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Call Me MISTER Encourages Childhood Reading at Barbershops

Student Deakin Rencher teaches reading to Tydarius Cobb

Tydarius Cobb, 9, poses with Clemson University student Deavin Rencher, a sophomore studying special education and member of the Call Me MISTER program, at the Uptown Barbers barber shop in Central, S.C., after reading the book he’s holding as part of the Razor Readers program.

DeAvin Rencher is a fixture at Uptown Barbers in Central. But he’s not a customer or barber. He’s a special education major at Clemson and Call Me MISTER® student who works with kids through the Razor Readers program.

The Call Me MISTER program is sending its students to local barbershops each week to educate school children and their parents on the importance of reading early and often. These weekly sessions are the focus of Razor Readers, a program funded by the United Way of Pickens County that aims to increase children’s access to reading materials and individuals who can serve as educational role models.

Call Me MISTER works to increase the pool of available teachers from more diverse backgrounds, particularly among the lowest-performing elementary schools. The MISTERs play a key role in Razor Readers as role models, according to Amity Buckner, executive director of Pickens County First Steps. “When you realize that a MISTER may be the first African-American male these young learners meet who values education,” she said, “you realize the potential impact of this program.”

Rencher verified Buckner’s statement with his own experience. “I didn’t see an African-American male teacher until high school, and many of these young kids think it’s cool that I’m doing something positive through education.”

Children can read while waiting in line for haircuts or in their free time. Barbers have punch cards for each child that when filled qualify them for a free haircut. Before and during haircuts, MISTERs guide parents through early education tools that will help parents engage with their children and encourage reading at home and school.

“I like to talk to parents first to get their consent and also get them on board, and many of them have really gotten involved,” Rencher said. “We want to use every tool we can to get kids more engaged with reading, and coaching the parents to encourage it just increases the odds we’ll succeed.”

Smiley Garvin, owner and operator of Uptown Barbers, replaced an unused barber chair with a table and chairs for Rencher and the kids. He believes kids who come in and out of the shop are quicker to embrace reading in a setting that isn’t school, home or library.

Levi “T” Robinson owns D’s Diamond Cuts, another participating barbershop, in Easley. He has created flyers for the program that he distributed via local churches and has been thrilled to see kids returning to the shop not for another haircut, but for more books.

Call Me MISTER began at Clemson in 2000. Since then, the program has graduated 203 MISTERs who are now teaching in South Carolina schools and has expanded to include 19 other universities and technical colleges in South Carolina, as well as programs in eight additional states.

Magnolia Clemson Club supports Call Me MISTER

MagnoliaClubThe Magnolia Clemson Club has partnered with the Call Me MISTER® program at Jackson State University, supporting the program and serving as ambassadors for Clemson.

Lifelong-MagnoliaClubCall Me MISTER® is a nationally acclaimed program started at Clemson to increase the number of African-American male teachers in South Carolina’s public elementary school classrooms. In 2012, the University partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Jackson State University to broaden the program to Mississippi, and an additional gift of $1.3 million from the Kellogg Foundation in 2014 supported the program’s continued success. This effort by the Magnolia Club, supported by a grant from the Alumni Association, is another joint effort of the two universities.

Since both Clemson and Jackson State have Tiger mascots, the group coined themselves “Tigers United.” Events have included a viewing party for the Boston College game last fall where alumni and Jackson State MISTERS gathered to watch the game, eat barbecue and celebrate the partnership.

This spring, the group sponsored a service project to beautify the schools in the Jackson area where Jackson State MISTERS work. Plans for the fall include a conference focusing on career development and effective leadership practices.

 

My Clemson: Cambridge Gamble ’17

 

cambridge gamble2

Since forever, I’ve wanted to be a teacher. But my mom always told me I was going to be a lawyer. Coming to Clemson has meant figuring out that we were both right. Meanwhile, I’ve been able to make the most of my time in a place that truly had everything I was looking for in a college: small campus, great variety of courses, amazing athletics, beautiful campus and a big-family atmosphere.

