The start of the 2017-2018 academic year has been fantastic! With Tiger Band arriving in mid-August, the solar eclipse on August 21st and the start of classes on the 23rd; campus is electric! We have welcomed 33 new faculty members to the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities and an extraordinarily high-achieving group of first-year students. Our student population exceeds 2,000 students within 26 major areas of study in majors ranging from architecture to women’s leadership. The start of school also means the start of football season – and excitement on campus is sky high to see how the defending national champions fare.
In my remarks to the college faculty and staff at our first college meeting of the year, I emphasized the remarkable opportunities we have to help create a diverse, inclusive and resilient community that anticipates and addresses the many challenges of the state, region, nation and world. The College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities is uniquely positioned to prepare the next generation of college graduates to lead meaningful personal lives, achieve significant professional accomplishments and become thoughtful citizens of the world. Within Clemson’s land-grant mission, the College prepares students to provide talent for the evolving economy and help to drive innovation. As a “high seminary of learning,” we also serve the public good and prepare our students to be thought leaders in their chosen professions.
I also reminded our faculty of the importance of conducting and disseminating transformational research, scholarship and creative endeavors in order to understand, analyze and create knowledge. There has never been a better or more important time on campus and I hope you share my enthusiasm to see the remarkable accomplishments of our student, faculty and staff over the course of the school year.
This month I would like to feature some of the remarkable activities and programs associated with the Roy and Marnie Pearce Center for Professional Communication. The Pearces made a significant contribution to Clemson to strengthen student writing, critical thinking and communication skills. Through their success in business, and with the generosity of the Class of 1941, the Pearces provided the means to create the Pearce Center, which was dedicated in 2004 in Daniel Hall. As a recognition for their personal dedication to Clemson, the Pearces were inducted into the Fort Hill Legacy Society in 2015.
The Pearce Center is a dedicated space that offers students unparalleled opportunities for hands-on work through several programs, including the Pearce Center Interns, Writing Fellows and the Client-Based Program. Each of these programs offers students real-life experience in putting their classroom studies to work into the marketplace. According to Dr. Cameron Bushnell, associate professor of English and director of the Pearce Center, “students from diverse majors across campus gain valuable experience in writing, editing marketing, event promotion, video production and graphic design – all transforming directly to future careers.”
Some of the major projects this year include a soup-to-nuts marketing plan for Clemson’s Child Development Center; the “OpEd” Project, an interviewing and video project designed to help faculty develop opinion pieces in contemporary media; “Synergy” webcasts featuring interviews with Clemson faculty who are dedicated to service-learning projects; a professional presentation for the annual golf tournament and fundraiser for the Special Olympics; and student-to-student tutoring through the Writing Center.
The Pearce Center has made a lasting impact on Clemson’s national reputation in Writing across the Curriculum, including recognition for more than 10 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report, which has listed Clemson as a top school for Writing in the Disciplines along with such schools as Brown, Harvard and Stanford. The Pearce Center is a unique example of how one idea and a philanthropic gift coupled with Clemson’s DNA of ingenuity and innovation can give students a transformational educational experience.
On a more somber note, I share news of the passing of Professor Emeritus Frank Day, who died on August 2. Frank taught English at Clemson from 1967 until he retired in 2002. He is lovingly remembered as a wise, witty and inspiring professor. A full obituary is here. Our sincere condolences to the Day family.
In closing, I wish all of you warm greetings from campus, best wishes for the start of the school year and an enthusiastic “Go Tigers.”
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