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.”