Helen Turner Hill ’85

Hill_Helen_Turner

Charleston’s goodwill ambassador

Two weeks after Helen Turner Hill became executive director of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), Hurricane Hugo hit north of Charleston. How could anyone imagine a bigger challenge to a new position?

Twenty-four years later, Hill has proven she was more than up for the challenge. Under her leadership, Charleston is world renowned with back-to-back No. 1 rankings from readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine as the nation’s best tourist destination and, last year, best-in-the-world.

The Charleston native earned her degree in parks, recreation and tourism management and returned home to put her education to work. She was concierge at Wild Dunes Resort before moving to the Charleston CVB to sell ads for the visitors’ guide and later was sales manager for meetings and conventions. Her hard work and natural fit to developing tourism moved her into the executive director position.

When Hill came to Clemson, she wanted to join her father, the late Robert M. Turner ’61, working for his mortgage company.

“In my second semester at Clemson, I knew accounting wasn’t my thing, and I thought about doing something else,” she said. “I asked myself, ‘What else could I major in and transfer all of my credits?’ I looked around, and tourism was it.”

Hill says that working with the College of Charleston’s Office of Tourism Analysis guides their purchase of advertising and marketing programs to help contribute to economic development. Statistics have shown that 4.83 million visitors brought in $3.58 billion to the Charleston-area economy in 2012. That’s about one-fourth of all tourism dollars in South Carolina.

“It’s the history that makes us special,” Hill said. “There is not another place like this in the United States of America. This is not Anywhere, USA.

James D. “Jim” Martin ’86

Martin

A relationship with the land

“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

For Jim Martin, Charleston Parks Conservancy program director and James Island farmer, no saying could be more apropos.

“I’ve always known I wanted to garden. Even as a tiny child, my parents always let me have a little garden plot of whatever I wanted. And I knew I wanted to study horticulture at Clemson when I was in the tenth grade,” Martin said.

Martin has spent his entire working life acting on his childhood impulse to make things grow. He has worked in public horticulture throughout South Carolina for more than 25 years. At Riverbanks Zoo, he played a pivotal role in conceptualizing and developing the zoo’s 90-acre botanical garden. He was instrumental in master plan development for the Mepkin Abbey Botanical Garden. He has also been vice-president of horticulture for Brookgreen Gardens on Pawleys Island.

In 2007, S.C. businesswoman Darla Moore invited Martin to help launch the nonprofit Charleston Parks Conservancy, which partners with the City of Charleston and local communities to renovate and maintain the city’s parks and greenspaces through its Charleston Park Angels program.

“The Park Angels program is founded on the concept that if you give people the opportunity to help with their parks and greenspaces, they will make it happen,” Martin said. The group is currently filling bare patches of dirt with lush plantings and replacing decades-old playground equipment with the latest and safest at 27 sites.

But Martin’s life wouldn’t be complete if he didn’t also grow vegetables as he did when he was a child, so in 2012, he started a small boutique farm on Johns Island where he leases 1.25 acres through Lowcountry Local First’s incubator farm program. Martin sells his seasonal vegetables and herbs to local restaurants by focusing on what each restaurant’s specific needs might be and what he as a small farmer can grow for them. Martin says that the evolving “foodie culture” in Charleston has resulted in the understanding that buying fresh, locally grown, high-quality produce results in a better product.

“I’ve had a great career. I love what I’m doing. And what I did at Clemson helped get me here,” Martin said.

Matthew E. Szymanski ’01

Szymansk_Matthewi

ReSpace

Orange is a defining color for most Clemson Tigers. Matthew Szymanski, however, also identifies with green. Szymanski, a design major, left Clemson with a desire to actively make a difference in his community.

At DesignSpec, an architecture firm based out of Chapel Hill, Szymanski works on projects ranging from architecture to interior design, with an emphasis on sustainability and a modern design aesthetic. Additionally, Szymanski encourages the use of sustainable design while serving as board member of the Triangle American Institute of Architects and director of the Young Architects Forum & Emerging Professionals group. Szymanski’s leadership within the design industry allows him to make his voice heard about the environmental implications inherent to every design project. But now, he’s redefining the way we think about design with one word: ReSpace.

