Emeritus College

2023 Memorials

Donald D. Clayton, PhD (March 18, 1935—January 3, 2024) Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy.  His remarkable academic journey stands as a testament to his unwavering dedication and profound contributions to the field. Having hailed from humble beginnings during the Great Depression, Clayton’s pursuit of knowledge saw him graduate with ed distinction from Southern Methodist University in 1956. His desire for a deeper understanding of the cosmos led him to the prestigious California Institute of Technology, where he attained his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Nobel Laureate William Alfred Fowler in 1961. This collaboration paved the way for Clayton’s subsequent scientific career, redefining our comprehension of the vast universe we inhabit. Clayton was a founding faculty member of Rice University’s Department of Space Science in 1963. After a substantial, remarkable, and collaborative career with other institutions and organizations, Clayton accepted a professorship at Clemson University in 1989, where he played an instrumental role in establishing a cutting-edge graduate research program in astrophysics. His dedication and research spanned projects such as the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, where his predictions regarding radioactive nuclei in supernova remnants were confirmed. Even after his official retirement in 2007, Clayton remained an active force in the field, with a particular focus on the condensation of dust within supernovae. Notably, he assembled a comprehensive web-based photo archive detailing the history of nuclear astrophysics and chronicling his own contributions from 1990 through 2014.

Dr. Joan Bobbitt McLaughlin (1945-2023) Professor Emerita of English and Humanities died December 19, 2023.  Joan was a first-generation college student. She fell in love with reading at an early age, and a love of literature persuaded her to major in English. She earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in English from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. She then pursued her Master’s degree at Louisiana State University at New Orleans (LSUNO). There, while also earning honors, she studied Old English and taught freshman English. She shared her affection for New Orleans with her family, her friends, and her students, explaining that those years in the city were among the best and most influential in her life in terms of culture, art, theater, and music. Success at LSUNO led her to the University of Texas at Austin, where she received her PhD in English. Her literary interests included Victorian novels, but she ultimately wrote her dissertation on the modernist novels of D.H. Lawrence.  Joan went on to become a professor of English and Humanities at Clemson, where she was one of the first women working in a mostly male department. Notably, she advocated for equal rights for women in the workforce during her time at the university. She taught students of every level in undergraduate and graduate-level courses in both departments. An award-winning professor, she was a mentor to many, known for her love of the Victorian novel and her strong, feminist perspectives.  Joan used her skills as an impeccable researcher to contribute to and edit several books by her late husband John J. McLaughlin, including Jefferson and Monticello: The Biography of a Builder (National Book Award finalist) and To His Excellency Thomas Jefferson: Letters to a President. Together, they also co-edited Louisiana Voyages: The Travel Writings of Catharine Cole. Joan was an accomplished author in her own right, with work appearing in Contemporary Literary Criticism, Concerning Poetry, Arizona Quarterly, South Carolina Review, and other periodicals.

Dr. Benjamin Allen Dunn (1941—2023) Professor Emeritus and Director of Forestry and Natural Resources passed on December 25, 2023. Interested in a career that would lead him outdoors, he enrolled in the University of Georgia’s School of Forest Resources where he studied Forestry and served as president of FarmHouse Fraternity. Allen graduated in 1965 receiving his B.S.F. in Forest Resource Management and was simultaneously commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army and was deployed in Vietnam with the Reconnaisssance Platoon of the 2/28th Infantry Battalion and he served as the Executive Officer of Headquarters Company. In June of 1966, his understrength Recon Platoon was ambushed by the Viet Cong while on what was supposed to be a relatively safe mission, resulting in the entire 16-man patrol being killed. The toughest duty Allen ever performed was identifying the remains of these soldiers who had become his brothers. After leaving the Army, Allen returned to the University of Georgia where he earned his M.F. (1968) and Ph.D. (1971) in Forestry before embarking on a career in academia. He joined Clemson University’s Department of Forest Resources in 1973 and for the next 33 years enjoyed a career in teaching, research, and administration at the University. In addition to being a Professor of Forestry, he served as President of the Faculty Senate from 1990 to 1991, Chair of the Forestry Department from 1994 to 1995, Director of the School of Natural Resources from 1995 to 2001, Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences from 2001 to 2004, and Director of the Institute of Environmental Toxicology from 2004 until his retirement in 2006. Allen further demonstrated his devotion to education and public service through his work on numerous boards and associations. He was elected to the Pickens County School Board in 1982 and served for 12 years, including several years as Chair. He was a member of the Six Mile Lions Club, served on the Board of the Great Smoky Mountains Association, was active in the Society of American Foresters, served on the South Carolina Forestry Commission, and on the board of the Forestry Association of South Carolina, among others.

