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Alumni & Club News

 

Couch Season

Clemson Clubs and other alumni groups rely heavily on football watch parties and other fall events for their fundraising. When it became clear those events wouldn’t be possible in 2020, the Alumni Association’s engagement team brainstormed a solution: Couch Season, a play on Clemson Football’s “Ring Season.”

 

As of November 2020, the Alumni Association had sold 2,942 packages and raised a total of $123,596.74.

 

For $15, Couch Season package patrons received two Tiger Rags, tailgating recipe cards, two koozies, two coasters, four “Beat” stickers for every game, one chip clip and two commemorative tickets — all emblazoned with the Couch Season logo, which was modeled after the famous couch on the TV show Friends, said Stewart Summers ’98, M ’01, associate executive director for engagement. “We just embraced the crazy,” he laughed.

The Alumni Association also asked alumni who purchased a package to give to their local Clemson Club, alumni group, scholarship fund or the Clemson University Foundation. As of November 2020, the Alumni Association had sold 2,942 packages and raised a total of $123,596.74.

 

Diversity-Based Affinity Groups

In partnership with the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center, the Alumni Association is excited to feature a series of virtual events highlighting diversity-based affinity groups: Hispanic Latinx, LGBTQ+, Clemson Black Alumni, Women’s Alumni Council and Clemson Corps.

All alumni are welcome to participate in affinity groups and group events. For more information about how to join a group, and to view the calendar for upcoming virtual events, visit alumni.clemson.edu or follow the Clemson Alumni Association on social media.

 

Tigers Tackle Series

In an effort to provide a variety of events to Clemson Clubs and groups across the country during COVID-19, the Clemson Alumni Association created Tigers Tackle, an exciting new engagement series that highlights different alumni, campus leaders and interest areas. Fall events ranged from a Halloween wine tasting and Clemson sports trivia with fan-favorites Tim Bourret and Kelly Gramlich ’14 to creating the perfect holiday flower arrangement or upgrading your game day spread with lifestyle guru AnnaLouise Carter ’11. Be sure to check out the calendar for upcoming opportunities to tackle something new with fellow Tigers!Virtual Tailgating

The Philadelphia Clemson Club hosted several virtual tailgating events via Zoom in the fall of 2020. Alumni participated in Q&A sessions with guest speakers, such as Nick Tully ’02 of Clemson Pawcast and Denzel Johnson ’19, former Clemson safety. Clemson Football trivia and score prediction games were also part of the fun. “One of the biggest ways we were able to grow our viewership was livestreaming our virtual tailgates on Facebook,” wrote Will Croswell ’06*, club president.

 

Food Bank Fundraising

Following their 2019 College Colors Day Food Drive victory, The Villages Chapter of the Central Florida Clemson Club has developed a reputation for generosity and willingness to help. The Daily Sun newspaper reached out to the chapter after checking in with local food banks; there was one in particular need, Beyond the Walls Food Pantry, a ministry of Heritage Community Church. The Clemson Club raised $3,200 for the food bank. “Colleen Brooks, the director of the food pantry, was in tears when she saw our very generous gift,” wrote Amy Graef Huckaby ’79*.

 

Improve It!

Members of the Atlanta Clemson Club joined improve it! founder Erin Holbrook Diehl ’05 on Zoom for a “laugh break,” a session of short-form improv games. Improve it! is a unique professional development company that pushes others to laugh, learn and grow through workshops that leverage improvisational techniques to improve employees’ skills in corporate settings.

 

Send-off Parade

The Colleton County Clemson Club hosted a student send-off parade on July 30, 2020, in downtown Walterboro, S.C. Sharon Hazel Witkin ’99, the club secretary, told The Press and Standard, “Students were invited to decorate their cars and parade downtown to receive well-wishes and support from club members.” Incoming freshmen received a handmade dorm blanket, and returning students were given Tiger Paw-stamped $2 bills. “Especially during times of uncertainty, we are happy to show students our support before returning to Clemson for their fall studies,” added club president Josh
White ’96.

 

Alumni News

Virtual Engagement

Need a new Zoom background? The Alumni Association is offering downloadable campus photos on their virtual engagement page to keep your Monday meetings interesting and keep you more connected to Clemson. And the virtual opportunities don’t stop there.

