“Education has been the ticket for me”: C. Tycho Howle ’71, M ’73

Profile-TychoHowleThis past spring, C. Tycho Howle stepped up to the microphone and told a room full of Clemson faithful, “I’m glad to be home.”

The stage at his alma mater was a long way from his humble beginnings in a small South Carolina town, but Howle never forgot how important education has been in his success.

With two degrees from Clemson and one from Harvard, Howle became a pioneer in the e-business world and an Atlanta philanthropist. A company he founded in 1983, Harbinger Computer Services, grew to more than 40,000 active customers, 1,000 employees spread across eight countries and annual revenues exceeding $155 million.

“All along the way, a quality education has been the ticket for me to be able to move on to the next stage of life,” Howle said in an interview. “I think most people know how important education can be to a successful career, but I take every chance I can to reinforce that notion with the young people I encounter.”

Now retired and living in Naples, Florida, Howle returned to Clemson to help recognize Eileen Kraemer as the C. Tycho Howle Director of the School of Computing. Her directorship was the second endowed chair his family has supported.

Howle began life in Lancaster, a small city about 40 miles south of Charlotte. The son of a mechanic and seamstress, he was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters. He played football and ran track and did well on his SATs. He needed to pick a state-supported school and, as a Tigers fan, preferred Clemson.

He graduated with honors in physics and went on to get a master’s degree in systems engineering. After a few years at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, Howle went to Harvard Business School for a master of business administration.

“When someone is given a lot, it seems to me that you’re also responsible for giving back,” he said. “It seems the more generous we have been, the more good fortune we’ve had in our life. Some might think that a cliché, but in our case it’s true.

“When I think about the people and organizations that have played a major role in my life, Clemson is in the top tier. It prepared me not only with a great education, but also with a good set of values and lasting friendships.”

Fort Hill Clemson Club builds endowment for Upstate students

The Fort Hill Clemson Club presents a check to Associate Vice President of Advancement Brian O'Rourke. From left: Brian O'Rourke, Larry Sloan, Flecther Anderson, Jim Douglas, Gregg Cooley.

The Fort Hill Clemson Club presents a check to Associate Vice President of Advancement Brian O’Rourke. From left: Brian O’Rourke, Larry Sloan, Flecther Anderson, Jim Douglas, Gregg Cooley.

Every year, the Fort Hill Clemson Club, with about 100 members, puts on a major event, the annual Recruiting Wrap Up, held just as football recruiting ends. They sell tickets, find sponsors, get the coaches and players on the program, and serve lots of barbecue.

It’s hard work but also enables the club to raise a substantial amount of money. When the decision for how to invest that money had to be made, the club took its cues from none other than Clemson’s founder and namesake. They decided to establish an endowment to provide scholarships for students from Pickens and Oconee counties.

“Thomas Green Clemson could have done a lot of things with his wealth that could have made a great immediate impact — maybe a bigger splash that would have given him more recognition,”
said club president Fletcher Anderson. “But he planned it in a way that would make an impact for the long run, and that influenced our thinking.”

Recently, on behalf of the club, Anderson presented a $50,000 check to Clemson for the scholarship endowment. The club funds annual scholarships as well.

“As I see it,” says Anderson, “the club will just continue to work to raise our endowment until our annual scholarships have all been replaced with endowed scholarships. Within 20 years, we may have a million dollar-plus endowment.”

The endowment is part of the Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign.

For more information about how your club or organization can set up an endowment, contact Bubba Britton at

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.


New urine test could reduce need for blood samples

Marissa Pierson, a master's student, closes the lid on a centrifuge while workinh gin a Clemson lab with Professor Ken Marcus.

Marissa Pierson, a master’s student, closes the lid on a centrifuge while workinh gin a Clemson lab with Professor Ken Marcus.

If you’ve been to the doctor, you probably know what to do when you’re handed a plastic cup and shown to the bathroom.

Most patients hand over the sample and give little thought to what happens when it’s shipped to the lab for analysis. Chemistry professor Ken Marcus and his students are the exceptions. They have developed a new testing method that they believe will reduce costs, get faster results and lower the volume of urine needed for a sample.

It’s great news for patients who get the willies when the nurse pulls out the needle to draw blood. The method Marcus and his students have developed could help make it possible to use urine instead of blood to test for more diseases such as early-stage coronary heart disease or sleeping sickness.

The trouble with testing urine is that it’s awash in salt, Marcus said. It can be tricky to isolate the proteins that act as biomarkers, the clues that tell whether the patient is sick or has ingested a drug.