Szymanski, looking for a new way to raise awareness about reusing materials in design projects, joined forces with like-minded industry professionals to found ReSpace LLC. The organization’s goal is reflected by their largest effort, the ReSpace Design Competition, respace.org. This competition requires designers to develop project designs to be built with salvaged materials. Once the top design is selected, volunteers build it in just a 48-hour period. Szymanski hopes the event will help students, architects and builders realize the importance of reusing materials whenever possible. “We cannot sit back and watch vast quantities of materials that still hold value be carted off to the landfill without a second thought,” said Szymanski.

The 2012 ReSpace Design Competition received submissions from across the globe — Europe, Australia, North America and South America. “The purpose of this competition is to serve as a catalyst for excellent design with salvage materials,” Szymanski said. By getting designers directly involved in the process of sustainable small space design, ReSpace will be able to make a larger impact in the overall sustainability conversation.

“That’s what I love about the competition,” he said. “One by one, we are getting people to take up the cause and do something.”Szymanski credits his Clemson roots for inspiring his actions.

“Clemson taught me the importance of caring about your local community while taking responsibility for wider, global causes,” he said.

My Clemson: Mac Segars ’10

Passion for global health

My friends say that going to Clemson was one of the best decisions of their lives. For me, attending Clemson wasn’t much of a decision; the education and scholarships offered by Clemson made it an unbeatable option. I couldn’t sit still when I found out I’d been accepted; I’ve had a lifetime of love for Clemson and couldn’t wait to be a Tiger.

Though I studied math, Clemson helped me explore another passion of mine: global health. I took a discussion-based course on infectious disease and worked with faculty to complete a senior research paper on the prevention of influenza transmission.

Most importantly, though, Clemson’s Honor College allowed me to spend a summer building houses in an impoverished community in India. That experience exposed me to the material needs of developing nations as well as establishing my ability to assimilate in their cultures. It gave me the passion and confidence to join the Peace Corps after graduation.

My two years with the Peace Corps in Mozambique has been a challenge. I arrive to my community via canoe (mind the hippos!) and have a six-hour hitchhiking journey just to check my mail. I teach 11th grade math in Portuguese, a language that I saw for the first time only 10 weeks before classes started. Aside from teaching, I’ve helped coordinate a provincial science fair and a national women’s empowerment organization. I’m also finalizing plans to develop a sustainable school meal program at a nearby primary school.

The passion I developed for global health at Clemson has only grown as I’ve experienced the reality of health care access in rural Mozambique. It’s a reality that still shakes me every day. Though I work primarily as a teacher, I also volunteer at my community’s health center. HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are all very common, but nothing has affected me more than witnessing infants with severe malnutrition. If they weren’t cradled in my arms, it would be hard to imagine children whose parents are too poor to feed them.

My work at the health center has inspired me to return to medical school and study to become a pediatrician. I hope to split my time between working with America’s urban poor and the most health care-deprived populations in the world via Doctors Without Borders. It’s a future that I can’t wait to start and one that I owe, at least in part, to Clemson.

Though I studied math, Clemson helped me explore another passion of mine: global health. I took a discussion-based course on infectious disease and worked with faculty to complete a senior research paper on the prevention of influenza transmission. Most importantly, though, Clemson’s Honors College allowed me to spend a summer building houses in an impoverished community in India. That experience exposed me to the material needs of developing nations as well as establishing my ability to assimilate in their cultures. It gave me the passion and confidence to join the Peace Corps after graduation.

View a video about Mac’s experiences in Mozambique:

Lifelong Tigers

Young Alumni recognize this year’s Roaring Ten

Young Alumni Roaring Ten

Young Alumni Roaring Ten

This fall, the Young Alumni recognized ten young alumni who have made an impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors, while exemplifying Clemson’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Meet this year’s Roaring Ten.

