A Word from Dean Richard Goodstein – November 2015

November 5, 2015

Clemson's Solar Decathlon team

A few members of Clemson’s Solar Decathlon team pose in front of their “Indigo Pine” home. More than 100 students from all five Clemson colleges participated in the competition. Congratulations to all!

Warm greetings from campus,

I had the privilege of visiting our Solar Decathlon team in Irvine, Calif. last month and couldn’t be prouder of the Clemson students, our faculty, staff and donors who made this amazing project possible. Clemson’s entry, Indigo Pine, placed 2nd in architecture, 2nd in communications, 3rd in market appeal, 4th in affordability and 5th in engineering among extraordinarily stiff national competition. (I also believe we would have won a “People’s Choice” award as judged by comments received by visitors and fellow competitors!) Even more important than the successes indicated by the competition results, every student who has been touched by this 2+ year project has spoken passionately of the transformational educational experiences the Solar D project has given them and the difference this work will make in jump-starting their careers.

I couldn’t articulate the team’s efforts any better than this note I received last week from the students:

“Not only were we a viable competitor, but we also challenged competition standards in unprecedented ways. By altering traditional home building methods and building a home with our own hands in just nine days, we truly raised the bar for future competitors.”

You should know that Indigo Pine was the only home that was student-built on site. A truly amazing accomplishment! Additionally, our students were unbelievable ambassadors for the Clemson family. For example, the Indigo Pine team finished the construction phase of the project 12 hours in advance of the deadline and noticed that the team from New York Tech was struggling to finish and wouldn’t make the deadline. Without hesitation, the Clemson team jumped in and helped New York Tech cross the finish line in time. Also, during the deconstruction phase of the project, Indigo Pine completed their work two days early and were seen all over the competition site helping teams from across the country finish their work. The Clemson spirit of service to others is alive and well!

I also want to thank all the donors and our dedicated development team, especially Donna Carver, in making this project possible. The $1 million budget was largely provided by generous donations of cash and gifts-in-kind. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us successfully complete this amazing project.

Rhondda Thomas

Rhondda Thomas

In closing, I want to recognize Rhondda Thomas, associate professor of English, who received the first James E. Bostic award for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence last week. Congratulations, Rhondda, on representing the college with distinction.

Best wishes and Go Tigers,