We did it. One billion dollars.
The largest campaign goal ever achieved by a public university with an alumni base the size of Clemson's and the largest fundraising effort in our state's history. It's an amount that's hard to even comprehend, and an accomplishment of which we can all be proud. We thought it might be helpful to break it down just a bit.
What DOES a billion dollars do for Clemson?
The amount raised over the 10-year life of the Will to Lead for Clemson campaign is an impressive figure. What is more important is the number of people who came together to make that possible: alumni and friends, parents and students, faculty and staff. And most important of all is the impact of these gifts on the students we serve. Here's a snapshot of the campaign: money raised, gifts given, scholarships established, professorships created and more.
The Gift of a Second Chance
Endowment that honors Clemson's 14th president continues to solidify futures.
By Liz Tew
James F. Barker ’70 stepped down in 2013 after serving 14 years as Clemson’s 14th president. His career spanned almost every possible role in the Clemson family: student, alumnus, parent, faculty, administrator, president. His Clemson journey would not have been possible, however, without the help he received through a need-based scholarship.
In discussions of how to honor the Barkers for their service, the perfect solution emerged: an endowment in Jim and Marcia Barker’s names that would provide need-based scholarships for undergraduates. And so the Barker Scholars Endowment was established.
Jan Childress, a longtime Clemson supporter, became involved with the endowment on day one. As chair of the endowment, she was actively involved in raising funds. “It was so easy to call someone up because not only did people want to honor the Barkers, but they also believed in Jim because he had needed help to finish his education,” she said. In addition to honoring the Barkers for their service, “it was also a great way to say to students that we’re here for them, their education is very important, we want them to have the opportunity to finish, and if they run into a hardship, there are funds available.”
Pageland native Jarrett Miller is one of those students. Miller always had his heart set on Tigertown and was more than excited when he transferred from York County Technical College and became an official member of the Clemson family. However, in fall 2015 he learned that he might have to put his college plans on hold due to a lack of funds.
A few months after learning this, the accounting major received a call from financial aid to let him know he had been selected as a recipient of the Barker Scholars Endowment. “They told me I was covered, and still to this day I don’t know what to say. I’m just so happy and thankful,” he said. Because of this scholarship, Miller didn’t have to leave his dream school after all.
“We’ve heard stories about students who have received it. It will bring you to tears at the urgency. It’s so very emotional and raw when they get to the point that they won’t be able to finish their education without some help, and for that scholarship to be available — unrestricted — it has made a difference in lives,” said Childress. “That’s really why I was involved in it.”
The scholarship has impacted Miller in more ways than one. “It has taken stress off my shoulders, enabled me to be more calm, more relaxed and focus on what’s important — getting an education and building toward the future. It’s a start, and I can’t wait to see the end,” he said.
Miller admits that his Clemson journey has taught him to set the bar high and put forth his best effort. After graduation, he plans to achieve his graduate degree followed by a career in the accounting field.
“The most rewarding aspect is the potential you have to make a difference in someone’s life. Giving is a pathway to success, and it gives me great joy to know what I’m giving here at Clemson is producing productive adults who are also giving back. It’s a cycle that keeps on giving,” said Childress.
The Barker Scholars Endowment celebrates Jim and Marcia Barker as well as second chances. Because of the commitment of the Clemson Family, students’ futures have been and continue to be solidified. The Barkers and generous donors like Childress, who contributed to this endowment, are thrilled to see what they had envisioned become a reality.
From One Family to Another
Clemson family helps student take next step in college career.
By Liz Tew
Pittsburg native Amanda Todd was packing up to head back south to begin her sophomore year at Clemson when her family received the horrific news that her father had been diagnosed with a significant brain tumor. An extensive 14-hour surgery followed by many unforeseen complications put the Todd family in a difficult financial situation.
At the time, two of Todd’s three older siblings were enrolled in college as well, which only made things more financially difficult for the family. It wasn’t long before the out-of-state student came face-to-face with the possibility of having to leave Clemson and attend a community college or even drop out. But Todd was determined not to leave the school she had developed such a strong love for. To her, that wasn’t an option.
Todd thought of all the possibilities and eventually decided to reach out to President Clements. “President Clements and I were both ‘freshman’ at the same time. I lived in Clemson House my freshman year, and he lived on the top floor while the president’s house was being prepared,” she said. “I would often run into him on the elevators. We ended up becoming pals. We ate lunch together in the dining hall and became close.”
President Clements was aware of Todd’s potential and the love she had for the University, and with his help she was able to receive funds from Clemson’s Leadership Circle. These unrestricted funds, made available by generous donors, enabled Todd to come back to Clemson for the fall semester, giving her family time to sort through things back home, including their finances. “I was so happy because if I had to go anywhere else other than Clemson, that would have made it so much harder to deal with everything going on. That semester was incredibly difficult, especially with my dad being in the ICU, and my friends here are the people who helped me get through it all.”
