From one family to another
When Ashley Snow visited Clemson as a prospective student from Connecticut, she attended a Zac Brown concert and the spring orange and white football game. She was sold.
What sold her parents on Clemson was the community that embraced, nurtured and challenged her. “I was scared the school would be too big — that she would get lost in the shuffle of student activities and not find her way,” Lynette Snow says. “But freshman year, she was in the living learning community and met friends that she still has to this day. And she joined DSP (Delta Sigma Pi, the business fraternity).”
“And don’t forget DZ (Delta Zeta sorority),” her father, David, interjects “That’s her core group of friends,” says Lynette. She calls Ashley’s Clemson experience “inspiring” while David remarks that he has seen her grow dramatically.
The Snows were in town in October for Family Weekend, but also for the announcement of their $2.4 million gift to support student recreation areas and programs. The University’s recreation area on S.C. Highway 93 on Hartwell Lake will be named the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness Center. The gift is the largest to the University from parents who are not alumni.
But if you’re around the Snow family very long, you could be forgiven for thinking that they might be alumni. They have settled in as members of the Clemson family during their daughter’s time here.
“I went to Bates College as an undergrad and Duke for grad school,” says David. “Lynette went to East Carolina undergrad and University of Pennsylvania for grad school. None of those schools is as inclusive of the entire family as Clemson. We have felt as if this is our school, too, while our daughter has been here, and the warmth and closeness of this community is infectious. It’s inclusive, and as a result, we feel just as much a part of Clemson as we did our own schools.”
“Maybe more,” adds Lynette.
“I’m the only one who goes here,” says Ashley, now a senior marketing major, “but my whole family now bleeds orange.”
When Ashley and her twin sister, Lauren, a student at Elon University, are asked how they would describe their family, they respond with “closeness and respect. And we love helping others.”
Their generosity to Clemson was carefully considered. David describes the criteria for their family’s investment: “Lynette and I like to give to things that are meaningful, and to people and institutions that deserve that kind of giving.”
For them, Clemson fit the criteria. “Clemson is a phenomenal school. It has a phenomenal product. It has something special that should be preserved,” David says. “And when you feel that way, you look for ways that you can help.”
University administrators identified an area of need: the intramural and club sports program, whose fields double as parking lots and tailgate spaces during football games. Often after heavy rains and robust tailgating, club sports and intramurals find themselves unable to compete. The Snows’ gift will ensure that Clemson’s active club, intramural and wellness programs will have their own spaces and dedicated fields.
“It’s pretty clear that a great institution with great facilities should have great intramural and club fields that are safe,” says David. “So we decided that was a worthy project, and we thought we’d make a lead gift to make sure that would happen for the Clemson family.”
The Snows’ gift is part of Clemson’s $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson campaign.
First class of Barker Scholars named
This past fall, the first class of Barker Scholars was announced. These nine students are recipients of the scholarship fund that was established to honor President Emeritus and Mrs. James Barker. To date, the Barker Scholars Endowment has grown to more than $3 million, with gifts from 2,161 donors, including 85 founding partners who gave $25,000 or more.
The Hendrix family: Helping students experience the world
It all started with an empty mayonnaise jar and a dream.
In the 1980s, Pam Hendrix wanted to go to Europe with her family. But with four children, travel abroad was expensive, so she made a deal with her husband, Clemson trustee Bill Hendrix ’63, M ’68. If she and the children could save up enough money to pay for half of the trip, Bill said he would match their savings to fund the trip. So she washed out a mayonnaise jar and started filling it up.
Over a period of years, Pam and her children — Jill, Joy, Holly and Jim — watched the jar fill several times. Through saving and working together toward a common goal, they ended up saving more than their half of the cost of the trip, and the family was able to take a tour of Europe, visiting Rome, Paris, London and Geneva.
“We started putting in money, and the more we put in, the more we wanted to put in,” Pam said. “At some point, we filled up the jar, and I opened an account, and we just started stuffing money in every chance we got.”
“It was fun because we all felt like we were working toward the same goal,” said Holly Hendrix Cirrito ’95. “We spent years saving up pennies and nickels and quarters, and everyone was a part of it, which made it feel very special.”
“It showed us that working hard over time toward a goal is important, and that you can achieve your goals if you stay focused, even if you start out small,” said Jill Hendrix Ganzenmüeller ’92. “We learned that saving pennies and dimes can make a difference.”
That trip left a lasting impression on all four of the Hendrix children, and nearly 30 years later, they are making it possible for Clemson students to have the same amazing experience. In honor of their mother, they, along with their spouses, established the Pamela Maddex Hendrix Dream Jar Study Abroad Endowment.
“We felt like this was a wonderful opportunity to give my mom some well-deserved recognition,” said Jim Hendrix ’98. “We knew that by joining forces and doing it together as a family, we could have a greater impact on students’ lives.”
“My mom is a very special person, and she always puts her family first. We all have a love for travel, and it came from her,” said Joy Hendrix Yonce ’93. “We wanted her to know how special we feel that she is, and we wanted to help future Clemson students — hopefully, they’ll get that travel bug that we all have.”
Bill and Pam are excited to see their children giving back to Clemson.
“I think it’s wonderful that they wanted to honor their mother this way,” said Bill. “She has always loved travel, and she remembers every place we’ve ever been. It just seems natural for Clemson students to benefit from her love of travel.”