Creative Campus At Clemson University

Once again, I had the distinct honour and privilege of participating in Adobe's latest Creative Campus event, this time on location at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Clemson is - without doubt - the place where Creative Campus came into being. At the very least, the seeds were sown with this ground-breaking strategic partnership between Adobe and Clemson.

This story is more about my own thoughts and interpretations of the Clemson Creative Campus event. For a complete summary of the event’s activities, be sure to click the link below.

The effort that Adobe consistently makes for this educational event is - to me - nothing short of amazing. Bringing faculty, staff, students and executives from across the continent together to learn and share, while Adobe people essentially take a back seat to the proceedings. Even though I no longer teach in a classroom, I always come back from these events energized, excited and proud to work at Adobe.

Rough Weather Ahead

Getting to Clemson in Mid-April shouldn't be a big deal. However, with Toronto in the middle of an ice storm, and other parts of the North Eastern US being hit with snow and wind, it took me the better part of 13 hours to finally get on campus. But hey, minor travel ordeals (flight delays, cancellations, rebooking on the go) just build character, right?


Evening Reception

Seriously though, the Clemson campus and facilities are gorgeous. Most of our time was spent at the Clyde Madren Conference Center and James Martin Inn, surrounded by parkland, on the shore of Hartwell Lake.

Morning view of the golf course and Hartwell Lake

Tempermental weather aside, this Creative Campus was still very well attended (116 people from 31 universities and colleges!). Our marketing director, Lisa Deakes, had planned a lovely outdoor buffet reception and dinner, overlooking the beautiful Hartwell Lake, on the grounds of the Inn.

The weather still had something to share however; a crisp, brisk wind blew heavily off the lake on Monday, making for a somewhat chilly dinner at the outdoor Owen Pavilion.

The brisk wind off the lake made for some jovial conversations around the heat towers!

The weather did not discourage our hearty guests, however; the elements were braved for dinner and drinks, and then we all wandered back inside the James Marten Inn to warm up, chat about the weather and get to know each other better.

Marketing Director, Lisa Deakes, brought round after round of hot chocolate to the guests.

Despite the chilly, windy evening, after dinner I took the time to head down to the shore, and capture a 30-second exposure of the sunset. You can see from the photo that the clouds were definitely being pushed around.

Lakeside morning
More photos from my morning walk-about.

Day 2 - The Heart of the Matter

Like Creative Campus events of the past, Day 2 is the real heart of the matter. Faculty, leadership and students share not only how Creative Cloud on campus became a reality, but also how to get these tools into curriculum and make use of them to create compelling, engaging learning materials and student work.

Oh, and did I mention? The weather definitely got much better!

Break Time = Networking Time

While the presentations are always interesting and informative, it's the dynamic that evolves during the breaks that continues to fascinate me. Total strangers connecting, sharing, laughing and brainstorming. The seeds of new friendships and professional relationships are planted during these social times.

Great conversations and connections happen during the the breaks and evening meals.
There was a powerful, positive vibe throughout the event.
Afternoon Sessions
Campus Tour - Adobe Digital Studio and the Watt’s Center
Dinner at the Littlejohn Coliseum Club
I had a wonderful conversation with representatives from St. Joseph University during our dinner. Being a former teacher myself, we found a lot of common ground in not just our educational beliefs, but also in what Adobe is doing in the education sphere.
Creative Cloud in the Curriculum - Workshop

Workshop day, presented by UNC’s Todd Taylor and Clemson’s April O’Brian is where the rubber hits the road. All the presentations and conversations from the prior day, move from conceptual theory to practical application. Seeing the virtual light bulbs appear over the heads of the faculty in the workshop is so exciting, and I’m not even teaching!

Workshop Dinner at the Galley Restaurant

A beautiful location for the final dinner, just steps from the water and a stunning marine sunset.

Next Stop - Utah!

This coming June, the latest iteration of this highly successful event will be at the "U" - the University of Utah. I'm looking forward to once again documenting and taking an active role at Creative Campus.

Created By
Jim Babbage


All photography created by Jim Babbage

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