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B-Note April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020

Greetings fellow Tigers!

The Clemson Family thrives on our ability to come together. From crowds of 80,000 in Death Valley cheering for the Tigers to graduation where we celebrate the ultimate accomplishment of our students to gathering with our fellow alumni to reminisce, Clemson Tigers are always there. The Clemson Family is never stronger than when we unite to support our fellow Tigers, and today’s health crisis is bringing us together in extraordinary ways.

To help alleviate financial and social distancing concerns about securing non-COVID-19 medical care, Clemson University’s Joseph F. Sullivan Center will provide virtual clinic visits at no cost to University employees, alumni and families through June 30. Operated by Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, the Sullivan Center is an interdisciplinary health center serving University employees and communities across South Carolina. Through this service, patients will have secure virtual visits with one of the Sullivan Center’s nurse practitioners to address non-COVID-19 issues. You can learn more about the Sullivan Center virtual clinic here.

New York Post recently shared an article highlighting how to grocery shop safely and as infrequently as possible. The article shared advice from many experts, including food scientist Kimberly Baker, food systems and safety program director at Clemson. Baker explains that wiping down your cart with sanitizing wipes — or paper towels soaked in hand sanitizer — goes a long way in stopping the spread of COVID-19. She has also joined other experts in recommending people shop at open-air farmers’ markets as long as they practice caution with social distancing. Baker also suggests planting your own gardens to decrease visits to the grocery store.

The Clemson Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC) is helping you get started planting your own garden by providing charts, fact sheets and other valuable information here. Planting home gardens helps people ensure fresh, nutritious food for their families, ease the psychological turmoil of these difficult times and help kids stuck at home engage with the outdoors. For parents who have suddenly found themselves in a home-school situation, this is a perfect time to use what’s in the garden to expand on what has been learned in classrooms. Clemson Extension agents are also sharing gardening knowledge via their Facebook page.

gardening tip and tools through Clemson University

The generosity, compassion and engagement of our Clemson Family has never been more important than it is right now. And it’s urgently needed. Many of our fellow Tigers are facing unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19, but Clemson is committed to providing the support our students, faculty and staff need during these difficult times. Under the Division of Student Affairs, we have a Student Emergency Fund that helps provide financial support for students struggling with unforeseen emergencies. We have also set up a Staff and Faculty Emergency Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our Clemson employees. If you’re able to do so, please make your secure online gift here. During these unprecedented and uncertain times, we are reminded even more of the power of philanthropy and the impact of every gift.

Amidst the challenges many of us are facing with COVID-19, our local community was devastatingly impacted by strong storms and tornadoes early Monday morning. The severe storms swept across many states, and the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-3 tornado touched down south of Westminster and passed through Seneca before ending north of Clemson.

Some Clemson employees’ homes sustained damage, and others lost everything. Additionally, some faculty and staff continue to be without power and cannot perform their job duties from home. But we can always count on our Clemson family and local community to step up to help their neighbors in need. It has been inspiring to see so many volunteers lend a hand to those who need it – through donations of food and water and clean-up assistance. Please keep those affected in your thoughts as they recover from the destruction caused to their homes, businesses and places of employment. If you have been affected or looking for ways to assist others, you can find a list of resources here. You can also give to Tigers Helping Tigers, which provides the Clemson Family with financial support during times of uncertainty.

A volunteer with Heartbeat Oconee, Gunderson’s Outreach, and Wildwater rafting company (right) delivers hot meals to a victim of the Seneca, S.C. tornado that swept through the town at about 3:30 a.m. April 13, 2020. The group had handed out ten pallets of ice donated by Reddy Ice as well as clothes earlier in the day. Clemson alumna Deb Conklin is the chief executive officer of Reddy Ice. (Photo by Ken Scar)
Caption: A volunteer with Heartbeat Oconee, Gunderson’s Outreach, and Wildwater rafting company (right) delivered hot meals to a victim of the Seneca, S.C. tornado that swept through the town on April 13, 2020. The group handed out clothes as well as ten pallets of ice donated by Reddy Ice. Clemson alumna Deb Conklin is the chief executive officer of Reddy Ice. (Photo by Ken Scar)

We need the support and encouragement of our fellow Tigers now more than ever. And while the current pandemic has impeded our ability to gather together, the Clemson University Alumni Association is providing us with opportunities to stay engaged with one another virtually. This week, Bubba Britton hosted Will Henderson, Clemson University’s assistant director of the Social Media Listening Center, during a live interview on Facebook to discuss social media’s place in a pandemic world and beyond. You can watch Bubba’s full interview with Will here.

Bubba will host Tim Bourret, retired Clemson Athletics sports and information director, at 6 p.m. tonight on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page. Known as “Clemson Google,” Tim will share Clemson Athletics stats and history. I hope you will continue to join the Alumni Association virtually so you can stay engaged with your fellow Tigers. It’s times like these that we need each other the most. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones!

Go Tigers!

Brian O’Rourke