I came here through the Call Me MISTER® program, majoring in elementary education, but I’ve also been able to pursue a history minor. That’s meant taking some of the political science courses that will serve me well when I go to law school in four or five years — after I’ve had an opportunity to teach and serve in an elementary school setting.

My freshman year, I took part in the Clemson Cup public speaking competition. My topic addressed the transition we were facing between a retiring president and a new one. I won, and that was an amazing opportunity that I will never, ever forget.

For one thing, I was the first freshman to ever win. Also, earning the Cup gave me the chance to speak at Clemson’s commencement, which was incredible, in no small part because it showed me how far I’ve come with my public speaking: When I was in high school, I took part in a Future Business Leaders of America speaking competition. The first year I competed, I came in last place. The second year I was determined to improve, and I won, which allowed me to represent the entire state of South Carolina and place 27th nationally.

I’m sure my public speaking skills will come in handy as an attorney. In the meantime, I’m enjoying every second of college life, whether it’s giving campus tours, cheering on my Tigers as a member of Central Spirit, serving as an Orientation ambassador or just hanging out on Campus Beach on a Friday night.

Call Me MISTER


CMM-graduation3

Listen to the MISTERs sing “One MISTER”:

Providing positive role models in classrooms and communities

TEACHING ELEMENTARY SCHOOL was not the future that Daniel Spencer ’09 envisioned as a high school senior in Swansea, South Carolina. With two brothers having dropped out of high school (one of whom served prison time) and parents who didn’t go to college, postsecondary education wasn’t even on his radar — even though he was in the top 10 percent of his graduating class.

Daniel Spencer_042correctFortunately, he decided at the last minute to apply to Coastal Carolina University and chose elementary education as his major.

“I didn’t have a clue,” Spencer said. “I thought, ‘Well, I passed elementary school. I should be able to teach it!’”

When Spencer’s English professor learned about his major, he told him about Call Me MISTER®, a program started at Clemson to encourage and place African-American male teachers in South Carolina’s public elementary school classrooms. He advised Spencer to transfer to Clemson to be a part of the program. The rest, he says, is history.

“From the first day, Call Me MISTER changed what I thought would be easy into a lifetime challenge of working with people and shaping the lives of youth,” Spencer said.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE

This was a challenge observed 15 years ago by Clemson University as well as Benedict College, Claflin University and Morris College, three historically black institutions in the state.

“We found that there were more black men in jail than were sleeping in the dormitories of the colleges in our state,” said Roy Jones, Call Me MISTER director and a faculty member at Clemson’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education. “There were more black men in prisons than were teaching in our state, especially in elementary education. That we saw as a problem.”

And, Jones added, in a state that is one-third African-American and where young black males were being expelled, referred to discipline and dropping out of school at higher rates than any gender or ethnic group, fewer than one percent of the state’s teaching workforce were African-American males.

Leaders at the four institutions saw a connection between those figures. They determined that if you could increase the number of African-American males in the classroom, perhaps there would be more avenues for understanding and tackling the challenges that confront young black boys during their formative years.

“We got together and said, ‘We can do something about this,’” Jones said.

And Call Me MISTER was born.

Clemson — along with Benedict, Claflin and Morris — started Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) in 2000. Clemson provided fundraising and program support, while the remaining three colleges carried out the program on their campuses.

Housed in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson, Call Me MISTER combines teacher education with co-curricular programs such as retreats, seminars, academic support, mentoring, a summer institute, internships and volunteer opportunities. Participants, known as MISTERs, also live and study together as cohorts and receive tuition assistance through loan forgiveness programs as well as help with job placement.

Since its inception, the program has grown to 19 colleges/universities in South Carolina, including Clemson and Coastal Carolina. That number also includes several two-year community and technical colleges, a move made to provide greater opportunity and access to the program.

As a result of these efforts, there has been a 75 percent increase in the number of African-American males teaching in South Carolina’s public elementary schools. Of the 150 students who have completed the Call Me MISTER program in the Palmetto State, 100 percent of them remain in the education field.