Explore painting classes, read alouds of children’s books, dance breaks with DJ Sha, question-and-answer sessions with alumni and Clemson experts on topics ranging from NASCAR to the economic impacts of the pandemic, and more. The Alumni Association has also listed online resources available to alumni, including an online job search and online mentorship opportunities.

 

Affinity Groups Update

On the Alumni Association’s contact update form, alumni can now self-identify with various affinity groups they’d like to be part of, including the Hispanic & Latinx Alumni Council, the Women’s Alumni Council, the LGBTQ+ Alumni Council and the Black Alumni Council. Visit alumni.clemson.edu/contactupdate to access the form.

 

Made to Order

This spring, bright orange signs emblazoned with “Tigertown Bound Class of ’24” could be seen in front yards all over the state and country. It’s a proud moment for future students and their families, showing their neighbors and friends where they’re going to college.

Normally, the Alumni Association provides these signs for student send-off parties and other events. COVID-19 made that impossible this year, so the Alumni Association created an online order form at signs.com/tigertown-bound, where students can order their own signs and enjoy the tradition.

 

Extension agent Katie Shaw honored for public service

Clemson alumna Kathryn “Katie” Berry ShawAlumna Kathryn “Katie” Berry Shaw received the Alumni Award for Cooperative Extension Distinguished Public Service at the December general faculty meeting. An Extension 4-H agent in Laurens County since 2006, Shaw received the honor in recognition of creating innovative, hands-on educational programs that empower youth to become active members of their communities. In addition to her role as a 4-H youth development agent, Shaw currently serves as assistant of the S.C. 4-H horse program, which has led 4-H students to national equestrian awards the past two years. She is president-elect of the South Carolina Association of 4-H Extension Agents, an organization in which she has held numerous leadership positions, as well as president of the 4-H Agent Association.

An Orangeburg native, Shaw participated in 4-H and was S.C. 4-H Presidential Tray Winner, S.C. Future Farmers of America Equine Proficiency Award Winner and two-time Paso Fino Horse Association National Youth Champion in Equitation and Fino. She received her bachelor’s degree (2009) and master’s degree (2011) in agriculture education. “After growing up in 4-H and it playing a major part in my success, I decided to become a 4-H agent. I wanted to make an impact in the lives of young people just like the 4-H agents I had growing up did in my life,” Shaw said. “Being a 4-H agent means that I am constantly learning from co-workers, volunteers and the 4-H members. It is exciting be a part of something that is always changing and growing.”

Shaw and her husband, Jimmie Lee Shaw ’07, received the S.C. Farm Bureau Achievement Award this year. They also won the S.C. Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Discussion Meet contest in 2015 and were awarded the South Carolina Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Excellence in Agriculture Award in 2009. They live in Newberry with their two daughters.

Clemson Clubs play host to many events

Clemson Alumni and affinity groups have been busy welcoming students to the Clemson Family, hosting events, holding networking events for students and alumni, and watching football. Here’s just a sampling of the recent activities around the country:

The ARIZONA CLEMSON CLUB and N.C. State Wolfpack Alumni held a joint football party to watch the Tigers take on the Wolfpack and used the event to provide service to the local community by asking alumni to bring a donation to the St. Mary’s Food Bank. Approximately 30 Clemson alumni attended; the two clubs collected a total of 114 pounds of food.

The HOUSTON CLEMSON CLUB hosted a luncheon in October featuring President Jim Clements and his wife Beth. Approximately 75 alumni, supporters and parents of current students attended the luncheon. The Houston Club also hosted a Student Send-Off in August.

Every year, the GREATER ORLANDO CLEMSON CLUB participates in an alumni event called Feast on the 50 at Camping World Stadium, where active alumni groups from a variety of colleges compete for the most spirited tent. This year, the Orlando Club won the competition, reports President Thomas Harvell. He credits the hard work of Meg Ramis, Christie Hyde DeNave, Cheryl Mellin and others. The Orlando Club also hosted a Student Send-Off in August.

During Homecoming weekend, the CLEMSON BLACK ALUMNI COUNCIL (CBAC) hosted the Minority Student Success Initiative. During a panel discussion, alumni shared stories, tips and advice with more than 90 students on how to succeed both within the University and in the workforce. A networking event provided opportunities for students, alumni and employers to make valuable connections. The annual CBAC Homecoming tailgate at Carillon Gardens rounded out the weekend, welcoming more than 600 alumni back to campus.

