A Word from Dean Richard Goodstein – May 2015

May 1, 2015

graduation-capDear Friends,

The end of the school year always brings a sense of celebration to campus as we say congratulations to our students who are about to graduate. You can sense the relief, joy and, in some cases, trepidation, as our graduates begin the next phase of their lives with a Clemson diploma in hand. One of the most gratifying things about academic life is watching students learn and mature during their time on campus. I know that memories of a lifetime have been made and the foundations for a successful and productive life are forged here at Clemson.

We also take time at this point of the year to reflect on the remarkable work our students, faculty and staff have accomplished over the past year. In addition to successfully guiding our students through their studies and research, our faculty have had a tremendously productive year in their own research and creative endeavors. I’ve shared some of these success stories over the course of the past year and I hope you can imagine there are too many to include all of them here. I do want to point out a few:

  • First, the amazing work of our students and faculty in building the prototype Indigo Pine East house in the Solar Decathlon competition has already provided transformational opportunities for those involved. The recent ribbon cutting was a remarkable event, highlighted by the public unveiling of the building. You can see the highlights here.
  • I am also extraordinarily proud of the success of our new mentoring program. A graduating Master of Communication, Science and Technology student, Parker Smith, took this program from nothing to over 150 mentor-mentee relationships in less than two years and I am grateful for his work! It has provided great opportunities for our students to connect with some young alumni and get a head start in their careers.
  • I am also thankful for the faculty and students who did such good work over the past year through the College’s “Race and the University” initiative. Professors Diane Perpich and Rhondda Thomas are to be thanked for their tireless work on this project.
  • I am equally proud of many other collaborative initiatives such as our new STEAM collaboration with the College of Engineering and Science that we will highlight at this week’s Artisphere festival.
  • I congratulate the students and faculty who planned and executed the 8th Clemson Literary Festival which featured for the fourth year in a row a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Other highlights over the past year include our graduate degree in architecture being named the 7th best in the nation among public universities, and the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts being named the 8th “Most Amazing University Performing Arts Center.”

Hot off the press, we have just learned that:

  • Mark Spede, director of bands and associate professor of music, has been elected national vice president of the College Band Directors National Association and will assume the presidency in 2019.
  • Tom Oberdan, associate professor of science and technology in society, has received a $128,000 grant award from the National Science Foundation in support of his academic research.

Congratulations to both!

Simultaneously, we are thrilled to be looking ahead. The 2020Forward strategic planning process is progressing at breakneck speed, and we all look forward to implementing the plan next year. There is great momentum with several new degree programs in the college, including the first students to matriculate in the World Cinema program and new degree and certificate programs to come out of work groups looking at Digital Humanities, Urban Design and Industrial Design.

In closing, let me say thank you and express deep appreciation for the following college retirees:

  • Syd Cross, professor of art (33 years);
  • Robert Hogan, professor of architecture (31 years);
  • Sybil Miller, office manager for the Department of Performing Arts (21 years);
  • Richard Woodward, building manager for the College of AAH, (33 years); and
  • Barbara Zaczek, professor of Italian (22 years).

Please help me congratulate these faculty and staff members for more than 120 years of dedicated service to Clemson University. We wish them continued successes in the next phase of their lives.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has made this a special year and I wish all of you a productive, restful and enjoyable summer.

Best wishes from campus.

Go Tigers!