Jack Leggett named honorary alumnus

Jack Leggett receives award

Former head baseball coach Jackson “Jack” S. Leggett has been named an honorary alumnus of Clemson. Leggett was presented with a framed resolution by alumni board president Sandy Edge and president-elect Mike Dowling prior to the Wake Forest football game.

A University of Maine graduate, Leggett came to Clemson in 1992 as assistant head coach and recruiting director. He took over as head coach in 1994 and led the team to 955 wins and six appearances in the College World Series during his 22 years.

With a total of 1,332 wins throughout his career as a coach, Leggett ranks as the tenth-winningest coach of all time among Division I baseball coaches. He was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.

Clemson Club News

York County Club Meeting

York County Clemson Club student send-off Each year on the Monday before Clemson move-in day, the York County Clemson Club hosts a student send-off cookout at the home of Roger and Cathy Troutman on Lake Wylie in Rock Hill. This year, more than 320 people were in attendance, including about 85 students from the greater York County area. Clemson University chief of staff Max Allen and Rusty Guill from Student Affairs along with the student body president and representatives from student government were also in attendance.

DC Club

Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Club holds annual crab feast The Baltimore/Washington, D.C. Clemson Club held its 16th Annual Crab Feast in August. More than 85 Tigers, young and old, enjoyed a relaxing afternoon of catching up, picking and eating Maryland crabs, and taking scenic boat rides on the West River. Cindy ’90 and Mark ’91 Derrick hosted the event.

 

Triangle Club

Triangle Club packs out pre-game event The Triangle Clemson Club hosted an event at Backyard Bistro prior to the N.C. State football game. A sold-out crowd of 150 included alumni and fans from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area as well as alumni from outside of the area. The Tiger Pre-Game Show with Scott Riemer aired live from the event, and President Clements and his wife Beth stopped by to greet the crowd and lead a cadence count. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Triangle Clemson Club scholarship fund.

Atlanta Club

Atlanta Clemson Club at Braves Game In August, the Atlanta Clemson Club hosted a beautiful day at the new Atlanta Braves stadium, SunTrust Park. At a special gathering in the Hank Aaron Terrace, more than 280 fellow Clemson Family members enjoyed endless food and drink and a talk from former Tiger and major leaguer Kris Benson. They raised money for a contribution to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Smoky Mountain Club

Smoky Mountain Club hosts tailgate send-off The Smoky Mountain Clemson Club hosted its third annual football season kickoff tailgate and student send-off at Anchor Park in Farragut, Tenn., in early August. Bradford Jones is president of the club.

 

Collation County Club

The Colleton County Clemson Club has expanded to Edisto Island! While Edisto Island falls within the geography of the Colleton County Clemson Club, travel to Walterboro for events has never been very easy. Jim and Jan Dorn have pursued a remedy by leading the charge to establish an Edisto Island Chapter of the Colleton County Clemson Club. More than 75 Tigers showed up for the first gathering to simply talk about the chapter. Crowds for each game-watching party have ranged from two dozen to almost 100.

Louisville Alumni Event

The Alumni Association hosted the Clemson Family Tailgate and VIP Experience at Churchill Downs prior the Louisville game. Guests were able to catch live horse races at historic Churchill Downs before heading down the street to watch the Clemson Tigers take on the Louisville Cardinals. More than 300 attended the event and several were featured on the Jumbotron by the staff at Churchill Downs during a spirit contest against Louisville fans in the arena.

Personalize your Clemson license tag

New Clemson license tagA new South Carolina license plate lets state residents have a personalized Clemson University license plate while also supporting student scholarships. This new option is a continuation of the program that Clemson has hosted with SCDMV since 1991.

A portion of the proceeds supports the scholarship programs through the Alumni Association. Since its inception, the license plate has generated nearly $900,000 to support scholarships and alumni programming.


For more information, go to SCDMVonline.com, contact the SCDMV’s Contact Center at 803-896-5000 or Randy Boatwright at 864-656-2345 or brandol@clemson.edu.

A Passion for Service: Kim Gray Evans ’98

A Passion for Service: Kim Gray Evans '98

Kim Evans’ involvement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Central Savannah River Area in Augusta, Ga., began with volunteering five hours a week.

Evans, an accounting major at Clemson, had worked in management accounting in the manufacturing and health care sectors. With the birth of two sons, Jacob and Jared, she wanted to be home more and started a small accounting firm. It was one of her clients, a Boys and Girls Club board member, who recruited her to work with the organization.