The YORK COUNTY CLEMSON CLUB hosted a Student Send-Off for more than 100 students, hosted by Roger and Cathy Troutman. About 90 alumni, parents and students were in attendance at the SPARTANBURG CLEMSON CLUB’S Student Send-Off, the largest send-off for the club in recent years. Clemson Clubs hosted a record number of more than 35 Student Send-Offs across the country to welcome new students to the Clemson Family.

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IF IT’S GAMEDAY, THERE’S A CLEMSON FLAG

If you’re one of those people who watches ESPN “College GameDay” each Saturday during football season, you’re sure to have seen a Clemson flag pop up behind the announcers. Pictured are Brian ’03 M ’04 and Nicole ’03 Crounse and their children at the University of Wisconsin’s GameDay. If you’re planning on being at a game that’s been designated as ESPN “College GameDay,” and you want to help #FlyTheFlag, email Bubba Britton at bubba@clemson.edu.

 

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Young Alumni Council celebrates the 2016 Roaring 10

Front, l-r: Halphen, Leader, Lusk, Frazier, Newton. Rear: Adams, Crapps, Faerber, Park.
Not pictured: Eyraud Photo Credit: JacobDeanPhotography.com

The Young Alumni Council (YAC) has recognized the 2016 Roaring 10 — young alumni who have made an impact in business, leadership, community, educational and/or philanthropic endeavors.

This year’s honorees are:

KEENAN ADAMS M ’07, Ph.D. ’10, DENVER, COLORADO
Adams received both a master’s degree in forest resources and a doctorate in wildlife and fisheries biology from Clemson. Adams is the supervisory wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Colorado. He is an active member of Alpha Psi Phi and participates in the Omega Leadership Academy Mentorship Program.

MANNING CRAPPS ’06, LEXINGTON
Crapps received a degree from Clemson in economics and went on to a successful career in banking. He works at First Community Bank, where he is the bank’s expert in solutions for business retirement plans. He was part of the group that created the Lexington Beautification Foundation, which is dedicated to beautifying the scenic and historic community. He is president of the Lexington County Clemson Club.

LILY EYRAUD ’12, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
Eyraud graduated with a degree in financial management and accounting and is pursuing a master of business administration at Duke University. She works as a financial planner at TIAA-CREF. She has been a United Way Young Leaders Council member since 2013, is the communications lead for the Charlotte Clemson Club and is a regional recruitment coordinator for Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She was recently named the Alumni Association’s Volunteer of the Year.

NELSON FAERBER III ’09, TUCSON, ARIZONA
Faerber holds a law degree from Florida State University to go with his bachelor’s degree in construction science management from Clemson. He attended Clemson on a full athletic scholarship and was named the Clemson Football 2008 Special Teams Player of the Year. Post-college he served in Afghanistan and was recognized as company grade officer of the quarter and of the year. He currently serves in the U.S. Air Force JAG Corps, providing legal assistance to a community of more than 20,000 airmen and their families.

JAMILAH FRAZIER M ’15, NORTH CHARLESTON
Frazier received her master’s degree in public administration from Clemson and works at Charleston/Dorchester Mental Health, where she coordinates accreditation and quality improvement. She also owns her own business providing workplace CPR/first aid training. She is an advisory member of the Charleston County Clemson Club and works with the Clemson Black Alumni Council.

PAUL HALPHEN ’10, GREENVILLE
Halphen received his degree in financial management and joined First Citizens Bank and Trust, where he was ranked second out of more than 200 leaders for new portfolio volume. He is currently an investment manager with Kairos Real Estate, and he volunteers for multiple community organizations. He is on Clemson’s Library Leadership Board, is a long-time mentor for the College of Business and was YAC president.

BEN LEADER ’10, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA 
Leader received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Clemson and his law degree from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable John C. Hayes III of 16th Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, and now works for the Elrod Pope Law Firm as an associate. He has been an at-large member of Clemson’s YAC since 2014 and serves on the board of the York County Clemson Club in Rock Hill.

BROCK LUSK ’02, M ’15, WALHALLA 
Lusk completed Clemson’s ROTC program, graduated with a degree in history and was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force. He came back to Clemson and earned his master’s degree in 2015. In between, he served multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently serves as the director of operations and assistant professor of aerospace studies for the Clemson Air Force ROTC. He is on the board of directors of the Clemson Corps. Seven additional names have been added to Clemson’s Scroll of Honor as a direct result of his research.

