Surviving Calculus

Boyd Scholars Program gives engineering students a path to success

Beth Stephan works with an engineering studentEighty Clemson freshmen are participating in a program that gives them a chance to ease into the challenging math courses that sometimes derail students’ dreams of becoming engineers.

Boyd Scholars are first-year students in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences who are selected to complete courses during the long summer academic term. The award covers tuition and fees for the seven credit hours required in the summer, along with summer housing and a summer meal plan. Students take an extended curriculum that delays their start in calculus yet keeps them on track to finish their required courses before their sophomore year. The Boyd Scholars Program is made possible through a $1.25 million gift from the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation.

For many students, calculus is a major stumbling block on their path to engineering degrees through no fault of their own.

Beth Stephan, who oversees Boyd Scholars, noted, “Students often arrive on campus underprepared for calculus because their hometown schools didn’t offer programs that could get them ready.

“This money allows us to keep those students at Clemson all summer,” she continued. “They can start in the right math for them, and there are no extra dollars out of pocket to get them caught up. This program has the potential to be truly life changing.”

Brad Putman, the college’s associate dean for undergraduate studies, said Boyd Scholars also play an important role in helping address the state’s STEM workforce shortage: “STEM careers can be the golden key to elevate many students to a better life with rewarding salaries and job security. Too often students struggle with the rigors of college-level STEM education, particularly with calculus. The Boyd Scholars program will help them clear hurdles that might otherwise trip them up.”

Anand Gramopadhye, the college’s dean, said that when he sat down with Darnall Boyd in 2015, they talked about their shared concern for South Carolina’s students and a vision for a better future.

“He understood that an important factor lay within our ability to educate future generations in STEM disciplines,” Gramopadhye said. “The program developed by the college positions our students and the state for success.”

When All Things Are Possible

Mary Satcher “Sissy” Bynum ’84 and her late husband, Henry “Clarke” Bynum Jr. ’84, were a true Clemson couple. They met at freshman orientation and were married a month after graduation in 1984. Clemson has remained an important part of their family’s life ever since. Three of their four children and multiple family members are also Clemson graduates.

After Clarke Bynum passed away in 2007, Sissy Bynum knew that she wanted to give back to the place that had made such an impact on their life together and the life of their family. At the time, their daughter, Ann ’12, worked as a teacher at an inner-city St. Louis school. That experience made the family more aware of the disadvantages that many young people face who do not have the opportunity to go to college.

A first-generation college graduate herself, Bynum started to think about her estate plan and began a conversation with her children: “I talked to them about the opportunity to give to Clemson, and we all enthusiastically agreed that our family wanted to establish an endowment to benefit the FIRST Program.”

The Bynum family legacy is being realized through Sissy Bynum’s planned gift, to be known as the All Things Are Possible First-Generation Scholarship Endowment.

Clemson’s FIRST Program helps first-generation college freshmen and transfer students adjust to the college experience by offering a variety of opportunities and resources, from academic support to social activities.

It’s a mission that resonates with Sissy Bynum. “I want to leave a legacy that underscores my faith and the appreciation for all that Clemson has given me,” she said. “Clarke would want our family to do this.”

Laying the Foundation for Success

Nieri Cornerstone gift provides perpetual funding for Construction Science and Management department

Construction science and management students at Clemson take classes in calculus, physics, economics and business, and management as well as those focusing on structures, materials and methods, contract documents, estimating, scheduling, safety and project management.

But it’s in the laboratory — the Construction Science and Management Construction Yard at the Ravenel Research Center — where those theoretical concepts are reinforced and practiced.

Now, thanks to Michael ’86 and Robyn Nieri, both classroom and experiential learning for these students will be enriched. With their $5 million Cornerstone gift, the department will become the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities’ first named department. The Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management will also receive funding for experiential learning projects with a focus on residential construction; a new residential construction professor of practice faculty position; and the Nieri Family Endowment, which will provide perpetual funding for these initiatives.

“I attribute a great deal of my success within the construction industry to the education I received from Clemson University,” said Michael Nieri, president and founder of Great Southern Homes. “Our hope is that this gift will allow Clemson to offer even more learning opportunities for our students, establish even more prominence for the department among our peers and prepare our students to make significant impact as they enter the industry.”

This is the Nieris’ second Cornerstone gift; their first created the Nieri Family Student-Athlete Enrichment Center, laying the foundation for student-athlete success. They are the University’s second Cornerstone partner for both athletics and academics.

“As an Academic Cornerstone Partner, Michael and Robyn Nieri are laying the cornerstones upon which the future of academic excellence will be built at Clemson,” said President James P. Clements. “Their generosity will take our construction science and management program to the next level and will help us better prepare students to be leaders in the field.”

