Faculty, staff, students and other well-wishers thanked President James Barker for his 14 years of service to the university after he announced he is retiring as president and returning to teaching.
The president shared in a livestream video message to the campus today that he will continue to lead the university until his successor is on board.
“Clemson has come a very long way under Jim Barker’s leadership, said Kelly Smith, Clemson’s Faculty Senate president. “It will be difficult to find a replacement who cares as much about Clemson and is able to bring diverse constituencies together as well as he did.”
Angela Nixon, Clemson’s staff senate president added, “President Barker has done so much to support Staff Senate during his career as president. However, I know he is looking forward to getting back into the classroom as a teacher, so I am happy that he will be able to do that. I am also excited about the possibilities the future holds for Clemson with the transition to a new president.”
Immediately after Barker’s broadcast, Clemson students, alumni, clubs and friends took to Twitter to thank Barker for his leadership and to send well wishes to the president.
Here’s a sampling of the messages:
Casey Bolt @KCBolt
Well now I’m happy I decided to wear a #Clemson shirt today. Honoring Pres. Barker for his years of service to the #Tigers. #ClemsonFamily
Thank you, President Barker, for your many years of service! Your work on our behalf has been invaluable.
A #clemson tiger, always. #thankyoubarker pic.twitter.com/6hxmjRZ0oU
ATO Clemson @ATOClemson
Thank you President Barker for everything you have done for Clemson and the students! You will be missed & will always be a Clemson Man.
Clemson Young Alumni @ClemYoungAlumni
Thank you President Barker for your 14 years of service as Clemson’s 14th President! #ManOfClass #ClemsonsOwn #GoTigers
Jackie Alexander @jackiealexander
Sad to hear that President Barker is retiring. He’s been a great friend and ally to Student Media.
The university has set up a Web page for those who want to share send personal messages to Barker: http://blogs.clemson.edu/best-wishes/dear-clemson-personal/ In just a few hours, more than 200 people have added their well wishes.