Since its beginning in 1977, the Clemson Career Workshop has invested in academically talented, underrepresented high school students by introducing them to Clemson through a summer residential program. The program’s original goals were to increase the number of students of color at Clemson in general as well as students of color majoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The workshop provides college preparation, networking and residential campus experiences.
Last October, a fundraising gala was held to honor the two founders and an outstanding alumnus of the program by renaming the CCW as the Snelsire, Sawyer and Robinson Clemson Career Workshop. The event also celebrated the establishment of an endowment to provide resources for the ongoing operation of the workshop. The program’s advisory board set a goal of $1 million in support of the program, with a kickoff pledge goal of $250,000 to establish the initial fund.
The three honorees have dedicated their lives to supporting STEM education at Clemson. Robert Snelsire is an emeritus professor of electrical engineer-ing who served as the director of the then College of Engineering’s Minority Program from 1977-1991. He founded the Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and the Math Excellence Workshop. His engineering workshop was the inspiration for the Clemson Career Workshop.
Corrine Sawyer is an emerita professor of English. In 1982, she helped Snelsire expand the minority recruitment engineering workshop to a summer program, officially creating the Clemson Career Workshop.
Darryl Leshay Robinson is an alumnus, former head counselor and longtime advocate of the CCW. After earning undergrad-uate and graduate degrees in industrial engineering, he continually gave back to his alma mater through the CCW. Throughout his career in executive management, Robinson has been devoted to inspiring high school students, showing them a path toward academic success and professional achievement.
For more than 40 years, the career workshop has played a major role in attracting talented, high-achieving students from across South Carolina to Clemson. The newly established endowment will ensure that the SSRCCW continues its work for many future generations.