Dr. Paul James (Jim) Rathwell (1946—2023) Professor Emeritus of Agriculture and Applied Economics passed on December 19, 2023.  He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and completed study at Oklahoma State University with a master’s and PhD in Agriculture and Applied Science. During his career, he worked for USDA, Texas A&M and 28 years at Clemson University as an Agricultural Economist. He also taught economics at Tri-County Technical College after retirement from Clemson. His passion was raising Simmental Cattle on his farm in Six Mile. In 2023, he received Pickens County Cattlemen of the Year honors after producing the highest selling bull in Clemson history in the University’s Bull Test program. Jim loved to adopt people and bring them home to try his wonderful cooking. He earned the title “the pickler” with his amazing variety of homemade pickles, relish, and beets.

Dr. George Emmitt Carter, Jr., (1946-2023),  Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology and Physiology and former Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, passed away on November 25, 2023. Dr. Carter earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wake Forest University before graduating with a PhD in plant pathology and physiology from Clemson University. He spent the next 36 years at Clemson first as a professor, and then in administration as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies until he retired. Dr. Carter was an avid fly fisherman, golfer, photographer, bike rider, ACC football official and overall sports enthusiast. Most of all he was a devoted husband, father, granddaddy, and loyal friend. He was well known for his stories which were always filled with humor and wit as well as bragging about his beloved grandchildren.

Lieutenant Colonel Wesley Witcher, Ph.D. (1923-2023), Professor Emeritus of Plant and Environmental Sciences at Clemson University, passed away on Thursday, November 9, 2023. In 1947, Dr. Wesley entered VPI at Blacksburg, Virginia in General Agriculture. In the summer of 1947, he worked with the National Forest Service in Troy, Montana. He graduated from VPI with a Bachelors in Forestry and Wildlife. He then taught in the Pittsylvania County school system for two years and worked with veterans in the area. From 1954-1956, he worked as an Assistant Country Agent in Halifax County Virginia, as a tobacco specialist. In 1956, he returned to VPI, earning a Master’s in Plant Pathology. He next attended NC State in Raleigh, North Carolina, obtaining a PhD in Plant Pathology. In June 1960, he joined the faculty of the Clemson University Department of Botany and Bacteriology, which later became the Department of Plant Pathology. He taught classes, researched, and worked in the Forestry Department. He retired from Clemson in 1988. He was a member of several Scientific organizations and worked for 17 years with Crop Pest regulatory service. He was also a registered Forester in-South Carolina.

Fred J. Stutzenberger, Jr., Ph.D. (1940—2023) Professor Emeritus of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine. Dr. Stutzenberger was a highly regarded educator who dedicated his life to teaching and inspiring young minds. Born on November 10, 1940, in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Stutzenberger’s passion for learning began early in life. He attended the Kentucky Military Institute, where his uncle Albert Stutzenberger served as one of his teachers and a mentor in life. He pursued his higher education at Bellarmine University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in science. He went on to obtain his master’s degree from the University of Houston before earning his PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Medicine from Michigan State.  Dr. Stutzenberger’s career spanned several decades, during which he made significant contributions to the field of microbiology and molecular medicine. His research resulted in numerous published articles in various reputable magazines. As a result of his dedication to both teaching and scientific exploration, he became a respected figure within the academic community. Fred was an accomplished author who has been published hundreds of times in microbiology research publications and national shooting sports magazines over many decades. His novel, “Akisni the Healer” is being published now and he will continue to have new articles printed in Muzzle Blasts for years to come. Dr. Stutzenberger’s life was also marked by his military service as a Lt. Colonel in the United States Navy under the United States Public Service during the Vietnam War. Fred served as a scout master for 27 years, in which he mentored dozens of young men, including his own son throughout the years.  The impact Dr. Fred J. Stutzenberger, Jr. had on his colleagues, students, friends, and family cannot be overstated. His dedication to knowledge and his genuine love for teaching served as an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

 Dr. Robert “Bobby” McCormick, PhD (1946-2023) Professor Emeritus and Dean of Economics. McCormick graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1972 and a master’s in environmental economics in 1974, he earned his Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M in 1978 and came to Clemson to serve vital roles in some of Clemson’s proudest achievements as an institution.  McCormick served as a faculty member in economics at Clemson from 1982-2007, and he became dean of the College of Business in 2014, serving until 2018. McCormick was awarded several Clemson University teaching awards, including the Prince Innovative Teacher of the Year (1998), the Alumni Professor of the Year (2000), the MBA Professor of the Year and the National Scholars Mentor Award (2004 and 2006).  In 2005, McCormick co-founded the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC), which works with students, the academic community and the public to increase awareness of capitalism’s core principles and institutions. It is the first and only university-based research and teaching center devoted to exploring capitalism’s moral, legal, political and economic foundations. For his lifetime commitment to serving Clemson University, McCormick was honored with the Clemson Medallion in 2022. The Clemson Medallion is the highest honor conferred by Clemson University.

