By the time Dan Garrison retired as vice president of sales for Service Corporation International, his career had taken him far from his Upstate roots. He graduated from Clemson in 1972 — with a degree in business and an ambition that led him to work and live all over the country.
But his heart never left these hills.
Garrison and his wife, Nancy, return often to visit family and enjoy Clemson athletic events. The Garrisons’ connection to Clemson was further solidified this year when they became the University’s first-ever Cornerstone Partners for both athletics and academics.
Dan spent his formative years on his family’s dairy farm in Greenville County. Choosing to attend Clemson was an easy decision, he said. Many family members and friends were “Clemson people,” so there was always a strong Clemson influence. Even when career moves took Dan away from South Carolina, the distance never lessened the bond with his Clemson Family.
When the Garrisons decided to give back to the University, they wanted to do so in a manner that would have a lasting impact. In 2017, they became Athletic Cornerstone Partners to support the University’s efforts to improve the experience of student-athletes — not only while they are participating in their sport on campus but also after graduation, to give them tools that ensure their personal and professional success. The Garrisons’ recent Cornerstone gift to the College of Business will support its sales innovation program. The J. Daniel and Nancy Garrison Sales Lab will be named in their honor.
Dan’s fond memories of Clemson remain vivd: “Since my first semester as a young freshman in 1969, Clemson has been part of my life. The education I received at Clemson goes beyond academics. My business success is in large part due to my experiences here and the real-world education I received regarding how to become an adult. Clemson is an important part of our family, and we feel privileged to be part of the larger Clemson Family.”
For the Garrisons, the most rewarding aspect of their Cornerstone gifts to Clemson is feeling a personal connection to the people and programs they are supporting. “For anyone who is considering a gift to Clemson,” Dan said, “no matter how large or small, the benefit of having a long-term impact for so many is worthy of serious consideration.”