The magic ingredient in the group’s research looks like kite string, but it’s no ordinary twine. It’s made of capillary-channeled polymer fibers.

As part of a study, Marcus and his students packed the fibers into plastic tubes and then passed urine samples through the tubes by spinning them in a centrifuge for 30 seconds. Then the researchers ran de-ionized water through the tubes for a minute to wash off salt and other contaminants.

Proteins are hydrophobic, so they remained stuck to the fibers. Researchers extracted the proteins by running a solvent through the tubes in the centrifuge for 30 seconds. When it was all done, researchers were left with purified proteins that could be stored in a plastic vial and refrigerated until time for testing. The team was able to extract 12 samples in about five minutes, limited only by centrifuge capacity.

In urine tests commonly used now, polymer beads extract the proteins. “The difference is that ours is smaller, faster and cheaper,” Marcus said.

The team’s work was recently published by the journal Proteomics — Clinical Applications.

The research has been about a decade in the making with various students working on it over the years. Marcus said that he has graduated 33 Ph.D. students with more than half going on to work for national labs. Others work in industry and for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still others in his lab are focused on the development of analytical methods for post-detonation nuclear forensics.

For Marcus, the most important thing is to create a research environment that produces well-prepared graduates. “My pride is putting those people out and seeing them get really good jobs,” Marcus said.

Sharing culture and conversation: Derek Owens ’11

Profile-Derek OwensA number of times during his college career, friends and acquaintances told Derek Owens he’d be a good fit for the Peace Corps. After researching the possibilities, he agreed, wanting to spend a significant period of time fully immersed in a culture, refining his Spanish skills and as he put it, “to put off life in the real world.” Plus, he says, “I love providing a service that I truly feel is needed and that I feel is fulfilling.”

He’s called Panamá home since February of 2014, and he’ll be there through May 2016. As a Teaching English volunteer, he’s living in a small indigenous community of about 400 people where he’s teaching English, but also working with 12th-grade students to encourage them to continue on to the university. “The idea and goal,” he says, “is that these students will return to their home after graduation to share more sustainable farming practices that produce more food for the subsistence farmers of the area.”

The community in which he lives may be very poor, but the people he says, “are incredibly warm and welcoming, always quick to brew some coffee over the stove or gift me a plate of their latest meal if I grace them with a visit.”

And while Owens is there to share his language and his culture, he has learned a great deal about the history of the people he lives among. “I have had the opportunity to interact with this still very persecuted minority group and have seen the direct effects of institutionalized racism, which has been difficult to stomach at times and has influenced me in more ways than I can measure.”

A political science major at Clemson with a Spanish minor, Owens says that he gained an incredible amount of self motivation and self direction in his political science classes and leadership skills through Tiger Band that have contributed to his success as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Wherever he heads next, Owens will leave as a different person than when he came, “deeply affected by the opportunity to get to know another country and everything about it in such a more intimate way than I would in any other circumstances.”

Greenville Health System, Clemson celebrate growing partnership

Forever-GHSTake a top-20 national public university and add it to one of the largest health care systems in the Southeast, and what do you get? In the case of Clemson and Greenville Health System, you get a growing research and education partnership.

Clemson and GHS entered into such a partnership in June 2013 to establish a health care research powerhouse to fuel growth in medical research and breakthroughs; create opportunities for faculty, physicians and students; and accelerate the flow of research funding into the Upstate. Clemson brings to the table a host of research capabilities, while GHS offers students and researchers the clinical opportunities and partnerships they need to put ideas into action.

In the words of Windsor Sherrill, who holds the titles of chief science officer at GHS and Clemson associate vice president for health research, “We’re better together.”

This spring, Clemson and GHS celebrated the growing partnership with an event called “GHS Tiger Tuesday.” During the event, held at each of the GHS campuses, guests received Tiger Paw badge holders and information was presented about the research opportunities and special programs offered through the Clemson-GHS collaboration.

Clemson also recently announced the inaugural GHS faculty fellows, naming professors Frances Kennedy and Joel Williams to the positions where they will serve as leaders in collaborative health research between Clemson and GHS.

Kennedy and Williams will be strategically embedded in a GHS department, shifting their focus from their regular teaching duties to developing a comprehensive research agenda with their GHS department.

“The faculty fellow will produce research to improve the health of the community with their clinical partners,” Sherrill said. “Their research will also contribute to the rapidly expanding joint Clemson University and GHS collaborative research agenda through publications and presentations.”

An accounting professor, Kennedy will collaborate with the health finance department at GHS to research, develop and evaluate health care costing models. Williams, an associate professor in public health sciences, will be embedded in the pediatrics department to collaborate with physicians to transform the management, assessment and treatment of chronic pediatric diseases.

