Sue Brugnolie Stanzione was a first-generation American who emigrated to the U.S. from Italy. She moved to Hartsville in 1959 with her family. Only a few years later her husband died, leaving her the single parent of five children, two of whom, Bob and Dan, were students at Clemson.
Dan’s roommate at Clemson, Goz Segars, also from Hartsville, remembers how much respect everyone had for Sue and for how she held the family together in difficult times. Almost 50 years later, Sue Stanzione’s name now graces the Distinguished Professorship of ClemsonLIFE, held by its founder and executive director, Joe Ryan. That professorship, made possible thanks to a generous gift by Bob and Kaye Stanzione, will make a difference in the lives of countless generations of ClemsonLIFE students.
ClemsonLIFE (Learning is for Everyone) allows students with special needs the opportunity to attend Clemson and receive the full college experience while learning the skills to lead independent lives. As President Clements said, “What ClemsonLIFE does for its students is simply remarkable, and it is the embodiment of the very best nature of the Clemson family.”
Bob and Kaye Stanzione began their married life in campus housing, and all three of their children attended Clemson. A 1969 graduate, Bob is executive chair of ARRIS Group, a global communications technology leader. Kaye is an active volunteer and serves on the ClemsonLIFE advisory board.
Fabio Tambosi spent his childhood with a soccer ball rolling at his feet. Soccer came naturally to him, and he moved from playing in the streets of Brazil to playing in the youth academy of a professional club in São Paulo.
It was here that Tambosi received his first pair of cleats — two freshly worn Nike Tiempos from Zé Roberto, a living soccer legend. “I was walking out of the locker room after practice and [Zé Roberto] said, ‘Hey shorty, what’re you doing? Do you want some shoes?’” Tambosi said. “That pair lasted me another two years.”
These days, Tambosi isn’t bumming cleats off the most famous players in the world — he’s partnering with world-class athletes to sell them. As the director of global football brand marketing at Nike, Tambosi is a leading voice for an iconic brand.
It’s a dream job, but he took a long journey to attain it. Early on, Tambosi played forward for the men’s soccer team at Clemson where he helped the team to an ACC Tournament championship in 2001. “The atmosphere at this school, it’s contagious,” Tambosi said. “You get there, and on a weekend when there are a lot of sports happening, you get a real sense of the community. You have the sense of being part of a family.”
Tambosi hasn’t left that family behind, despite his success. He stays involved as a board member at the Erwin Center for Brand Communications, where he helps students develop advertising and marketing skills. “There’s nothing better than being recognized by my alma mater and going back and giving back what Clemson has given to me,” Tambosi said.
Tambosi wants students to understand that it isn’t possible to fulfill one’s dreams without risking failure. He knows this to be true because he has risked it all. In 2012 he was working a stable, well-paying job in London for Nokia. But, Tambosi wasn’t satisfied — he had other ideas. “I wanted to go back to sports, and I wanted to have a role in the World Cup in Brazil. And I wanted to work for Nike,” Tambosi said.
So, he quit Nokia, and left for Brazil in January 2013. While he had no job offer on the table, he told everyone he was going to work at Nike. Once in Brazil, he spent his time networking with Nike employees, which eventually helped land him a job as Nike brand manager for the 2014 World Cup. “Growing up playing football at a very high level in Brazil, it was a dream to play in the World Cup,” Tambosi said. “I didn’t have the opportunity to do it as a player. But I had the opportunity to live the World Cup, to impact the World Cup, personally, in Brazil through my job.”
When the World Cup ended, Tambosi stayed on with Nike. Now Tambosi can stay in touch with the game he loves, the game for which he has crossed borders and risked professional failure. That passion, that commitment, is something he wants to impart to Clemson students and young people everywhere. “Know where you want to go,” Tambosi said. “Don’t be afraid to fail, and follow your dream.”
— Glenn Bertram ’18
The Poes are one of the many spirited families that make up the sea of orange and purple at Clemson’s Death Valley during football season. Tailgating outside of the stadium and clapping along to the beat of “Tiger Rag” are traditions David and Jade have been participating in since they were students. But when the chips and dip are gone and the Cadence Count has ended, the couple’s alma mater is not forgotten. The Poes’ blood runs orange, and they take pride in supporting Clemson in numerous ways.
A 1994 graduate, David Poe found the University’s environment to be the perfect place for him to grow both intellectually and socially. He formed lifelong relationships through his involvement in many campus organizations including Greek life and Student Alumni Council.
For Jade Poe, a 2004 alumna, college was less of a certainty. “I was raised by a single mother, so I didn’t know if I would be able to afford college. Thanks to Clemson’s generous alumni, I received a scholarship and was the first in my family to graduate from college,” she said. “Clemson was more than the friendships I made and the football games. It was an opportunity I didn’t think I would have.”
It is important to the Poes that they do their part to provide future Tigers the same memorable experience they had as students. Not only does the couple support the Clemson Forever Fund annually, they have also included the University in their will. “Clemson was founded based on a gift from Thomas Green Clemson. I think it is neat that we can contribute to Clemson using the same method, and it is a great way to make Clemson part of our legacy,” said David Poe.
