An Infectious Smile
Around that same time, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a baby boy was born to Ken and Mary Cadden and was destined to attend Clemson. As soon as he stepped foot on campus, Sam Cadden knew he was home. His warm and welcoming personality captivated everyone he met. His smile invited friendship in classes, in his fraternity and on the intramural field.
Cadden was involved in many activities during his two years at Clemson. A financial management major, he was active at St. Andrew Catholic Church, where he served on the finance council. He worked at M.H. Frank, the formal menswear shop in downtown Clemson, and interned for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and at the Terminus Group at Morgan Stanley. He was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and active with the Knights of Columbus. Sam Cadden didn’t just attend Clemson; he immersed himself in every way he could.
Clemson friend Katherine Nahigian Clowes remembers Cadden as being full of life. “Regardless of what Sam was doing,” she says, “he was going to do it with an infectious smile on his face and would give it his whole heart. He poured his love into everything and everyone.”
Clowes remembers that Cadden always had the ability to make everyone feel included. She recalls, “If Sam was around, no one was going to feel left out, whether that was on a beach trip with friends, studying in the library or just hanging out. He had a way of not just including you but making you feel as if you were the most important person in the room. I don’t know if Sam ever met a stranger.”
They came up with an event that would have made Sam smile. “Samapalooza was a benefit golf tournament, run and concert at the Esso Club,” she explains. “It gave all of us a way to grieve for Sam, but more importantly, it was a way to honor him.
“As college students, we didn’t have large donations that we could give to the chapel. But what we did have was time and a desire to help our friend’s legacy live on. Our group of friends came into this event with no funding and no organization. What we did have was one person who united us all. And we did exactly what Sam would have done; we did it with smiles on our faces, and we gave it all of our hearts.”