What you need to know first about Beth Clements is that she’s real. That smile is genuine, and she speaks from the heart. When she’s passionate about something, you see it in her face and hear it in her voice. “Being fake is too hard,” she says. “It’s too much work.”
Beth grew up in western New York on the Finger Lakes, and she and Jim met at Towson University, where she earned her bachelor’s in elementary education and her master’s in reading. A six-month courtship was followed by a six-month engagement, and six months after the wedding, they were expecting their first child. Tyler, now a fourth-year student at WVU, was followed by twins, Maggie (a freshman at WVU) and Hannah (a freshman at Clemson), and Grace, a 13 year old at R.C. Edwards Middle School.
Speaking of Grace, who has special needs, Beth says, “She’s really just the cornerstone of our lives. She’s made not just our immediate family, but our extended family, better.” With curly red hair, beautiful blue eyes and freckles, Grace had become somewhat iconic in Morgantown. She was surrounded by peers in school who championed her and was active in a community sports program. With the move to Clemson, she’ll be surrounded by extended family as well. Beth’s two brothers and their families are here, providing an instant “village” of love and support.
Grace has introduced Beth to a new passion for people who learn differently. “My passion found me, and my purpose found me,” says Beth, “and that’s Grace and others.” Because of that passion, she hopes to bring more awareness of the Clemson LIFE program, both for parents whose children might qualify and for people who might be interested in supporting the program.
As she looks to the year ahead, Beth is looking to create a home where her family can feel comfortable and settled, and to begin to put down roots. She loves the feeling of family that comes with being at Clemson. “When we were announced, people said, ‘Welcome Home. Welcome to the Clemson Family.’ We do feel that, and we appreciate it. I love their passion, and that it doesn’t go away, and that they pass it along to their kids.”
“It’s contagious,” she says, “and we’ve all caught it.”