President of the Nashville Area Clemson Club, Benjamin Thomas Miskelly works with his church as a youth leader, with “Rebuilding Together Nashville” on the board of directors and as a Clemson representative with the ACC/SEC Leadership Council. He is an urban planner and graphic designer with the Metropolitan Nashville Planning Department.

Brianna A. Woodsby is a student in Clemson’s MBA program. President of the Spartanburg Clemson Club, she is active in Junior League of Spartanburg and is an IPTAY representative. International trade manager with AFL, she is chair of the advisory board for Wofford’s Kappa Delta chapter and active in Spartanburg Young Professionals and the United Way Young Leaders Society.

The youngest human resource director in the history of Milliken & Company and the youngest chair of the Spartanburg County Republican Party, Joseph Nicholas “Nic” Lane serves on the Student Affairs Advisory Board and works closely with the Michelin Career Center, offering advice on how to make students competitive in today’s professional environment. He also is on the board of the Blood Connection.

Michael Blake Berry was named 2011 Teacher of the Year at Pendleton High School and selected by the S.C. Association of Agricultural Educators as the Outstanding Young Teacher. He is president of the S.C. Association of Agricultural Educators and president of the historic Pendleton Farmers Society.

Odessa Sirman Armstrong serves on the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Alumni Board and stays engaged with the Clemson Black Alumni Committee. She is a member of the Emerging Leaders Development Program in Washington, D.C.

An attorney with the Cranford Law Firm, Shaun W. Cranford has served as president of the Columbia Clemson Club, where he led their first Clemson Day at the Statehouse. He also is a leader in the club’s efforts to raise funds for a $25,000 scholarship endowment.

President of the MBA Alumni Society, Stephen Epps III is a member of IPTAY, Alumni Council, Greenville Luncheon Planning Committee and Greenville Young Alumni. Active with PULSE, a leadership development program for young professionals, he was recognized as volunteer of the month for July 2013.

Tanner James Smith (not pictured) was the first basketball player in Clemson history and only player in the ACC for 2012 to combine +10 points, +5 rebounds, and +4 assists per game for a season. He currently plays in the MHP RIESEN professional basketball team in Germany. He is founder of “Tanner’s Totes,” a nonprofit established to help teens cope with long-term hospital care.

Former president of Clemson’s Young Alumni and an active member of the Richmond Clemson Club, Victoria Watson Longshore serves on her church’s hospitality committee and volunteers with the Virginia Special Olympics.

William R. Cathcart Jr. received the 2010 Distinguished Leadership Medal for Journalistic Excellence by the U.S. Business Institute. He has worked as managing editor of the Charleston Mercury and as media adviser and speechwriter for the president of the Republic of Georgia, where he also advocates for the region’s cystic fibrosis patients.

Pictured (clockwise from left): Cathcart, Miskelly, Epps, Cranford, Berry, Lane, Woodsby, Armstrong, Longshore.

Ables (center) with Brasington and Hunter

Ables (center) with Brasington and Hunter

Ables named Volunteer of the Year

During Homecoming weekend, the Alumni Association honored Sonya Ables ’79 (center) as the 2013 Volunteer of the Year, the highest recognition and greatest expression of appreciation extended to an individual by the Alumni Association staff for outstanding service and volunteerism. A member of the Alumni Association board of directors and an IPTAY life member, Ables has served as president of the Women’s Council, where she created the annual Bring Your Daughter to Clemson program, which allows girls ages 6 to 18 to learn about academics, campus life and student activities. She also has been an at-large member of the Clemson Alumni Council and a member of the Alumni National Council. She is pictured with Wil Brasington, senior director of the Alumni Association, and Alumni Association president Ann Hunter.

Guarding of the Rings

Guarding of the Rings

A NEW TRADITION: Guarding of the Rings

You probably know about the Ring Ceremony, which was begun in 2000 and provides a memorable way for seniors to receive their Clemson rings. Held twice a year, the ceremony includes a lesson on the history, heritage and symbolism of the Clemson class ring from University historian Jerry Reel. You might not know what happens the 24 hours before that event.

