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Ben Skardon, 102, salutes after placing a flag on a stone engraved with the name of Henry Leitner during a flag-placing ceremony at Clemson University’s Scoll of Honor

B – proud to be a Tiger!

November 16, 2020

Greetings, fellow Tigers!

Honoring the men and women who have so valiantly served our country is a valued tradition at Clemson. Our University’s history is steeped in military service, and every year, we dedicate several days to events honoring our veterans. This is especially meaningful to the Clemson Family, and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to honor those who have given so much to our country. For the past week, organizers hosted events that coincided with Veterans Day yesterday. Later this month, the Clemson Tigers home football game against Pittsburgh on Nov. 28 has been deemed the official 2020 Military Appreciation Game.

Among Clemson’s most known veterans is U.S. Army Col. Ben Skardon – a survivor of the Bataan Death March and revered alumnus and professor emeritus of Clemson University. Colonel Skardon (pictured above) is a true American hero, and we are honored to call him a friend and member of the Clemson Family. Colonel Skardon’s brother, Jimmy Skardon, is also a veteran and recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Join me in wishing Jimmy the happiest of birthdays and thanking him, Colonel Skardon and all veterans for their selfless and honorable service.

Veteran Jeffrey Crouch connects fellow veterans with tools for success

Veterans face many challenges when transitioning from military to student life, including everything from navigating GI Bill paperwork to learning new classroom technologies to connecting with future employers and fellow students. There are almost 350 student veterans in the Clemson Family, and more than 40 are students in Clemson University’s MBA Program – more than in any one graduate program at the University.

One of those veterans, Clemson MBA candidate Jeffrey Crouch, took note of the challenges he has faced, as well as the support he received to overcome them, and set out to help his fellow veterans get connected with the resources and information they need to succeed.

Originally from Greenville, S.C., Crouch joined the United States Marine Corps in 2001 prior to 9/11 and worked in aviation logistics and maintenance, serving tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq before receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2012. One of the greatest sacrifices he made when choosing to enlist was giving up the opportunity to attend his dream school for undergrad – Clemson University. After his service, he decided to use the GI Bill to attend Clemson’s renowned MBA Program. Thank you, Jeffrey Crouch, for your service! You can read more about how he is helping his fellow veterans here.

Jeff Crouch helps his fellow veterans get connected with the resources and information they need to succeed.

Endowing a new scholarship for first-generation Clemson students in the humanities

Dennis Moore, a Clemson University graduate and recently retired professor at Florida State University, is endowing a new scholarship for first-generation Clemson students in the humanities. Dennis, a first-generation Clemson student himself, understands the importance and need for these scholarships. Moore’s gift will fund the annual Moore Family Scholarship for First-Generation Students.

After graduating from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1970, Moore then earned his master’s degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He returned to Clemson as a visiting instructor in English, 1982-84, before earning his Ph.D. in U.S. literature at UNC-Chapel Hill. At Florida State, Moore taught early American literature and African American literature and culture from 1991 until his retirement in 2019. You can read more about Dennis and his scholarship for first-generation Clemson students here.

Dennis Moore

B – proud to be a Tiger!

In the face of defeat, the true nature of the Clemson Tiger is more evident than ever. Clemson is special, and we continue to show the world why. It’s the people – our students, our alumni, our faculty and staff, our donors. It’s the Clemson Family. Whether we win or lose, we do it with honor. Our football team demonstrated this on Saturday in South Bend when the Tigers were defeated 47-40 by Notre Dame. It was a hard-fought and heartbreaking loss, but the Tigers were able to leave the field with their heads held high. The team has a much-deserved bye week but will travel again next weekend to Tallahassee to face Florida State.

Clemson football traveled to South Bend to face Notre Dame

Facing some of the greatest challenges our University has ever seen, our May and August graduates responded with dedication and determination. We are so excited to be able to celebrate them and their amazing accomplishments this week during seven commencement ceremonies over the course of three days at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. Congratulations to each of our graduates! Join me in officially welcoming them to the Clemson Family as alumni!

Even during the most difficult losses and circumstances, we are forever proud to be Clemson Tigers. Thank you for everything you do for Clemson – today, tomorrow and forever.

Go Tigers!

Brian O’Rourke