Understanding that the issue is not South Carolina’s alone — that nationally, the number of male teachers is at a 40-year low, and that African-American males comprise less than 2 percent of the teaching workforce — Call Me MISTER has expanded to include 13 colleges in Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia and the District of Columbia. Including graduates and current students, approximately 425 participants are in the program nationwide.

IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

CMM-summer1Since the program’s inception, Call Me MISTER leaders have found that its purpose is being fulfilled: more African-American males are entering elementary classrooms and more African-American children — especially boys — are seeing them as positive role models.

“There’s no doubt about what it means for so many kids to see an African-American male in a position of authority where he is also nurturing, where he is also loving and where he is also mentoring,” said Winston Holton, who leads Clemson’s Call Me MISTER cohort. “Our MISTERs are filling an important void.”

But the program is doing something more — it is exacting a powerful personal influence that transcends race, gender and socioeconomics.

“I believe that Call Me MISTER is making up the difference between what’s not happening in our homes, schools and communities and what needs to happen — and that is the fostering of healthy relationships,” Holton said.

“We don’t have healthy relationships across too many lines,” Holton continued. “You see this playing out every day in schools and playgrounds across South Carolina — and in teacher’s lounges, in businesses, in families, in neighborhoods, everywhere.”

From day one, Call Me MISTER encourages — even requires — its students to pursue healthy relationships, Holton said. Through an intentional yet organic process, MISTERs learn to understand and articulate their life stories and hear each other’s stories with empathy and understanding — and this skill makes all the difference when they enter the classroom and community as teachers.

“The result is that MISTERs have the capacity to empathize with their students, parents, fellow teachers and community members just as they, themselves, have experienced empathy,” Holton said. “They are able to see through the differences, even the maladies, and really see another’s humanity. That’s how learning happens and how students, schools and communities are elevated.”

“It’s all about relationships,” Holton summarized.

I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Countless young people have been influenced by their relationships with Daniel Spencer, including his niece and nephew, the children of his formerly incarcerated brother.

“I was trying to help raise them, and I realized through Call Me MISTER that I wasn’t teaching them; I was just telling them what to do,” Spencer said. “Listening to the MISTERs and learning from them taught me that I can do things differently — and that I can make a difference.”

 

Spencer’s niece and nephew, now ages 15 and 16, live with him in Seneca — happily adjusted and involved in school and community activities.

Spencer is also making a difference in his classroom at Blue Ridge Elementary, a Title 1 school with a high percentage of children from low-income families. He meets with each child individually and sets goals for the year, based not only on test scores but also the child’s own aspirations. And he holds them accountable to those goals, meeting with them throughout the year.

“I get to know all the kids and strive to meet everyone where they are,” Spencer said. “But I’ve gotten past the ‘I’m here for them to like me’ thing because at the end of the day, I know that they are going to love me — because they respect me, and they know I believe in them.”

What results from this exchange of respect, caring and expectation is academic progress. “The kids are exceeding their own expectations, which translates into authentic learning,” Spencer said.

SPIRIT OF HOPE FOR CHANGE

It is clear that authentic learning is needed for South Carolina’s children. The Palmetto State ranks 43rd in education, according to the 2014 Kids Count Profile, with 72 percent of South Carolina’s fourth graders lacking proficiency in reading, and 69 percent of eighth graders identified as below proficiency in math. Twenty-eight percent of high school students aren’t graduating on time, if at all.

The same report ranks South Carolina 44th in economic well-being and child health — both factors that affect children’s performance in school.

The statistics grow more dire in underserved schools and communities, where employment and other opportunities have increasingly diminished, says Roy Jones.

With these factors in mind, Jones and his colleagues focus on recruiting MISTERs from underserved areas and encouraging them to return to their communities or others with similar challenges.

“Call Me MISTER teachers are at the cutting edge of a new crusade — to ensure quality education in underserved areas by creating a pool of talented teachers who are fiercely loyal to their schools and communities,” Jones said. “Such teachers embody the spirit of hope for change.”