“I was able to attend Clemson because of the scholarships I received, and donating allows me to give that same opportunity to students who were in my position. Knowing that my donation can help students continue their education so they can have a successful career is very rewarding,” said Jade.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two recent graduates and an assistant professor of theater are teaching and learning in Europe this year, thanks to the Fulbright Program.
Rick St. PeterAssistant professor Richard St. Peter has been named a Fulbright Scholar as a visiting professor at the University of Craiova in Romania. Throughout the 2016-17 academic year he is teaching contemporary American and British theater as well as Shakespeare performance.
St. Peter hopes his time in Romania will blaze a trail for students who want to study abroad. “We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to go abroad during their time at Clemson,” he said. “It just seems like that’s becoming more and more of a priority for universities. The world is getting smaller and smaller. And there is the opportunity for our students to see that the theater is a global marketplace. Ultimately, they’re going to be able to work anywhere.”
Courtney Fink ’16 and Jenna Kohles ’15 are also in Europe for the 2016-17 academic year as part of the Fulbright Student Program.
Fink, of Orland Park, Illinois, graduated with a degree in history, a minor in Spanish and a degree in secondary education. She will be a teaching assistant at the Institute of Secondary Education Manuel Fraga Iribarne in Spain. Her main job will be to prepare students for the model U.N. program.
Kohles, of Cary, North Carolina, earned her degree in wildlife and fisheries biology. She will use her Fulbright grant to begin a master’s program in biology with a focus in ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Konstanz and Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany. Her research will explore the social lives of a common bat species, which will help predict how bat colonies can persist through emerging environmental stresses such as climate change, habitat destruction and disease.
In existence since 1946, the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. government, is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
While looking for internships at Clemson, Seldric Blocker was plucked for a program with First Union. But not for banking or financial needs; it was human resources. Now he’s the director of campus recruiting, shaping paths for future generations of network newsies and entertainment execs as the director of NBCUniversal’s talent acquisition campus programs, Campus2Career.
Each year he fields more than 42,000 applications for about 2,000 spring, summer and fall internships. In the last three years he’s managed more than 5,500 interns, including 300 added to cover the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
Part of Blocker’s job has entailed streamlining the Campus2Career program so there is a standard NBCUniversal experience at each campus they visit, and across all internships and all markets, including their London and Singapore programs. “Flawless execution” is how Blocker defines it. “We want them to have a great experience, even if they decide this isn’t what they want to do long term,” he said. “We want them to leave more curious than when they came in. We want them to have fun.”
Lessons he learned from his own academic and career experience very much inform how he mentors others. He encourages those that come through his office to take advantage of study abroad, be more ambitious and take more risks. One of the ways Blocker and his team allow interns to have fun and take ownership of their internship is through NBCUniversal storytelling. “The students are digital natives, and we encourage them to craft and tell the NBCUniversal story through a multifaceted approach, whether that’s Snapchat or some other social platform. They have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening next and are brand ambassadors for future generations of interns.”
Blocker is also focused on building diversity across NBCUniversal’s platforms. “We are looking for people who have demonstrated their leadership on campus. We employ a wide variety of majors and backgrounds. They don’t just have to have a passion for media and the entertainment industry. We want to know what you can take from your background and bring to the table to help us tell a more well-rounded story,” said Blocker.
Even after hanging strong in the financial sector through the economic downturn of 2008, Blocker said navigating the media industry at first was a new, interesting beast. “It was tough at first. In the media you have a lot of creative people who have a competitive edge, and you’re managing a first-impression for a major media brand,” said Blocker. Blocker said the experience at NBCUniversal has taught him to meet people where they are, and that being relatable is a skillset that transcends any workplace environment. “[Clemson’s] academic environment did a good job of fostering a sense of responsibility and ownership and made me feel like I belong,” he said. “I want to give others that sense of feeling like they belong, too.”
Melvin K. and Dollie Younts, passionate Clemson fans and philanthropists from Fountain Inn, pledged the sixth Cornerstone Gift to athletics. The recently renovated 600-seat South Club area at Memorial Stadium has been named the Melvin and Dollie Younts South Club in appreciation of their $2.5 million commitment, announced in August.
“Melvin and Dollie have been tremendous supporters of various institutions and initiatives throughout the Upstate,” said President Clements. “We’re thankful for their support of our athletics programs and the impact their gift will have on student-athletes and Clemson fans for generations to come.”
The Clemson Athletic Cornerstone Program is a vital part of the new athletics facilities initiative. With new facilities, upgrades and rebuilds planned for or underway at football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and academic support, it is the most comprehensive change to the facilities of athletics ever undertaken at Clemson.
Melvin Younts, a retired attorney with the firm of Younts, Alford, Brown and Goodson, is trustee and chief executive officer of Palmetto Real Estate Trust. The Yountses are noted philanthropists in the Upstate, having contributed significantly to various community organizations.
Former NASA astronaut Mae C. Jemison gave the keynote address in Clemson’s opening convocation in August. Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel to space, flew aboard the space shuttle Endeavour in September 1992. Jemison described her life growing up in Chicago in the 1960s, saying that as a girl she could see unlimited possibilities for herself through the turbulence of those times. “All around me was this world that was filled with ideas and actions and choices that would change the course of human history, and I wanted to be a part of it. I always assumed I would go into space.”
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.