Because Todd didn’t have to take time off or transfer to another school, she has stayed on track and looks forward to pursing physical therapy school after graduating in 2017. “The experience with my dad was really eye-opening. My dad had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat — pretty much everything. When he was in the ICU, the only thing he could move was his fingers, and I was able to work with the physical therapists and help him relearn to walk and take his first steps. It was so amazing. I just want to be able to help people get their lives back and get back to where they were,” she said.
Thanks to generous donors, Todd has been able to continue to grow and thrive at Clemson, all while making memories she’ll never forget. “Clemson means family. Clemson is coming back after a long break and seeing all the tiger paws as you get near Clemson. It’s watching the sun set over Tillman and the lake. Clemson is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said.
Will to Lead campaign leadership
Just as it took the insight and vision of Thomas and Anna Clemson, along with others, to ensure the future of Clemson University, so it took these leaders to step forward, devoting time and resources to the success of this campaign.
And this group was not satisfied when we reached what we thought was an ambitious goal of $600 million. Backed by the enthusiasm, dedication and sacrifice of the Clemson family, they laid down the biggest challenge of all: Raise $1 billion in support of the students, faculty, staff and programs that make Clemson great.
We could not have done it without this group of leaders and “thank you” sounds terribly insufficient. They have followed in the steps of our founder to ensure that Clemson University remains great.
The following served as chairs, co-chairs or honorary chairs during the course of the ten-year campaign.
- James F. Barker ’70
- James P. Creel Sr. ’61
- Philip H. Prince ’49, HD ’95
- E. Smyth McKissick III ’79
- Betty Sheppard Poe
- Kelly C. Davies ’86
- Richard “Rich” Davies ’86
The following served Clemson as members of the Will to Lead Executive Campaign Committee, many graciously serving for multiple years during the course of the campaign.
- Marcia Barker HA ’01
- James E. Bostic Jr. ’69, Ph.D.’72
- Jan E. Childress
- James P. Clements
- Carolyn W. Creel ’61
- Harry Frampton ’67
- Mike Gill
- Becky Hash
- Tom Hash ’69
- Leon J. “Bill” Hendrix Jr. ’63
- C. Tycho Howle ’71, ’73
- Roy Jeffcoat ’55
- Patti H. McAbee HA ’00
- Albert Dial McAlister
- Robert “Bobby” McCormick ’72, M ’74
- Les McCraw ’56°
- Stuart C. McWhorter ’91
- Mark Mitchell ’83, Ph.D. ’87
- Carole W. Oakley ’71
- Michael Dean Perry ’05
- Mark Richardson ’83
- David P. Rochester ’68
- Ken Smith ’81
- Charles Sullivan ’66
- A. J. “Buddy” Thompson Jr. ’69
- Joseph J. Turner Jr. ’71, M ’77
- Bill Vandiver ’64
- Charles K. Watt ’59
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The following have served as trustees since July 1, 2006, when the campaign began, to June 30, 2016.
- Bill L. Amick ’66°
- Louis P. Batson Jr. ’48*
- J.J. Britton ’58
- Fletcher C. Derrick Jr. ’55*
- W. G. DesChamps ’38*°
- David E. Dukes ’81
- Lawrence Gressette H’ 80°
- Leon J. “Bill” Hendrix Jr. ’63
- Harold “Doug” Kingsmore ’55*
- Ronald “Ronnie” D. Lee ’76
- Thomas C. Lynch°
- Louis B. Lynn ’70, M ’72
- Patti H. McAbee HA ’00
- Paul McAlister ’41*°
- John N. “Nicky” McCarter Jr. ’80
- Les McCraw ’56 °
- E. Smyth McKissick III ’79
- Thomas B. McTeer Jr. ’60
- Robert L. Peeler ’74
- Mark S. Richardson ’83
- William C. Smith Jr. ’82
- Joseph D. Swann ’63
- Les Tindal*
- Kim Wilkerson ’80
- David H. Wilkins ’68
- Allen P. Wood ’75*
* Emeriti during this time period. ° These members of the Clemson family are now deceased
When everything was said and done, the Clemson family not only reached the goal of $1 billion, we surpassed it, giving a total $1,062,528,346.
There are countless stories of generosity and scores of lives that have been changed for the better. What we've witness throughout this campus is that Clemson people are open-hearted and generous, determined, loyal and dedicated.
And our message to you, the members of the Clemson family, last the end of this one campaign but at the beginning of a bright future, is this:
THANKS A BILLION.