I WANT TO SEE THESE KIDS GROW UP

CMM-Spencerclass1“Fiercely loyal” could be used to describe Daniel Spencer. Since he started his career at Blue Ridge, he has been offered many opportunities to teach in other school districts, but he is dedicated to remaining at the school and in the community where he has served as a volunteer since his days as a Clemson student.

“The first kids I mentored when they were in the fourth grade are now in the 11th grade,” he said. “I want to see these kids grow up.”

In addition to teaching, Spencer coaches high school basketball and middle school football in Seneca, attends his students’ extracurricular activities, holds free basketball clinics and workouts at Blue Ridge during the summer, and takes students to events such as Clemson’s spring football scrimmage, which many of them have never attended even though they live less than 10 miles away. When he greets former students or players in the grocery store or at school events, they avoid him if their grades aren’t up to par, because they know he’ll ask. “I love being there and talking to the kids because the more they see positive people and consistently have positive people talking to them, the better they are going to do,” he said.

THE INTANGIBLE ‘MORE’

What is it about Call Me MISTER that inspires such dedication and selflessness? If you talk to anyone associated with the program, you’ll find that it’s because it’s more than a program — it’s a lifestyle, a way of being.

The intangible “more” begins with the name of the program. The brainchild of Call Me MISTER founding director Tom Parks, the name is not only an acronym but also a tribute to a famous line by Virgil Tibbs (played by Sidney Poitier) in the 1967 movie “In the Heat of the Night.”

While investigating a murder investigation in a small Mississippi town, Tibbs, an African-American detective from Philadelphia, is asked by the racist sheriff what people in his hometown police force call him. With dignity and assertiveness, Tibbs responds, “They call me ‘Mister Tibbs!’”

It is a line that inspires, even demands, respect.

Respect is a cornerstone of Call Me MISTER, one that is seen as MISTERs receive the program’s signature black blazer upon graduation — and in the way MISTERs refer to each other as “Mister” in formal Call Me MISTER settings.

“Ultimately, our hope is for each MISTER to be self-assured and know himself, and to appreciate and understand the value of building relationships across traditional lines,” Holton said.

Other Call Me MISTER foundational concepts include ambassadorship, stewardship, personal growth and teacher efficacy. “And all of these things together pour into the most important tenet, servant-leadership,” which Holton describes as “living for more than yourself.”

Perhaps no one embodies servant-leadership more than Jeff Davis, former field director for Call Me MISTER, current assistant athletic director of football player relations, and 2001 recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life award.

All MISTERs continue to be challenged each time they recite the vision statement Davis penned, which includes the line, “A title is only important if one’s character and integrity dictate its use.”

The single MISTER who rises to that challenge most valiantly receives the Jeff Davis Spirit Award, one of the most coveted honors bestowed annually upon a MISTER.

According to Clemson junior Michael Miller, a MISTER from Orangeburg and 2014 recipient of the Jeff Davis Spirit Award, servant-leadership has been the key to his Call Me MISTER education.

“My viewpoint about education has changed from ‘What can I tell you or dictate to you?’ to ‘What can I do for you?’” he said.

“I want to be an educator rather than a teacher,” he continued. “A teacher delivers content, and that is important. The word ‘educator’ comes from the Latin word educe, which means to draw from within. That’s what I try to do with my students — to pull out what is already within them. Call Me MISTER has taught me how to do that.”

Melanie Kieve is the public information director for the College of Health, Education, and Human Development and the Eugene T. Moore School of Education.

To learn more about Call Me MISTER director Roy Jones, click here.

Erwins’ continuing investment benefits students

Students will benefit from scholarships, additional experienced faculty and new state-of-the-art classroom space thanks to the continuing investment of Joe Erwin ’79 and his wife, Gretchen.

The co-founders of Greenville-based advertising and marketing firm Erwin Penland gave two new gifts totaling $1.08 million to benefit the University’s Erwin Center for the Study of Advertising and Communication, $800,000 to further the center’s programming and $208,000 to establish the Eugene and Valerie Getchell Scholarship Endowment. Named for Gretchen Erwin’s parents, the endowment allows Clemson to offer two need-based scholarships each year to students studying in the Erwin Center, beginning this year.