Preceding the ceremony, the rings are displayed in Memorial Park near the Scroll of Honor. Members of Clemson Corps stand guard over the rings throughout the day (and the night) before the ceremony and then process, carrying the rings to Littlejohn Coliseum for the ceremony.

If you’ve lost your ring, never purchased one or you’d like to honor your son or daughter with a ring for their graduation, go online to clemson.edu/ring. There’s also a line of related jewelry available.

CLUB HIGHLIGHT: Arizona Club colors the desert orange


Tracey Hulsebos ’88 and her husband Tom knew there were Clemson people in Arizona and decided to find a way to bring them together. They utilized social media to find fellow Tigers and hosted several events that brought Clemson fans out of the Southwest woodwork, which led to the creation of the Arizona Clemson Club (AzCC) – one of 73 official Clemson Clubs around the nation.

The AzCC, spearheaded by Hulsebos, Sammie Holmes ’07 and Terry Mullane (Clemson parent), brings Tigers across Arizona together to renew their Clemson Family ties, to provide networking opportunities and also to improve the quality of life for surrounding communities.

The strength of Tiger loyalty is palpable among the members of the AzCC. According to Jan Matthews, it’s “like having a piece of Howard’s Rock right here.” Charles “Trey” Ballard ’11 also experienced the benefits of the Arizona Clemson Family stating, “The [AzCC] University bond helped me to bridge a networking gap and secure a quality job in tough economic times.”

The AzCC plans a variety of events throughout the year. Last summer, the club met for a send-off party for new students Jackie Dunham and Dylan Kennard. Dunham’s parents expressed tremendous comfort and excitement in joining the Clemson Family, knowing their daughter was going to be on the other side of the country.

The AzCC has several events planned for the upcoming year including food drives and a Military Appreciation Day celebration. No matter what the AzCC does, be assured it will reflect “One Clemson” and provide a comforting reminder that even the desert bleeds orange.

— Contributed by Margaret Smith ’09

There are clubs across the country to provide you with ties to the Clemson Family. Go to clemson.edu/alumni to find a club near you.

Greek Isles

Greek Isles

EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH CLEMSON ALUMNI AND FRIENDS

Clemson Alumni Association is your ticket to the world’s cultures, sights and sounds. We handle the arrangements and work with high-quality providers so that you can relax, explore and immerse yourself in dream destinations.

We offer special trips providing unequaled access, educational value and Clemson experts to enrich your experience. Upcoming trips include Normandy, the Greek Isles, Oxford, Europe and Alaska. Contact Randy Boatwright at brandol@clemson.edu.

CLUB KUDOS

Orlando Club Banner

Orlando Club Banner

Orlando Club sets new communication standard

If you live in the Orlando area, you’ve probably noticed the amazing job that the Orlando Clemson Club does with their email blasts. The club president, Matt Alexander ’09, works hard to capture and engage local alumni by pulling in photos of their events in every email blast.

More than 250 Tigers attend the ’Cuse at the Blue Tusk

Members of the New York/Tri-State and New England Clemson clubs gathered with representatives of IPTAY, the Alumni Association and Clemson Fund on Friday, Oct. 4, at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse, New York to celebrate Clemson in Syracuse.

LifeLong_ESPN-ALUM

Clemson Alumni flag flies at all ESPN GameDays

If you were watching ESPN this fall, you may have seen the Clemson alumni flag crop up at some odd locations. The Alumni Association reached out to alumni in areas that hosted ESPN College GameDay and provided them with a Clemson Alumni flag to wave during the show. Pictured here are David Pawlowski ‘01 and Tara Young at the Northwestern game.

