Happy Holidays! It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror and the holiday season is upon us. For most of us on campus, the holidays are a time to put the fall semester in perspective, recharge for the spring semester, spend some valuable time with family, friends and enjoy some rest and relaxation. With my family scattered among Atlanta, Denver and Connecticut, I am grateful to have time to see my children and grandchildren over the holidays.
The past month has been a whirlwind. With world-class guest speakers on campus, end-of-semester projects being completed, term papers on the horizon, and the accelerating push to December commencement, I am privileged to see the growth of our students and how our faculty impact their lives on a daily basis. Through the lens of our student workers, I never tire of hearing about the day-to-day Clemson experience. For each of them, the pride and enjoyment of being a Clemson student is extraordinary.
Congratulations are due to the participants of the Writers’ Harvest, an annual celebration of creative writing sponsored by the Pearce Center and the English Majors Organization. Writer’s Harvest is held each fall, and this year attracted a large audience to the Self Auditorium. I want to thank Senior Lecturer Mike Pulley, from the Department of English, for his leadership of this event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. The celebration of creative writing helps support the Paw Pantry and Loaves & Fishes charities, and I am thankful for the growth of this excellent project that merges creative writing with charitable giving.
Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the College’s Charleston-based programs at our beautiful Cigar Factory facility. I attended the biannual Historic Preservation Steering Committee meeting, visited our faculty and staff at the Cigar Factory, and took a tour of the amazing work being done by the craftsmen and women at Urban Electric. I am grateful to Founder and CEO Dave Dawson for sharing his time and recounting his entrepreneurial efforts in building a world-class lighting company that started as a small downtown Charleston lamp store.
Last week the Department of History hosted a conference that focused on Abraham Lincoln’s “Unfinished Work.” Organized by the Judge Mathew J. Perry Professor of History, Vernon Burton, more than 35 internationally acclaimed scholars gathered to explore the many dimensions and legacies of Abraham Lincoln within the context of modern American society. The conference brought students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, schoolteachers, high school students and other members of the general public to campus for critical insights into Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. Congratulations are due to Dr. Burton and the Department of History for the success of this conference, which brought significant national attention to Clemson. I also want to recognize the assistance of Peter Eisenstadt, Georganne Burton and our history students. It, too, was heartening to see sponsorships come in from so many corners of our College, the University and beyond.
For the past three years, the Georgia/Carolinas Precast Concrete Institute Foundation (PCI) has sponsored an architectural studio focusing on the utilization of pre-cast concrete. Visiting campus last month was Peter Finsen, Executive Director of the PCI, and Greg Force, President and CEO of Tindall Corporation and member of the PCI Foundation Board. At a dinner celebrating the PCI/Clemson partnership, we learned that the PCI Foundation will be renewing their partnership with the School of Architecture. We truly appreciate the PCI Foundation for their support of our students and faculty and this outstanding example of a research partnership that benefits both our faculty and our students.
Also in November, Clemson hosted the national accreditation team for our undergraduate and graduate Landscape Architecture programs. The visit allowed us to showcase our outstanding student work, receive a critical overview of our programs in Landscape Architecture, and hear recommendations to improve our instructional content and delivery. Many faculty and staff were instrumental in making this visit a success and we look forward to receiving a positive accreditation recommendation later this spring.
We also received excellent news last month that our City and Regional Planning degree earned a full five-year reaccreditation. Congratulations to the faculty and staff in the CRP program, under the direction of chair Dr. John Gaber, who helped make this full-term accreditation possible.
Finally, I am happy to report that the Daniel Hall renovation and expansion is on track. The building committee met last month and heard presentations from three finalists to become the general contractor for the project. The “new and improved” Daniel Hall will feature a significant addition to the south of the current site, a complete renovation of the existing space, new student-centered teaching and learning spaces and a student-friendly outdoor plaza. Pending final approvals, construction is scheduled to begin in March 2020 with a projected completion date of August 2022. We are all looking forward to this important addition to the College’s instructional space.
In closing and, especially during this time of reflection and celebration, I want to wish all of you a happy holiday season.
Dear Friends, As many of you are aware, I have come to the end of my time as dean of […]
Dear Friends, The College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities honored its third class of inductees into our Hall of Fame […]
Dear Friends, I often get asked what the favorite part of my job is, and, depending on the day of […]