The gifts are part of Clemson’s Will to Lead campaign. The Erwin Center was created in December 2012 when the Erwins gave a lead gift of $1.05 million.

Call Me MISTER receives $1.3 million

William Buster, director of the Kellogg Foundation’s Mississippi and New Orleans programs

William Buster, director of the Kellogg Foundation’s Mississippi and New Orleans programs

Clemson’s Call Me MISTER program has received $1.3 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., to collaborate with Jackson State University to increase the number of African-American male teachers in Mississippi K-8 classrooms. The three organizations gathered on campus to commemorate the collaboration and grant.

Clemson established the now nationally recognized Call Me MISTER program in 2000 to increase the number of African-American males teaching in South Carolina K-12 schools. MISTER stands for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models. After more than a decade, there is a 75 percent increase in the number of African-American male teachers in South Carolina’s public elementary schools.

The program has expanded to 17 colleges in South Carolina. Nearly 100 students are enrolled in the program in six additional states: Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Mississippi and Georgia.

“The demonstrated success of the Call Me MISTER collaborative model in South Carolina, which has resulted in a significant increase in African-American male teachers in our state, provided confidence that the same result was possible in Mississippi,” Roy Jones, director of Call Me MISTER said. “We simply exported our nearly 15 years of successful experience in recruiting, retaining and developing pre-service teachers to Jackson State, which has a long tradition and history in producing African-American educators.”

Chi Zeta celebrates 40 years, endows scholarship

This spring, the alumni brothers of the Chi Zeta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity returned to Clemson to celebrate the chapter’s anniversary. Forty years ago, a group of students chartered the first black Greek-lettered organization on campus. Since then, 122 brothers have been initiated, and more than 90 of those returned for the reunion.

Chi Zeta took a leadership role during the 50th anniversary of the ending of segregation at Clemson. The “50 for 50” campaign was designed to celebrate 50 years of integration at Clemson by creating 50 diversity endowments, with a goal of fully funding the endowments within five years. Chi Zeta saw this as an opportunity to create its own endowment to provide financial support for deserving undergraduate students now and for years to come. Chi Zeta met its commitment within four months and awarded the first scholarship in the fall of 2013.

To mark its 40th anniversary as a campus organization, the alumni brothers of Chi Zeta raised another $25,000, which doubles the endowment to $50,000. With these additional donations, the brothers of Chi Zeta, in conjunction with Mrs. Veronica Clinkscales and the Clinkscales family, were able to establish the Dr. William C. Clinkscales Sr. ’74 Diversity Scholarship Endowment honoring her late husband, one of the founding brothers of the fraternity.

 

Freeman Hall expanding

Freeman Hall expanding

Freeman Hall renderingFreeman Hall is expanding to make room for rapid growth in the industrial engineering department. The $10-million addition will include new offices, conference rooms and a 108-seat auditorium, and will include additional room for a fast-growing online Master of Engineering in industrial engineering with an emphasis on supply chain and logistics that has been supported by Fluor Corporation. The program now has about 120 students and is expected to grow to 160. Growth in the industrial engineering department underscores the power of philanthropy and the importance of Clemson’s long partnership with Fluor. Fluor contributed $1.5 million in 2013 to create the Fluor-Clemson International Capital Projects Supply Chain Partnership to help with the online program’s expansion.

 

 

One Clemson event supports scholarships

ONE CLEMSON MAINC.J. Spiller ’09 was one of the more than two dozen legendary Clemson athletes who were in attendance at the One Clemson Main Event, held in April at the ONE Building in downtown Greenville to support athletic and academic scholarships. Auctioned items included a personal “C.J. Spiller Experience” at a Buffalo Bills game and golf with PGA Tour players Charles Warren and Ben Martin. Proceeds benefit the One Clemson scholarship initiative, a part of the Will to Lead campaign.

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.