Alfred G. Wheeler Jr. and Alumni President Ann Hunter

Alfred G. Wheeler Jr. and Alumni President Ann Hunter

WHEELER NAMED HONORARY ALUMNUS

The Alumni Association has named entomologist Alfred G. Wheeler Jr. an honorary Clemson alumnus. Wheeler, pictured here with Alumni Association President Ann Hunter, retired to Clemson as an adjunct member of the entomology program after 25 years with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. In his 17 years at Clemson, he published more than 115 research papers, served on 16 graduate student advisory committees, mentored several Creative Inquiry undergraduate research projects, volunteered to coordinate the entomology seminar series for six years and worked as editor of South Carolina Biota for more than a decade. Wheeler also established a $100,000 endowment to support research expeditions for entomology graduate students.

Honorary alumni are selected by the honors and awards committee for outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to the University or the Alumni Association. To see past honorary alumni or to view the award guidelines, go to clemson.edu/alumni and click on “Honorary Alumnus.”

My Clemson: James Barker ’70

There’s one story that seems to always rise to the surface in conversations with Jim Barker’s fellow alumni, especially his DKA fraternity brothers. There may be a few details that differ in the accounts, but the basic story is always the same. J. Allen Carroll ’69, M ’71, fellow DKA and Barker’s roommate for a semester or two in the frat house, tells it this way:

“As a pole vaulter on the track team, Jim had to find time to practice. The pole vault pit was behind the frat house. One morning we looked out and saw Jim asleep in the pit where he had collapsed following a late night practice session.”

According to others, including Chair of the Board of Trustees David Wilkins (also a fellow DKA), Barker awoke, “covered in dew, having slept in the pole vaulting pit the entire night. Since the gym was closed at that early hour, Jim struggled to get his pole up the stairs and into the fraternity house, having to finally lay it down in the hall.”

Barker’s DKA pledge master, Steve Hutchinson ’68, says, “When Barker was out there on the track by himself pole vaulting, I thought, ‘He can’t clear 8 feet, much less 18 feet.’ But he did it over and over and over. That was just how dogmatic he was. He would knock the bar down, then would get up and re-set the bar. And do it over and over again. At night, no less!”

Click here or on the image below to travel through President Barker’s journey at Clemson.

Fellow DKA J. Allen Carroll ’69, M ’71, tells this story: “As a pole vaulter on the track team, Jim had to find time to practice. The pole vault pit was behind the frat house. One morning we looked out and saw Jim asleep in the pit where he had collapsed following a late night practice session.” According to others, including Chair of the Board of Trustees David Wilkins (also a fellow DKA), Barker awoke, “covered in dew, having slept in the pole vaulting pit the entire night. Since the gym was closed at that early hour, Jim struggled to get his pole up the stairs and into the fraternity house, having to finally lay it down in the hall.”

Fellow DKA J. Allen Carroll ’69, M ’71, tells this story: “As a pole vaulter on the track team, Jim had to find time to practice. The pole vault pit was behind the frat house. One morning we looked out and saw Jim asleep in the pit where he had collapsed following a late night practice session.” According to others, including Chair of the Board of Trustees David Wilkins (also a fellow DKA), Barker awoke, “covered in dew, having slept in the pole vaulting pit the entire night. Since the gym was closed at that early hour, Jim struggled to get his pole up the stairs and into the fraternity house, having to finally lay it down in the hall.”


[/av_two_third]

Travelers Summer-Fall 2013

sand-sculpt-Isle of Palms-Architecture

Isle of Palms: Architecture majors Jeremy Tate ’00, M ’05; Betsy Baker Story ’00; Ben Story ’00, M ’05; Adrienne Jacobsen ’01, M ’05; and Joshua Bagwell ’03, M ’05 placed third in the 25th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpture contest with their spectacle. Architecture majors Jeremy Tate ’00, M ’05; Betsy Baker Story ’00; Ben Story ’00, M ’05; Adrienne Jacobsen ’01, M ’05; and Joshua Bagwell ’03, M ’05 placed third in the 25th Annual Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpture contest with their spectacular Tiger Paw creation.

