The start of every school year is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be on campus. Anticipation for the new year, football and cooler weather permeates campus. Faculty return from their summer activities with renewed enthusiasm and every student starts the year as a straight-A student.
One of my favorite events at the beginning of each academic year is our College’s new faculty orientation. In mid-August, 25 of our new faculty met in Lee Hall, where the program was followed by a buffet lunch. The highlight of the morning was getting to know the credentials, background and multidisciplinary interests of our incoming faculty members. You will be reading about many of them in the coming months – in the meantime, I can tell you that we continue to attract world-class scholars, artists, designers and teachers to the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.
Tiger Band reunion comes with a surprise
Last week I had the honor of a lifetime when I was surprised by Jim and Barbara McCabe’s $100,000 gift to Tiger Band in my honor. The announcement came at the first Tiger Band alumni reunion, and was I humbled by the generosity of the McCabes and the opportunities their philanthropy will give to band students. I had no advance warning of the announcement and was completely fooled by my wife and others, including my office coordinator Susan McCall. There had been an elaborate scheme to surprise me, and I finally figured out the real reason my oldest daughter and her family were in town. I am grateful to Jim and Barbara for their gift and a night I will never forget – thank you!
Another highlight for me every school year is the first day of band camp. More than 350 members of the 2018 Tiger Band gathered in the Brooks Theatre and had the opportunity to meet the band staff and their fellow bandmates. The evening began with an appearance by Coach Dabo Swinney, who shared almost 45 minutes of inspirational messages and gratitude with the band. The meeting was followed by the traditional “running down the hill” by band freshmen and words of welcome from President James P. Clements, Athletic Director Dan Radakovich and me. Congratulations to Director of Bands Mark Spede and his outstanding staff on the start to another great year!
Other high points over the past month include the 50th anniversary celebration of the Architecture + Health program at Clemson University.
About 70 alumni of the program came to campus for some or all of the events, where they were joined by more than 80 honorary alumni, special guests, faculty and staff, family members and current students. Together they celebrated a generous $100,000 gift to the program from Ben and Becca Rook of Greenville, and the legacy of program founder George C. Means Jr. The Rook gift named the Architecture + Health studio in honor of Means. We are grateful that Means’ sons, Kenneth and Calvin, were able to attend, in addition to their wives and two of George Means’ grandsons. Thanks again to the Rooks and to the director of the Architecture + Health program, David Allison, for making it a memorable anniversary.
I also hosted a dinner last month to celebrate the newly tenured and promoted faculty members in the College. Congratulations to the following faculty for reaching this career milestone:
Finally, I had the privilege to end my summer as music director of the 2018 Disneyland All-American College Band. The band members completed their final performances in the park and attended a farewell banquet. I am grateful to the Disneyland Creative Entertainment team for supporting the All-American College Band for 48 years and the opportunities the program has created for student musicians. During that time, more than 1,000 students have participated in the program, including two former Clemson students, Maureen Maney and David Agee. It was a great end of the summer for me.
In closing, I want to express my best wishes to all for the start of a new school year and I hope to see you sometime this fall in Tigertown.
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