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Tillman Hall on Clemson Campus

B-Note April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

Greetings fellow Tigers!

More than 130 years ago, Thomas and Anna Clemson made a gift that created the Clemson University we all know and love today. Since then, our University has been celebrating our philanthropic roots and the impact of gifts on Clemson students today, tomorrow and forever. Expressing our gratitude for Thomas and Anna’s gift and each subsequent gift is also embedded in our University’s culture. This week is Clemson’s Week of Gratitude, and we are so thankful to our donors who continue to impact the Clemson Family.

During Week of Gratitude, more than 600 student profiles were mailed out on Monday to our scholarship donors. We hosted an exclusive event with our Thomas Green Clemson and Trustee Oak Societies with top economist Dr. Scott Baier from Clemson who shared valuable information and context amidst the current Coronavirus pandemic. To conclude our Week of Gratitude, a special gratitude video featuring Clemson students will be sent to our university-wide and college donors from leaders across campus. I am looking forward to sharing this video with you next week!

Clemson has joined with other South Carolina universities and hospital systems to develop a test that can tell people whether they may be immune to the coronavirus. The test, expected to be rolled out this week, looks for antibodies indicating immunity which form after someone’s had the virus, said Delphine Dean, a professor of bioengineering at Clemson University. The group came together about a month ago as leaders of the institutions began talking about the virus and making testing for it a priority. Dean, who is overseeing the Clemson portion of the work for the Serological Testing and Diagnostic Working Group, said the group hopes to have 200,000 tests by summer and use them to test the state’s health care workers. They can determine those who are most likely immune and therefore have a lower risk. You can read the entire Greenville News article detailing how Clemson is working with other universities and hospital systems to develop the test here.

Two mornings a week, Fadi Abdeljawad of Clemson University goes into a nook just off his kitchen, stands in front of his open laptop and teaches a mechanical engineering course to about 30 students who are scattered across the country because of the COVID-19 outbreak. One wall in the nook is covered in dry-erase paint, converting it to a giant whiteboard where Abeljawad writes equations and diagrams. While the class cannot gather in-person, Abdeljawad’s creativity, hard work and solid preparation are ensuring the students’ education continues. With his class, Abdeljawad is joining the ranks of community heroes around the globe who are going above and beyond to do what they can to serve their fellows, providing hope in a dark time. His approach has also helped establish a sense of normalcy at a time when the world seems anything but normal. You can read more here.

Fadi Abdeljawad stands in front of his white board in his house

Ashni Bhojwani, a Clemson University senior pursuing a dual degree in criminal justice and psychology, has been awarded the highly coveted Truman Scholarship. Ashni is the only student in South Carolina to be named a Truman Scholar this year and the third Clemson student to ever receive it. The Truman Scholarship, named in honor of the late U.S. President Harry S. Truman, is given to high-achieving college students who show commitment to public service and potential to continue that service beyond graduation. The scholarship provides up to $30,000 for graduate study in public service fields and leadership training. Ashni was born in Belize and immigrated to the United States as a child. Her experience as an immigrant and biracial woman living in South Carolina is her motivation to work and volunteer with vulnerable groups in her community. You can read more about Ashni and the Truman Scholarship here.

Ashni Bhojwani, a Clemson University senior pursuing a dual degree in criminal justice and psychology, has been awarded the highly coveted Truman Scholarship

The Division of Student Affairs’ Student Emergency Fund 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. Tigers Helping Tigers, which provides the Clemson Family with financial support during times of uncertainty, will also support those in our local community who were recently impacted by a tornado that damaged many homes and businesses – from Seneca to Clemson. During these unprecedented and uncertain times, your philanthropic spirit is more important than ever. If you’re able to do so, please make your secure online gift here.

In response to needs arising from the April 13 tornadoes and 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 residents of Oconee County. This is an expansion of services that the Sullivan Center is currently offering to Clemson University employees, alumni and families. Operated by Clemson’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, the Sullivan Center will provide the new virtual clinic service through at least June 30. Clemson’s School of Nursing is partnering with the Sullivan Center on the initiative, providing three faculty members and several family nurse practitioner (FNP) students to work alongside Sullivan Center FNPs. You can read more here.

B- impactful!
Whether they are the essential staff who are needed on campus, professors teaching classes remotely, or employees working remotely to support the University, Clemson remains a championship university because of our championship people. Our students, faculty and staff are embracing these unprecedented times with preservice and strength, proving yet again that the Clemson Family is strongest when we work together – especially in the toughest of times.

Clemson University’s Board of Trustees approved today the university’s plan for a tuition and mandatory fee freeze for the 2020-21 academic year for all in-state and out-of-state students. Housing and dining fees are not mandatory, and a decision on those will be made in the near future. You can read more here. Thank you, board of trustees, for your continued service to Clemson – especially during these unprecedented times – and your dedication to make our University the best it can be!

Together, the Clemson Family is learning how to navigate through the uncertainty of our times and guarantee Clemson can continue to fulfill its mission to impact generations today, tomorrow and forever. Thank you for supporting Clemson!

Go Tigers!

Brian O’Rourke