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Mayberry Scholarship brightens Egan’s future

Forever-Chris EganRobert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr., who passed away in 2012 after a battle with cancer, was a member of Clemson’s much-touted 1981 National Championship football team. When his friends and family remember him, however, it’s not for his exploits on the field. They remember the way he went about helping other people. “Quietly and without the need for recognition,” is the way Kendall Alley ’83, M ’85, another member of that team, describes it.

So when Mayberry’s friends and family thought about how to honor his memory, they settled on a scholarship endowment that would provide partial scholarships to football trainers and/or managers. “We are confident it would have been Bob’s dream to honor those who work hard day in and day out with no expectation of recognition beyond that which accrues to the whole team,” said Mark Richardson ’83, a member of the committee that initiated the effort. Alley referred to the team managers and trainers as “the unsung individuals who are so important to the football team’s success.”

In the Clemson football equipment room, you can find one of those unsung heroes. Chris Egan operates under the same philosophy that characterized Bob Mayberry. He quietly goes about his job of cleaning helmets, organizing gear and toting bags of footballs on and off the field.

Egan’s life has not been easy. His family moved around 11 times before he was 12 years old, so his mother home-schooled six children. When he was 13, his father left, and his mother went to work outside the home, still managing to homeschool the kids. Chris dropped out of school at 14, working odd jobs to help support the family.

During what was supposed to be his senior year in high school, he took the ACT and spent a year at Greenville Tech; the next summer he worked at Camps Hope and Sertoma, based at Clemson’s Outdoor Lab. It was during that summer, working with special-needs adults and kids from underprivileged families, that he began to find his calling.

The next year, he transferred to Tri-County Tech, continuing to work at the Outdoor Lab. A chance meeting with Alphonso Smith, head of equipment for Clemson football, would prove beneficial. Egan applied to Clemson, knowing he would have to pay his way through loans and part-time work. He contacted Smith, who hired him for a position, one with long hours and not much recognition.

Being an equipment manager is not Egan’s only job. He lives and works at the Outdoor Lab as well. And he works with the ClemsonLIFE program, teaching classes for young adults with disabilities. During the summer, he is assistant director of the two camps at the Outdoor Lab. Along the way, he has finished his degree in history and begun a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on working with nonprofits.

When the scholarship committee came looking for recommendations, equipment manager Abe Reed answered without hesitation. During spring practice, Reed stopped Egan on the way out of practice, took the ball bags from him and told him he needed to talk with someone. Heart in his throat, not knowing what to expect, Egan went in to find Mark Richardson waiting for him. The two talked about the scholarship and about Mayberry, and Richardson had a chance to gauge the young man for himself before signing off on the selection.

For Chris Egan, what does a scholarship like this mean? Egan says his first reaction was “total shock.”

“In my family,” he says, “we’ve always worked very hard for everything. Hearing about that almost made me tear up — helping me get through the rest of school and pay off my loans.” For someone who sees his future as working with special-needs adults, it’s particularly meaningful. “It frees me up to do what I want to do, which doesn’t involve a lot of income. It’s pretty incredible.”

When asked what advice he’d share with other students, he pauses. “Paying for it on my own gave it extra meaning for me. Every class I took, every grade I got — it was all mine. I’d encourage students to do that — there needs to be some ownership with school and with work — realizing that you’re signing your name on everything you do, whether it’s sweeping the floor or doing a presentation for 200 people.”

Chris Egan signs his name on a lot these days. Without looking for any recognition or special attention. Just the kind of thinking Bob Mayberry would appreciate.

Circle of Gratitude

Friends and family honor Mayberry’s memory

At the Clemson-Boston College football game, friends and teammates of former Clemson football player Robert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr. announced that $1 million and 74 dollars has been raised to establish an endowment to honor Mayberry’s memory and values. The endowment will award partial scholarships to football trainers and/or managers.

Mark Richardson ’83, a member of the committee that initiated the effort, said that the scholarship was a fitting tribute. “We are confident it would have been Bob’s dream to honor those who work hard day in and day out with no expectation of recognition beyond that which accrues to the whole team.” The fundraising committee also includes Jubal Early, Steve Horvath, Steve Luquire, Robert P. Mayberry Sr. and Kendall Alley ’83, M ’85.

Mayberry started on the 1981 National Championship team. Following graduation in 1983, he joined his father in the automobile business, married and raised a family, and seized every opportunity to demonstrate his passions for Clemson and for helping others. He died in 2012 after a battle with cancer.

Pledges and gifts in support of the Robert P. “Bob” Mayberry Jr. ’83 Endowed Memorial Grant-in-Aid may be addressed to the Clemson University Foundation and mailed to Connie Sexton, IPTAY Major Gifts, P.O. Box 1529, Clemson, S.C. 29633.

