The Clemson University Board of Trustees awarded its highest honor, the Clemson Medallion, to two distinguished alumni — Robert E. “Bobby” McCormick ’72, M ’74, professor emeritus and former dean of the College of Business, and Charles K. Watt ’59, founding director of the Watt Family Innovation Center and former dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences.
McCormick and Watt were honored at a gala event in August 2022, two of only 41 individuals who have been awarded the Clemson Medallion. Recipients exemplify the dedication and foresight of founder Thomas Green Clemson.
“These two gentlemen are among Clemson’s finest, and their contributions to the University are immeasurable,” said President Clements. “I am fortunate to call them my friends, and I look forward to celebrating them as Clemson Medallion recipients.”
Robert E. “Bobby” McCormick ’72, M ’74
McCormick graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1972 and a master’s in environmental economics in 1974. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M in 1978. Since then, he has played vital roles in some of Clemson’s proudest achievements as an institution.
A faculty member in economics from 1982-2007, he was dean of the College of Business from 2014-2018. In 2005, McCormick co-founded the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism, the first and only university-based research and teaching center devoted to exploring capitalism’s moral, legal, political and economic foundations.
Instrumental in creating the goals and producing the metrics and financial data for the Board of Trustees to fund the top-20 public university initiative, McCormick also produced the metrics, financial data and case study used to determine the direction of Clemson’s athletic conference affiliation.
McCormick was the academic leader on the programming, design and construction of The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business building, now one of the defining structures on campus.
Charles K. Watt ’59
Watt earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Clemson in 1959. He went on to earn multiple graduate degrees, including a Master of Science in engineering and applied science in 1973 and a Ph.D. in engineering and applied science in 1986, both from George Washington University.
Watt orchestrated a remarkable career in engineering, most notably founding Scientific Research Corporation, an advanced engineering company that provides innovative solutions to government, private industry and international markets. He also held numerous positions in government, including director of defense test and evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration.
An adjunct professor at Clemson from 1990-2014, he was dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Sciences from 2012-2016. He has been honored as an Alumni Fellow and with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, and he was named to the Thomas Green Clemson University Academy of Engineers and Scientists.
Watt is the founding director and chair of the founding partners board of directors of the Watt Family Innovation Center, a $50 million state-of-the-art facility devoted to interactive learning and interdisciplinary collaboration on Clemson’s campus. Opened in 2016, the building is the nucleus of a high-speed network that boosts data flow across campus and connects students with business, academic, government and economic development entities across the state and nation.