ON MARCH 6, the Alumni Association honored five alumni, ranging from the class of 1965 to the class of 1988, with the 2020 Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that the association bestows on former Tigers.
The Distinguished Service Award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments, dedication and service to the University, and devotion to community and public service. These five honorees have long resumes and even longer lists of personal and community achievements.
We’ve pulled just a few details about each honoree to celebrate their accomplishments. Visit alumni.clemson.edu/DSA to read their complete bios.
1 THOMAS JAMES “JIMMY” BELL JR. ’65
Physician, Family Practice Hartsville Hartsville, South Carolina
As a Clemson student, Bell received the Norris Medal, presented to the best all-around graduating senior.
He was a member of the football team, where he served as an alternate captain, defensive safety and quarterback and was named to the Academic All-ACC team in 1964.
He has volunteered as a physician at the Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County and has traveled on a mission trip to Trinidad with First Baptist Church for six summers serving six medical clinics.
2 JAMES HENRY “HANK” OWEN JR. ’73
Retired from Haselden, Owen & Boloyan Attorneys Clover, South Carolina
Before he retired from Haselden, Owen & Boloyan in 2016, Owen served a term as appointed legal counsel for both the U.S. Jaycees and the S.C. Jaycees.
Owen also served as the attorney for the Clover School District for more than 35 years.
At Clemson, Owen was a member of Tiger Band, serving as sergeant major, and a member of the University concert band.
3 STEVEN “STEVE” KENNETH WATT ’81
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Scientific Research Corporation Kennesaw, Georgia
Watt began his career in Washington, D.C., working for the Department of Transportation.
More than 40 percent of the workforce at Scientific Research Corporations are military veterans, and Watt has focused significant attention on assisting with the health and well-being of veterans.
Along with his family, Watt helped Clemson create and achieve the vision of the Watt Family Innovation Center, the most technologically enhanced academic building on campus.
4 JANE ROBELOT DECARVALHO ’82
WYFF News 4 Anchor Greenville, South Carolina
As a student, DeCarvalho served on the Central Spirit committee and coordinated pep rallies prior to football games. She also reported for Clemson’s student radio station, WSBF-FM.
Her professional radio career began in Clemson with WCCP-AM as a news and sports director, before moving into television journalism. In 1995, she was promoted to CBS News in New York City where she co-anchored CBS Morning News and later CBS This Morning.
DeCarvalho has covered major national and international events, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the death of Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II’s visit to Cuba and the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.
5 MARY ANNE MCDONALD BIGGER ’88
Executive Director, Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta North Augusta, South Carolina
Bigger began her career in banking before moving into nonprofit leadership.
As an alumna, she helped launch what is now Clemson Women’s Alumni Council’s signature event, “Bring Your Daughter to Clemson.”
Bigger is the only female to have served as president of the IPTAY Board of Directors.