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Approximately 3,000 Tigers came together in a strong show of unity for the Black community

B-Note June 18, 2020

June 18, 2020

Greetings fellow Tigers!

Last week marked a monumental moment for Clemson University’s future. Clemson’s Board of Trustees made a clear statement that Clemson University intends to be an inclusive place where everyone is welcome by approving changing the name of the University’s Honors College to the Clemson University Honors College and approving a resolution respectfully requesting authority from the South Carolina General Assembly to restore Tillman Hall to its original name of the Main Building, commonly called “Old Main”. You can read more here.

The actions of our Board of Trustees were consistent with a deliberative process set in motion by the Board in 2015 when it established a history task force to tell the full and complete history of Clemson. The task force has taken several actions including erecting historical markers, documenting Clemson founders’ biographies, and updating historical signage to better reflect the complete history.

Clemson’s commitment to inclusion and equity during the past several years has yielded great progress to increase the racial diversity on our campus, provide additional support to our minority students and make the University more inclusive. But there is still work to be done, and our University’s leadership is committed to doing the work necessary to build on our progress.

The Board’s decisions align with its values of integrity, respect, diversity, patriotism, excellence and self-reliance and moves our University forward to be inclusive to our students, faculty and staff. This is an important step toward making us a truly unified Clemson Family and builds on our recent work toward that goal.

Clemson student-athletes joined together last week to organize a peaceful demonstration to show the Clemson Family’s support for the Black community. Their efforts culminated on Saturday, as approximately 3,000 Tigers came together in a strong show of unity. The Clemson students who organized this event have made their fellow Tigers proud by supporting the Black community in ways that truly represent the best aspects of being a Clemson Tiger.

B- an inclusive community for all!
Clemson’s volunteer leadership boards, including the Clemson Alumni Association and Clemson Athletics and IPTAY have released statements supporting the Board’s decision.

I would also like to share with you a statement from the Clemson University Foundation: “The Clemson University Foundation’s Board of Directors expresses unanimous support for the Clemson University Board of Trustees’ definitive action Friday and their clear statement that our University intends to be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.” Bob Hambright, Board Chair of the foundation noted, “These actions are fully in line with the values of integrity, honesty and respect that the University holds dear. The Clemson University Foundation stands behind these actions as we continue to grow as an inclusive Clemson Family.” Hack Trammell, President and CEO of the foundation added, “With these actions we steadfastly move a step closer to living the truth and beauty of the line in Joe Sherman’s poem that states: ‘There is something in these hills that brings together and binds together and holds together men and women of all persuasions’.”

The Clemson University Foundation’s Board of Directors has accomplished a monumental and bold transformation this year in restructuring the foundation to streamline the size of the fiduciary board and establish a new fundraising arm, the Order of the Oak. In the process of restructuring, the foundation has changed the trajectory of philanthropy at Clemson. The Foundation Board has demonstrated an unwavering and selfless commitment to support and promote the welfare and future development of Clemson University and its students.

Clemson University is committed to building a supportive working, living and learning environment that is inclusive, diverse and respectful. It is empowering to see our Clemson Family come together to make powerful changes that will impact the world today and tomorrow. Thank you for supporting Clemson!

Go Tigers!

Brian O’Rourke