DAVID NEWTON ’08, M ’10, MOUNT PLEASANT 
Newton earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering while competing as a member of the varsity soccer team. He is currently completing his master of business administration from the Kenan- Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a 2017 merit fellow. He serves as a marketing and product manager for Ingevity Corporation’s North American asphalt modification business in Charleston. Newton has served on the executive board of the Carolina Youth Development Center and the Trident United Way Young Philanthropist Society steering committee.

BRIAN PARK ’10, M ’14, ATLANTA 
Park earned bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science and a master’s degree in economics. He attended law school at the University of Virginia, where he was elected president of the student body and served as an editor for the Virginia Environmental Law Journal. He is a corporate associate at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta, where he represents both publicly traded and privately held companies in mergers and acquisitions, capital-raising transactions and general corporate governance matters. He has volunteered with several organizations including the Blue Key Honor Society and Atlanta’s Youth About Business Program.

EYRAUD HONORED AS VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Wil Brasington presents the Volunteer of the Year award
to Lily Eyraud as Sandy Edge looks on.

Lily Eyraud ’12 was presented with the Volunteer of the Year award at the Fall Band Party in Greenville in October. A retirement financial planner at TIAA-CREF in Charlotte, Eyraud also is enrolled in the Duke University Cross Continent MBA program.

Currently the communication lead for the Charlotte Clemson Club, Eyraud has implemented a social media strategy and manages a team of four to create digital content for the club’s social channels. She served as the Charlotte Clemson Young Alumni Council Representative from 2013 to 2015, where she implemented strategic event planning and communication to engage young alumni. She also spearheaded new events and programming to increase engagement. She previously served as the Clemson Young Alumni Council engagement chair, where she co-chaired the Fall Band Party and helped to more than double event attendance over the previous year.

Her volunteer activity doesn’t just benefit Clemson. Since 2013, she has been a United Way Young Leaders Council member, where she creates events and networking opportunities for Charlotte young professionals. She has been a regional recruitment coordinator for Gamma Phi Beta sorority since 2014 and was the Gamma Phi Beta Charlotte Alumnae Chapter president in 2012-2013. In addition, she served as the sorority’s education adviser for the chapter at the University of South Carolina.

TWO NAMED HONORARY ALUMNI

Each fall, the alumni association considers bestowing the title of honorary  alumnus on individuals who have been nominated because of their service, loyalty and devotion to Clemson and/or the Alumni Association. This year, the Alumni Association honored JoVanna King and Frank Inabnit III. While neither has crossed the stage to receive a Clemson diploma, their lives and actions demonstrate that their blood runs orange.

King is senior director of estate planning and principal gifts at Clemson. For more than 25 years she has raised money to support the University. She has worked on all three of Clemson’s capital campaigns including the recently completed Will to Lead campaign, which raised more than $1 billion. According to Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Brian O’Rourke, King has been involved in raising more philanthropic dollars than any other employee of the University. According to President Emeritus Jim Barker, the dollars don’t tell the whole story. “The dollars are impressive,” he wrote in his nomination letter, “but it is the lives of Clemson students and faculty that motivate her.”

Inabnit, a resident of Jacksonville, Florida, is retired after a career in electrical drafting and programming. The son of a 1941 alumnus, he was born deaf andwas unable to attend Clemson. “He has spent his entire life in a silent world,” wrote his sister, Catherine Inabnit, in her nomination. “He has never heard the word ‘Clemson.’ He’s never heard the ‘Tiger Rag’ or the Clemson Alma Mater, but Clemson has been a very important part of his life and occupies a large and special place in his heart.”

A loyal IPTAY member for 45 years, Inabnit has served as an IPTAY representative and has contributed to the Alumni Association for more than 25 years.

Nominations for honorary alumnus will open in the fall; for more information, go to clemson.edu/alumni and click on “Awards and Honors.”

Bring Your Daughter to Clemson weekend 

Bring your daughters_9763This spring, alumni and their daughters came to campus for Bring Your Daughter to Clemson, an opportunity for parents to share their love of the University with their daughters. Girls ages 6-18 toured campus, learned about majors and student activities, met students and professors, and got a small taste of what it means to be a Clemson Tiger. More than 200 participated in the weekend event sponsored by the Women’s Alumni Council.