Barker Scholars update

More than $2.8 million has been donated to the Barker Scholars Endowment, established to honor President Barker and his wife, Marcia. The endowment will support need-based scholarships for undergraduates. More than 2,000 contributed to the fund, with more than 80 founding partners who contributed more than $25,000 each.

Donations may still be made online, by check or by gifts of appreciated stock. Make checks payable to Clemson Fund, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, S.C. 29633, and indicate “Barker Scholars.”

Fort Hill Club looks to the long term

Since 2006, the Fort Hill Clemson Club has funded annual scholarships for students through the money raised from their annual Recruiting Wrap Up. But this year, they decided a change was in order.

The event has more than tripled in attendance to 700 and increased more than 1,000 percent in sponsorships to $21,000. Held the day after recruiting ends, it includes chats with the coaches and players, barbecue and getting the inside scoop on the season to come.

Jerry Handegan and Eric Breazel

Jerry Handegan and Eric Breazel

This year, club leadership took a look at their profits and their goals. “There were always two schools of thought,” says former club president Jerry Handegan. “Do we give immediate money now, or do we create an endowment? People wanted to do scholarships. So we just gave our $10,000 annually for that.”

According to Eric Breazel, also a past president of the club, “As the event got more and more successful, we began to ask the question, ‘Should we think more long term?’ What pushed us over the edge was a chat with the financial aid and admissions staff, and hearing their perspective on the benefits of endowment — being able to attract students and offer them four-year scholarships. It was a no brainer.”

The club is actually doing both for now, giving an annual scholarship until the endowment reaches a high enough level to support more scholarships. The club invites scholarship recipients to the event each year, and according to Breazel, that makes the day even more special. “Obviously, folks come to see Dabo and the recruits. But while we’re welcoming new student-athletes we’re also celebrating new academic scholarships as well.”

And their message to other groups? “I would strongly like to encourage other groups or individuals to take a second or third look at making a gift that will make an impact for generations to come, not just for one year,” says Breazel. “Clemson’s still young and has centuries to go. An endowment can make a significant difference.”

To learn more about how you can make an impact on the future of Clemson, visit clemson.edu/giving, call 864-656-5896 or email cufund-L@clemson.edu.

Call Me Mister

Wells Fargo supports Call Me MISTER®, Emerging Scholars

Call Me MISTER and Emerging Scholars have in common their goal of improving educational opportunities for underrepresented populations. They also have in common the support of Wells Fargo, which donated $500,000 last fall to support the programs. Call Me MISTER seeks to place more African-American males in elementary school classrooms as teachers. Emerging Scholars’ mission is to increase the number of college graduates from economically disadvantaged areas and first-generation families. Since 2006, Wells Fargo has given $1.71 million to support the two programs.

Butch and Joy Ferree

Butch and Joy Ferree

Ferrees create trust for scholarships, experiential learning

Maurice “Butch” Ferree ’65, M ’67 and his wife, Joy, have created a charitable remainder trust valued at more than $1 million to benefit students in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Half of the money will establish the Dr. Maurice E. “Butch” Ferree and Joy Culver Ferree Scholarship Endowment to provide scholarships for students in the college. The other half will create an endowment to provide experiential learning opportunities for students.

“We just both love Clemson,” said Butch. “I don’t have anything but good memories of being a student here. Looking back, most of my professors were tough as nails, but they loved their students. They were making men out of boys — that stuck with me. That experience was so valuable for me.”

“Clemson is a place I have loved all my life,” said Joy. “We want to see it continue to grow, and we wanted to help deserving students complete their education here.”


New leaves honor great generosity

The grounds of Fort Hill are home to three new bronze oak leaves sporting the signatures
of the new members of the Fort Hill Legacy Society, whose bequests or testamentary trusts were realized at $1 million or more.

Ethelyn Berry Smith dedicated her life to education. She taught several years in Kershaw County, and continued her devotion to education by establishing the Harry Graves Berry Bioengineering Endowment to honor her brother, a member of the Class of ’41.

Tragedy struck Ernest and Virginia Carroll when their only son, Ernest Jr., was killed in action in June 1944 during the invasion of Normandy, while Ernest Sr. was serving in the Pacific theater. The Carrolls created the Ernest Hill Carroll Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund at Clemson, where he had attended before enlisting in the Army.

Porter H. and Sara L. Adams have long been tied to Clemson. Porter graduated in 1940, and their son Porter Jr. graduated in 1964. After 26 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Porter Sr. taught both high school and college, then established the Porter Adams Family Endowed Unrestricted Scholarship.

As part of the inaugural Week of Gratitude held on campus in October, the Student Alumni Council presented a $75,000 check to benefit the Student Alumni Council Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Student Memorial Chapel.

As part of the inaugural Week of Gratitude held on campus in October, the Student Alumni Council presented a $75,000 check to benefit the Student Alumni Council Scholarship Endowment Fund and the Student Memorial Chapel.