Mary Satcher “Sissy” Bynum ’84 and her late husband, Henry “Clarke” Bynum Jr. ’84, were a true Clemson couple. They met at freshman orientation and were married a month after graduation in 1984. Clemson has remained an important part of their family’s life ever since. Three of their four children and multiple family members are also Clemson graduates.
After Clarke Bynum passed away in 2007, Sissy Bynum knew that she wanted to give back to the place that had made such an impact on their life together and the life of their family. At the time, their daughter, Ann ’12, worked as a teacher at an inner-city St. Louis school. That experience made the family more aware of the disadvantages that many young people face who do not have the opportunity to go to college.
A first-generation college graduate herself, Bynum started to think about her estate plan and began a conversation with her children: “I talked to them about the opportunity to give to Clemson, and we all enthusiastically agreed that our family wanted to establish an endowment to benefit the FIRST Program.”
The Bynum family legacy is being realized through Sissy Bynum’s planned gift, to be known as the All Things Are Possible First-Generation Scholarship Endowment.
Clemson’s FIRST Program helps first-generation college freshmen and transfer students adjust to the college experience by offering a variety of opportunities and resources, from academic support to social activities.
It’s a mission that resonates with Sissy Bynum. “I want to leave a legacy that underscores my faith and the appreciation for all that Clemson has given me,” she said. “Clarke would want our family to do this.”