays, dance and more, made possible by the Bill and Donna Eskridge Tri-ART Series.

“I think Tri-ART’s primary influence would have to be the creation of a ‘comfort zone’ with the performing arts,” said Allen. “If it weren’t for my early exposure to theater, I may have shied away from studying at the Brooks Center and pursuing a career in the arts.”

That’s the kind of impact Bill and Donna Eskridge wanted to have when they decided to endow the Tri-ART program. The couple were introduced to the Brooks Center shortly after retiring to Lake Keowee in 1993. After learning about the Tri-ART program and its funding needs, they decided to support it by creating an endowment. They have also decided to include the program in their estate plans, to ensure that it will continue to inspire children for generations.

“It’s probably the best investment we’ve ever made,” Bill said. “I have a framed quote at home that says, ‘A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the kind of car I drove … but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.’ That’s the significance of the Tri-ART program, and why we wanted to support it.”

Each year, the Brooks Center hosts 18 Tri-ART programs, with an annual attendance of about 13,000 children. Children are able to attend the programs for $2, and some programs are free.

“There is nowhere else in this country where children can see events of this quality for just $2,” said Lillian “Mickey” Harder, director of the Brooks Center. “We are enriching the lives of thousands of children, and Bill and Donna Eskridge have made that happen.”