 

Honorary Alumni

The Clemson Alumni Association recently named three honorary alumni:

HonoraryAlum_CandiceGlenn

Candi Glenn is one of Clemson’s most well-known volunteer student recruiters in Texas. Glenn and her husband, Gerald ’64, have supported Clemson through the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering and as an Athletic Cornerstone partner through the Gerald and Candice Glenn Family Unrestricted Endowment for Clemson Athletics.

Jacqueline Reynolds, who married into the Clemson Family, has shown a lifelong commitment to the University through the Jacqueline Morrow Reynolds Endowment for Music in the performing arts department and a devotion to historic preservation as the president of the board of trustees for the Pendleton Historic Foundation. She established the Jacqueline M. Reynolds Conservation Endowment for Fort Hill to ensure its conservation. This endowment has since expanded to the Hanover House, Hopewell and the Trustee House.

HonoraryAlum_TerryDonPhillips

Terry Don Phillips, who served as Clemson’s director of athletics from 2002-12, was recognized as an honorary alum on Aug. 22, 2019. Known as the athletics director who “gave Dabo a chance,” Phillips is considered by many to be, as former vice president of advancement Neill Cameron stated in his letter of recommendation, “a person who is ‘just Clemson.’”

Alumni News

100th Gameday

Clemson parent Mark Baxter volunteered to fly the flags at College GameDay on Sept. 7, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

100 GameDays On Oct. 12, 2019, the Tiger Paw and Clemson alumni flags traveled to Baton Rouge, La., for LSU’s matchup against Florida. This marked the flags’ 100th consecutive ESPN College GameDay appearance, thanks to the tireless efforts of alumni and fans and the coordination of the Alumni Association. The streak began in 2013 when GameDay came to Clemson for the season opener against Georgia.

Meal Clubs The Greenville Luncheon Club, Hub City Friends of Clemson in Spartanburg, the Second Century Society in Columbia, and Clemson in the Lowcountry in Charleston meet several times throughout the school year for fellowship and networking. These meal clubs host a featured speaker at each meeting. More info

Orange Shoe Event The Women’s Alumni Council held its first Orange Shoe Event at the Madren Conference Center, which included a silent auction benefiting the Clemson WAC Scholarship and appearances by the Tiger and DJ Sha. The 100 attendees, clad in orange shoes, enjoyed dinner, drinks and dancing. More info

Launch of Hispanic Latinx Alumni Council The Clemson Alumni Association Board of Directors approved the launch of the Hispanic Latinx Alumni Council in September 2019.

Fall Band Party The Clemson Young Alumni Council and Alumni Association held their eighth annual Fall Band Party on Sept. 6, 2019, at Swansons Warehouse in Greenville — the night before the Texas A&M game. Partygoers enjoyed a performance by the Midnight City Band as well as a raffle and silent auction. In all, $12,650 were raised for the Spirit of Greenville nonprofit and the Clemson Alumni Scholarship Endowment. More info

Roaring 10: 2019 Honorees

Honesty, integrity, respect. Every year, the Clemson Young Alumni Council chooses 10 alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years who represent these core Clemson values. Each honoree is chosen based on their impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/ or philanthropic endeavors.

Roaring 10

 

 

Meet the 2019 Roaring 10: Nadia Nadim Aziz ’09, program manager for “Stop the Hate,” the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law; Samantha Lynn Bauer ’10, sales and marketing manager at Zen Greenville; Tyler Andrew Brown ’09, M ’10*, conservation districts program manager for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources; Amanda Jane Hobbs ’14, associate consultant at Goldratt Consulting; Harold P. Hughes ’08, M ’14, CEO of Bandwagon FanClub, Inc.; Ryan D. Lee ’09, COO of LewisGale Medical Center; Ramakrishna Podila Ph.D. ’11, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at Clemson University; Dominique Jordan Sensabaugh ’12, creator and curator of Dominique Sensabaugh Lifestyle Brand; Martin Tiller ’10, business development and leader of Event Rentals of Anderson and Orange Property Management; and Benjamin J. Winter ’13, United States Navy lieutenant.

South Carolina: Elaine Richardson M ’76, Ph.D. ’86 and Debi Culler

Two breast cancer survivors, Elaine Richardson M ‘76, Ph.D. ‘86, professor emerita of animal and veterinary sciences, and Debi Culler, municipal court judge, were co-captains for the Tumornators, a breast cancer team participating in the 2019 Pledge the Pink walk on the Lowcountry islands of Hunting, Dataw and Fripp on October 25-27. Day 2 was ‘Clemson Day’ for the team, as they walked the 10 miles on Dataw Island.