It is hard to believe that more than a year has passed since we first received news of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a year of reimagining education in ways we never thought possible. We have masked up and maintained our physical distance, and as I write this, current positive test rates on campus are less than 0.5 percent for students and 0.3 percent for faculty and staff. As we look toward fall, we are planning on returning to classes and activities in person. And for that, we are all grateful.
Once again, we have learned that Clemson Tigers are a persistent and determined bunch.
In this issue of Clemson World, you’ll read about one of our most determined alumni — Col. Ben Skardon ’38. At 103, he walked a mile a day for eight days this spring to commemorate the Bataan Death March and to honor the fellow servicemen and friends he lost. You’ll also read about Michael Allen ’99, who has taken on the transformation of the Echo Theater from a home for the Ku Klux Klan to a community space focused on reconciliation and hope.
An equally determined faculty member, Professor Srikanth Pilla, is now heading up the Clemson Composites Center, a one-stop-shop for academic research, design, development and real-world manufacturing solutions. He didn’t drive a car until he was 21 years old, but he’s now collaborating with students and researchers on applications of academic research designed to net huge gains for the automotive industry.
I know it’s been a challenging year for all of us. If we learn nothing else from it, I hope that we learn how much we need each other, and how interconnected our lives are. Thank you for being a part of the Clemson Family, and I hope to see you on campus this fall.