Leaving More Than Just Stats

Two Clemson football players in their jerseys sit with pens and papers, listening intently and smiling.

Will Shipley and K.J. Henry decided near the end of the 2022 football season that they wanted to leave more at Clemson than their legacy on the field. At the annual rivalry game against South Carolina, the two announced that they were funding the 1 CLEM5ON Endowment. The name comes from Shipley’s No. 1 and Henry’s No. 5 jersey numbers.

The endowment is the first of its kind featuring two active student-athletes. For the first five years, the endowment, established through five-figure donations from both players, will benefit the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center and the Hear Her Roar campaign. 

The Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Center — part of Clemson’s Division of Inclusion and Equity — challenges students to think critically about themselves and their communities, offers engaging experiential learning opportunities, and empowers students to be positive change agents. 

Hear Her Roar raises awareness and financial support for women student-athletes, allowing Clemson to offer a premier collegiate experience both athletically and academically for the 12 NCAA Division I women’s programs. 

After five years, 1 CLEM5ON will support Clemson Football’s P.A.W. Journey program and other initiatives. Both Henry and Shipley are ambassadors for P.A.W. Journey, a leadership initiative that develops scholar-athletes through personal growth, life-skills and professional development. 

“We are grateful to K.J. and Will for making a difference and leaving more than just football stats here,” said head coach Dabo Swinney. “They’re giving back; they’re leaving a legacy.”

Henry, a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection, earned an undergraduate degree in sports communication in three years and a master’s in athletic leadership in December 2021. He continued his postgraduate studies during his final year of eligibility. He was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented annually to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. P.A.W. Journey named Henry as Clemson’s 2021 P.A.T. Man of the Year. 

“P.A.W. Journey was a big reason why I wanted to come to Clemson — to benefit from this program’s focus on the growth of the man, not just the athlete,” Henry said. “I saw a chance to give that opportunity to students who don’t play sports, allowing them to receive these same tools. And then seeing Clemson’s female athletes and how hard they work, Will and I wanted to help these new programs coming in as well. We want to raise the bar for all our student-athletes.”

Shipley, a management major, completed a microinternship at National Football League headquarters last spring and is a College Sports Communicators Academic All-District selection. He was an Academic All-America candidate last season with a 4.0 cumulative GPA. He also raised and donated more than $10,000 to a children’s hospital in his hometown near Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I have been so blessed to be associated with P.A.W. Journey and everyone involved in it,” Shipley said. “They have given me opportunities and tools I’ll be able to carry with me for a lifetime. It is so important to me to make sure that everyone benefits, and to be able to do that through this platform means a lot to me.” 

Assistant athletic director of football operations and P.A.W. Journey founder Jeff Davis said, “What K.J. Henry and Will Shipley are doing is a small representation of their commitment and bright future. When the impact of NIL is one of the focal points of college athletics, these two leaders are the example of how empowering our scholar-athletes has immeasurable dividends, from supporting their fellow scholar-athletes and students’ endeavors to promoting their love for Clemson.”

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