Fort Hill is the historic home of the University’s founders, Thomas and Anna Clemson. It has also become a place to honor those who followed their legacy of generosity and giving that made this University what it is today. Since 2009, the Clemson Family has gathered each fall to memorialize donors who have given more than $1 million to Clemson, inducting them into the Fort Hill Legacy Society through the placement of a bronze leaf on the grounds in their memory. Last year, a leaf was placed in memory of the late Jerry Dempsey.
Jerry Dempsey was a 1954 mechanical engineering graduate who went on to a successful business career and distinguished civic leadership. After retirement, he returned home to the Upstate and helped his alma mater with some of its most strategically important projects. He established scholarships and served on numerous boards and committees, including the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences Advisory Board. In 2017, he created the Harriet and Jerry Dempsey Research Conference, an annual partnership between Clemson and Prisma Health-Upstate that draws more than 150 engineers, medical doctors, faculty members and students to hear talks by some of the nation’s leading health researchers.