 

[AFG_gallery id=’8′]

Debbie Dunning ’75

“I’ve been here so long I rocked on the porch with Thomas,” I’ve often quipped when asked about my tenure here at Clemson. In all honesty, I can’t lay claim to ever stepping on this hallowed ground before the summer of 1971, when my mother and I motored up from the Lowcountry to attend Orientation before the start of my freshman year. But Clemson “took,” and I stayed on to enjoy a 38-year career as an editor for publications such as Clemson World and for commemorative projects such as the University’s Centennial Celebration, the Thomas Green Clemson biography and both volumes of The High Seminary. It was while working on these special projects that I came to best know Thomas and Anna Clemson and could imagine rocking on the porch of Fort Hill, gazing out at the wondrous “high seminary of learning” that has been carefully and caringly built on their homeplace.

Now, as I prepare to pass my role in the telling of Clemson’s history to the next generation, I represent Clemson folks everywhere when I say, “Rock on, Thomas, rock on.”

Debbie Dunning ’75
Manager of Editorial Services
Clemson Creative Services

J. Dean Norton ’77

Working for George Washington

Experiencing a sense of place that transcends time, Dean Norton has spent the last 44 years sustaining George Washington’s greatest horticultural legacy — Mount Vernon Estate’s landscape design and grounds.

Norton, an Alexandria, Va., native, worked on the estate grounds while in high school. He worked with a Clemson student who talked about Clemson nonstop — his first introduction to the University. Wanting to attend an out-of-state school, he stopped by campus on his way to Myrtle Beach one summer. In Norton’s words, “I was hooked.”

After graduating from Clemson, the horticulture major began his career at Mount Vernon as the first boxwood gardener and was quickly promoted to director of horticulture and gardens. As the longest-serving horticulturist at Mount Vernon, Norton oversees a staff of 23 people responsible for the gardens, grounds, greenhouse and livestock. The estate is designed to look exactly as it did when Washington died in 1799. Documents, diaries, letters and new archaeological findings occasionally surface containing new information about the gardens and grounds. Norton and his team are then challenged to research and interpret the new finds in order to keep the state’s plantings accurate.

In demand to speak and lecture internationally on heritage horticulture and gardening, Norton has received numerous awards for his work and has been a guest on many network television and radio programs. The Clemson Historical Properties Committee invited him to evaluate the landscapes of the University’s historical properties; he hosted a Clemson Alumni cleanup event at Mount Vernon; and hosted University historian Jerry Reel for a talk on the connection between George Washington and Thomas Green Clemson.

Norton recalls his time at Clemson as “indescribably perfect.” In addition to a great education, he lists his experiences as a trumpeter in the Tiger Band, enjoying sporting events and embracing the Clemson spirit as some of his best memories.

“Simply put, I am one of the most blessed folks I know. I have worked at an institution and in a job that I have loved for 44 years. The degree I received from Clemson allowed me to be where I am today,” Norton said. “I am not only thrilled and honored to tell people that I work for George Washington, but I am also thrilled and honored to tell people that I received my degree from Clemson University.”

Philip A. Francis Jr. ’74

Protector of special places

For 41 years, administrative management major Phil Francis devoted his career to helping protect our country’s national parks and special landmarks. This year he retired from the U.S. National Park Service as superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Since joining the Park Service in 1972 at Kings Mountain National Military Park, Francis served in parks from coast to coast — including Shenandoah, Yosemite, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

In 1994, Francis transferred to the Smokies after serving for three years as associate regional director for administration in Southwest Regional Office in Santa Fe, N.M. He was deputy/acting superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 2005, he became the sixth superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

His leadership was instrumental in the creation of new nonprofit partners that included Blue Ridge Parkway 75 Inc., the Institute at Tremont, Experience Your Smokies and Discover Life in America. Discover Life in America, which is conducting the first all-species inventory of a national park, named a new species after Francis in appreciation for his support of the project. His many awards include the Department of Interior’s Superior Service Award.

In retirement, Francis hopes to continue to stay close to the great outdoors — and he certainly knows all the special places to see and visit.