Clemson athletes excelling off the field as well

InTheseHills-Athletes-ExcelAll of Clemson’s 19 athletic programs exceeded the NCAA baseline Academic Progress Rate thresholds for the 2013-14 year, according to data released by the NCAA.

The APR is a real-time measure of eligibility and retention of student-athletes competing on every Division I sports team. Out of a possible score of 1,000, teams have to have a threshold score of at least 930 to avoid possible sanctions. A score of 930 projects a 50-percent graduation success rate.

Clemson’s teams didn’t just meet the minimum. Football, women’s golf and women’s diving were recognized for their multiyear total ranking among the top 10 percent of all programs. The football program is one of only five Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs ranked in the top 10 percent each of the last five years. Clemson is the only FBS program nationally to finish each of the last four seasons in the top 25 of both polls on the field, and in the top 10 percent of APR scores in the classroom.

During the 2013-14 academic year, a remarkable 12 programs posted perfect 1,000 single-year scores, and each of the 19 programs posted a multi-year rate of over 950.

Bradley named honorary alumna

Lifelong-Mary-BradleyReferring to her as “one of the University’s most enthusiastic and dedicated champions,” the Alumni Association has named Mary Dalby Bradley an honorary alumna for her lifelong devotion and demonstrated loyalty.

“Mary Bradley has earned her way into the Clemson Family with a smile on her face each step of the way,” said President Emeritus James F. Barker in his nomination. “After they were married, she and Phil moved into married student housing in our prefabs. This began a lifelong love affair for Mary with all things Clemson.”

The Bradleys have become well known for hosting meetings of Clemson in the Lowcountry — a group that keeps alumni in the Charleston area in touch with one another and with the University — at their home on Johns Island, where they have built a “tavern” next to the main house that is decked out from top to bottom in Clemson paraphernalia.

Barker noted that Bradley also has been joyful in her financial support of Clemson, making a gift with her husband that supports more than 4,000 students each year through the Creative Inquiry undergraduate research program.

To see a list of past honorary alumni or to view award guidelines, visit and click on “Awards.”

Class of ’65 celebrates Clemson ties, generosity

LifeLong-Class65collageFifty years after they walked the stage to receive their diplomas, nearly 100 alumni from the Class of 1965 presented the school a check for $1,227,872 to help future students do the same.

The group gathered near the Class of 1965 sidewalk — a shady path that cuts under the lush oak trees of Fort Hill — to celebrate their Golden Tiger Reunion and present the check to President James P. Clements.

Clements praised the group for their initiative and dedication.

“We cannot thank you enough for establishing this scholarship fund to help students have the same great Clemson experience that you all had,”
he said. “I am so grateful for your forward thinking that will help students for generations to come.”

The Class of 1965 Scholarship Endowment was established in 1989. It made the class one of the first to establish a scholarship in conjunction with its 25th reunion. The class members’ goal was to get the endowment to at least $25,000 by their 25th reunion, and they far exceeded that goal with $43,000 by the time they gathered to celebrate.

The endowment has been growing and regularly providing support for Clemson students ever since.

Lifelong-Kaci-Bennettclass65Rising senior Kaci Bennett, a recipient of Class of 1965 scholarships three years in a row, took the podium to thank them for their generosity.

“I am so excited and incredibly honored to be able to thank each and every one of you for this generous gift,” she said. “As an out-of-state student, part of the reason I chose to go to Clemson was because of the feeling of the Clemson Family. Seeing all of you here today shows me how strong the Clemson Family is.”

“When we started planning our 50th reunion, we decided to put our focus on building our scholarship endowment to a truly significant level,” said Gary Faulkenberry of the 50th reunion planning committee. “We reflected on the many years and the many ways that we have benefited from the education that we received at Clemson. Clemson did not just teach us how to make a living, it also prepared us to make a life. In gratitude for that, we decided that we would use this opportunity — our golden anniversary — to make a lasting impression of our own for future Clemson students.”

Their endowment will do just that, said Clements.

“At the end of this ceremony, you will take a walk down your senior class sidewalk where you will see your names etched into the pavement,” he said. “But, because of your scholarship endowment, the legacy you are leaving behind is much bigger than that. Your legacy is represented by each of the students who benefit from your generosity.”

The contribution to the endowment is part of the Will to Lead for Clemson capital campaign to raise $1 billion to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research. Including the endowment, the class has given a total of $15,122,050 to Clemson initiatives.

While the Class of ’65 was celebrating their 50th, alumni from classes ranging from 1939 to 1967 made it the largest reunion in 10 years.