“I’ve always been someone who just never sits down — within six months to a year I was probably working for them 30 hours a week,” she says. Within 2½ years, she was part of helping the organization grow from three to eight area clubs serving more than 3,000 youth. By 2011, she was the chief financial officer, managing a $3.5 million budget and overseeing grants and federal funding.

Then the CEO was promoted to the national level, and Evans became interim CEO. It didn’t take the board long to remove “interim” from her title.

It was the Boys and Girls Clubs’ mission to “inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens” that ignited Evans’ passion. “I didn’t have a Boys and Girls Club growing up, so I had no idea about the mission when I started,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in the community and giving back. All the things I wanted to do with my life’s work aligned very quickly with what was happening here.”

This past spring Evans was invited as one of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America CEOs to attend a year-long Harvard
Business School executive education program, studying companies and organizations and the ways CEOs make decisions, and translating that to the nonprofit sector.

“Sometimes in the nonprofit arena we don’t have a product that we sell,” she says. “We have to go out and make the case to individuals and corporations and foundations that we’re worth the investment.”

Back home, Evans’ priority is convincing folks that the mission of helping kids reach their potential is worth an investment. “I focus on building a better community. These kids are the future. This is your future workforce, your kids’ future neighbors. This is worth the investment.”

Keeping the pipeline filled with diverse talent

Duke Energy continues to support two Clemson summer programs for middle school girls and incoming college freshmen interested in the STEM fields.

Duke Energy is continuing to support two Clemson summer programs — one for middle school girls and one for incoming University freshmen — with an $85,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation. Both programs are aimed at increasing diversity in the pipeline that carries talent from the classroom to the workplace.

Project WISE is designed to educate middle school girls about opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, at a time of life when peer pressure tends to drive them away. The PEER and WISE Experience offers 50 incoming freshmen a head start on academics and campus life. Both programs, which are based in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, are designed for students from groups who are underrepresented in STEM fields, including women and minorities.

“We know that quality education programs like these are critical to creating the high-tech, diverse workforce we need for the 21st century,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina state president. “Partnering with great institutions like Clemson University helps our communities continue to grow and produce skilled workers who bring new ideas and innovations to our lives.”

About 60 middle school girls attended Project WISE this past summer. This year’s program targeted Title I schools in the Pee Dee, a region where Duke Energy is working to have great impact. Girls attended mini-courses in a range of topics from electrical engineering to computer science, taught by Clemson faculty and staff. Ten undergraduate Clemson students lived in residence halls with the Project WISE girls.

Serita Acker, director of PEER and WISE, said that since Project WISE started in 1997, many of the program’s alumni have come to Clemson, majoring in STEM disciplines. “All of the research shows that middle school is when you start thinking about what you want to do,” Acker said. “What makes us unique is we have all these young women in our college who serve as role models. Students can see what they could be like in the future.”

The PEER and WISE Experience, based on two previous summer programs aimed at helping ease students’ transition to college, had its inaugural three-week session in July. While living on campus, students studied college calculus, physics and chemistry and learned about research, graduate school and success strategies, such as time management. They also met alumni, providing them role models to emulate.

Acker said Duke Energy has long been key to the success of PEER and WISE and thanked the company for its latest contribution. “It not only plants the seed of STEM, it plants the seed of what the future can be when you get a college education,” she said. “Together, we are keeping the pipeline filled with diverse talent.”

Expertise, Heart and Passion: Lisa Bennett ’05

Lisa Bennett '05

Back in the early 2000s, Lisa Bennett was a secondary education major at Clemson who had no way of knowing that one of her coworkers at a video rental store would go on to found one of the most successful educator development organizations in Zambia. Lusungu Sibande was just another employee in the trenches with Bennett, restocking DVDs and keeping a “naughty” list of late video returners.

Lusungu and her sister, Kondi, started A to Zed in 2006 and immediately invited Bennett to travel to Zambia with them. In 2016 Bennett was finally able to join the sisters, offering her abilities as an educator to help teachers in Zambia through professional development workshops. She became an instant believer, making plans to return in summer 2018.

“I enjoyed helping teachers address what they may be lacking in classrooms,” Bennett said. “It’s very fulfilling to help them put proven methods into practice, and we can’t wait to go back.” And, she adds, “Lusungu and Kondi made me part of their family and an honorary Zambian citizen.”

Bennett worked with teachers and students in grades 5-9, but her work wasn’t confined to the classroom. A to Zed also tackles service-learning projects, such as helping teachers and students raise and sell crops, the proceeds of which get put back into schools. Members of A to Zed also found time to host a field day for Matthew 25, a local orphanage.

