When I reflect on the past 10 years at Clemson, I’m flooded with thousands of amazing memories that I’ve shared with many of you. At Clemson, “there’s something special in these hills,” and that something special is the Clemson Family. From congratulating more than 63,000 graduates as they earned their degrees, celebrating major research awards that impact countless lives, and honoring our military heritage and mission as a land-grant institution to cheering on the Tigers with more than 80,000 fans in Death Valley and highlighting the incredible generosity of our donors, my experiences here at Clemson are special because of each of you. Clemson is also special because of how we live and carry out our core values: Integrity, Respect, Diversity, Patriotism, Excellence and Self-Reliance. These values are at the heart of what it means to be a Clemson Tiger.
I’m excited about where we’re headed as a university and know that even more wonderful memories will be made in the years to come. People ask me what my favorite thing is here at Clemson, and there are many traditions and events that I love, but any time spent with the Clemson Family, especially our students, is my favorite. Thinking through some of our traditions — Convocation, Ring Ceremonies, Commencement Ceremonies, the President’s Cookout, First Friday, Homecoming, Military Appreciation Week, the Spring Game and so many others — they are all my favorites because I’m able to spend time with many of you.
This past decade, Clemson has continued setting records across the University — in academics, research, student success, athletics, fundraising and facilities, to name just a few — breaking those records and then breaking them again. And while I’m honored to be the 15th president of Clemson University, I want to take the time to say thank you because your dedication and commitment to Clemson are what continue to drive us forward.
I also want to take a moment and thank Clemson’s First Lady and my wife of 33 years, Beth Clements. She is the rock of our family and has always supported me and the University. My family has more than doubled in size since we arrived at Clemson in 2013, and we are blessed to call Clemson our home.
I’m grateful for the Board of Trustees’ continued leadership and their support throughout the past 10 years and in the years to come. I also want to thank President Emeritus Barker for setting the stage for success. The value of the Tiger Paw has never been higher, and I’m grateful for the foundation that has allowed us to continue elevating Clemson and impacting the lives of our communities for generations to come.
I’m proud to be a Clemson Tiger, the 15th President of this great University and a part of the Clemson Family. Thank you for an incredible decade of success and GO TIGERS!
10 Highlights of a Decade of Success
- Applications have more than tripled, from 18,000 to over 60,000 for 4,500 first-year spots, and Clemson is educating 20% more students from South Carolina.
- Undergraduate National Merit Scholar winners have increased by 500%.
- Graduation rates are at an all-time high at 70.7% (four-year) and 87.9% (six-year), and President Clements has signed the diplomas of more than 63,000 students, representing more than one-third of 180,000 living alumni.
RESEARCH AND STATE IMPACT
- Clemson first received R1 status, the highest designation a research university can be awarded, in 2015 and was reaffirmed in 2018 and 2021.
- Total research and development expenditures are at an all-time high of $263 million.
- Key partnerships with industry have been created, Innovation Campuses have been elevated, and Clemson is now launching South Carolina’s first College of Veterinary Medicine.
FUNDRAISING AND FACILITIES
- Through fundraising, more than $1.72 billion has been raised, and Clemson’s endowment has doubled to an all-time high of more than $1 billion.
- Investments in construction projects are the largest set in University history, creating necessary space for students, faculty and staff.
- A championship culture in athletics and throughout the University has been created. Clemson has won national championships in football and men’s soccer, individual national championships in men’s track and field and men’s golf, and 16 ACC Championships.
- Multiple No. 1 overall picks in professional drafts.