Bennett said the experience made her realize just how much the hardworking people of Zambia accomplish with limited resources. One teacher she observed used a single book and no other reading or writing materials to effectively teach a class of 40 students.

That experience taught Bennett an important lesson about the role of teachers: “In the end, it’s about me and what I have to give, and that’s expertise, heart and passion,” she said. This summer, she’ll take these talents back to teach — and learn — from the educators of Zambia.

Young Alumni Council names 2017 “Roaring 10”

Recognized young alumni

The Young Alumni Council recognized 10 young alumni as “Roaring 10” recipients due to their impact in business, leadership, community, education and philanthropic endeavors. The 2017 Roaring 10 are:

 

Suzanne Pickens Alvarez ’11, senior account executive on the client services team at Luquire George Andrews agency in Charlotte. She has raised funds for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, volunteered for the Shepherd Center Society and created an endowment to benefit Clemson Student Affairs. She serves on advisory boards for Greek life and student affairs at Clemson, as well as supporting Clemson’s Tiger Brotherhood and Blue Key.

Elizabeth Armstrong Boylan ’08, government and public affairs manager for North America at Solvay. She has volunteered with the Junior League of Houston, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the Former Texas Rangers Association. She was president of the Houston Clemson Club for four years and has supported a number of initiatives in Clemson’s political science department.

Kevin Joseph Fitzsimmons ’08, captain and weapons company commander for 2nd Battalion 6th Marines. Deployed twice to Afghanistan, he was selected as the top lieutenant in the battalion, awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon. He has volunteered for the Marine Corps Marathon and supports the Clemson chapter of Sigma Nu.

Adam Thomas Haldeman ’09, Tetramer Technologies, where he has led the development of more than 100 new advanced polymer materials. He co-founded H2 Home Help LLC and serves as an elder at his church. He has mentored Clemson students through internships, co-ops and undergraduate research. He serves on the Undergraduate Curriculum Advisory Board for the materials science and engineering department and has collaborated on research with the Center for Advanced Fibers and Films.

John Mark Hendrick III ’08, director of governmental affairs for the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. A captain in the S.C. State Guard, Hendrick serves on the national council for the American Israel Public Affairs Commission and on the board of the Coastline Women’s Center. He is a past member of Clemson’s Young Alumni Council and participates in the Second Century Society in Columbia.

Steven McMillian Hughes ’17, founder and director of program development for Know Money Inc. He has partnered with Transitions South Carolina to help homeless clients and is the founding curator of the Columbia hub of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum. At Clemson, Hughes has worked with Emerging Scholars, Omega Psi Phi fraternity and the Career Workshop. He has also helped establish an endowment to create scholarships for minority students at Clemson.

Kevin Michael McKenzie ’97, M ’01, Ed.D. ’10, vice president and chief information security officer of Dollar Tree Stores Inc. McKenzie serves on the Strategic Advisory Board for the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals and as a deacon in his church. McKenzie has collaborated on numerous federal research grant proposals with Clemson faculty. He currently serves on Tidewater Community College Technology Advisory Board.

Connelly-Anne Bartle Ragley ’05, M ’08, government relations associate at Denny Public Affairs. She is involved with the Junior League of Columbia and serves on the board for Senior Resources Inc. Ragley has mentored students in Clemson’s College of Business and at the University of South Carolina while participating in Columbia College’s Institute for Leadership and Professional Excellence. She has served as an at-large member of the Young Alumni Council and sponsored Clemson’s 2016 Fall Band Party.

Joseph Cyrus Semsar ’09, deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. He began his career with Teach for America, where he helped bring NBC to his school for a $3 million renovation. A Coca-Cola Scholar, he stays involved with the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation through coaching scholars and training at the Leadership Development Institute. He served as president of Clemson’s Young Alumni Council and currently serves on the Alumni Association board.

Mark Nicholas Ziats ’07, resident physician in the University of Michigan Health System. He has published more than 20 journal articles and started a biotechnology consulting firm. He co-founded Autism Explained, which produces a podcast to educate a lay audience about autism. A volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, he has served on Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences’ Alumni Board and mentors students in the Calhoun Honors College and through Tiger Ties.

Travelers Winter 2018

Zack Geiger ’13 and Andy Burns ’15 took a three-day tour through the Sahara Desert near Merzouga, Morocco. The pair rode camels into the desert, snapping a picture on the sands with their Tiger Rag on the way to a nomadic campsite. “It was an exhilarating trip made all the more exciting by angry, spitting camels and our guide quitting on day two after a dispute with the driver. It truly was the trip of a lifetime,” Burns says.