James “Jim” Roland McDonell PhD ( 1949—2023 ) Professor Emeritus of Youth, Family and Neighborhood Life.   Jim was a graduate of Methodist College, UNC Chapel Hill and received his doctorate from Columbia University, New York.   After an early career start at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Jim joined the Institute for Families in Society at the University of South Carolina (1996-2000). He then moved to Clemson University, where he was a professor and founding member of the Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life and help to establish a PhD in International Family & Community Studies, taught graduate courses, mentored numerous graduate students, and was an active researcher. His research examined neighborhood indicators of child safety and family well-being, focusing on risk and protective factors for child maltreatment, adolescent dating violence, and teen pregnancy. The value of his scholarship was recognized by scholars and community organizations. In 2004, the Chapter of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children named him “Researcher of the Year.” He served as Director of the Institute on Family & Neighborhood Life from 2012 until his retirement in 2017. Upon retirement, Jim became an enthusiastic RV’er. He and Shirley traveled all over the world. Jim enjoyed many hobbies, some of which include hiking, camping, UNC basketball, rock collecting, and book collecting. 

Christopher “Chris” William Foreman, MS (1947—2023), Emeritus College affiliate member, CCIT Retired, made his transition into the Light on Saturday July 29, 2023. Christopher was born September 17, 1947, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania to Martha Jane Fish Foreman and Victor Godfrey Foreman, both educators. Most of his childhood was spent in Bucks County, PA. He received an Associate degree in Electronics from Mercer Community College before receiving his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Salisbury State University in Maryland. He worked briefly at the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. He often shared an experience while at Wallops of being able to tweak an algorithm that tracked jets to help them land more quickly. Some colleagues told him it couldn’t work, but he persisted and eventually succeeded. Later Christopher went on to Clemson University to pursue his Master’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science. The majority of his professional career was at Clemson: first as a mainframe programmer and then as the automation engineer for the University Building Access Control System. His “can-do” mindset and determination helped establish a system in the late ‘90s that is ahead of systems in many universities today. Those who worked with him enjoyed his warm spirit and insistence on meeting over quality lattes. Over the years many of his coworkers were pulled into his various mountain biking adventures.

Farrell Blenn Brown, Ph.D. (1934—2023) Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, retired from Clemson University in 1997. Dr. Brown completed his doctorate at the University of Tennessee in 1962.  He was awarded a Welch postdoctoral Fellowship at Texas A&M.  In the fall of 1963, he began a 34 year career at Clemson University.  He taught chemistry at Clemson moving from assistant to full professor with tenure,  prior to joining the academic staff in the Graduate School, serving as associate dean. He spent two years as an interim dean (1995-97) until his retirement. He developed several important relationships that promoted enrollment of international students. He served the Emeritus College in his retirement as a member of the Advisory Board, Policy and Curriculum Committees. In addition, Dr. Brown was a mentor for the Conversations with International Students program, assisting numerous international students enrolled at Clemson.

Joseph “Joe” F. Dickey, Ph.D. (1934—2023) Professor Emeritus of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, passed away on June 7, 2023, at the age of 89. In addition to serving as Alumni Distinguished Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Dr. Dickey was also an Alumni Master Teacher. He served on the Emeritus College Advisory Board from 2013 to 2015 and was a mentor for the Emeritus College (now the International Office) Conversations with International Students. Joe, as a professor of animal, dairy, and vet science. delighted in comparing the human body to animal bodies and the functioning of our organs. He understood much about people because of his work and love of the farm and its animals. He served in the United States Army from 1956-59, achieving the rank of First Lieutenant. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division. Joe was instrumental in his nurture of college students along with his wife Ann who predeceased him. Together they entertained masses of college students in their home and created a sense of community that gave those students a sense of place and joy. Dr. Dickey earned his bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State. Following his Army service, he earned his master’s degree at North Carolina State before earning his Ph.D. from Penn State University. He taught at Clemson for 29 years before he retired in 1994.

Raymond Connell Sawyer, Ph.D. (1943—2023) Emeritus Centennial Professor of Performing Arts was born in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1943 to Gladys Myers Sawyer and Raymond Westfield Sawyer, Jr.  Ray obtained an undergraduate degree from Shippensburg University; a Master’s degree from University of Washington, Seattle; and he received his PhD from the University of Illinois.  Ray and his wife Sharon moved to Clemson, South Carolina, where Ray taught in the department of Performing Acts at Clemson University for 31 years.  Although Ray had many accolades during his tenure at Clemson, one notable accomplishment was his production of the play “American Buffalo,” which was chosen from hundreds of plays to be performed at the Kennedy Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC, as well as at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston, South Carolina.  The proceeds of the show helped establish a scholarship for aspiring actors and actresses at Clemson University Performing Arts Center.  Ray was a mentor for his students and stayed in contact with some of them until his death.  Ray’s abilities extended beyond being a gifted director and teacher.  He was accomplished at adjudicating, critiquing, and all other aspects of playwriting.  He did not write as much as he would have liked, as he always put the emphasis on his students’ work rather than his own.  This was Ray’s way- always putting others before himself.

Marian Hull Withington, MLS (1930-2023) Professor Emerita of Libraries a graduate of the University of South Carolina, she served as a secretary with the U.S. Department of Air Force at Donaldson Air Force Base in Greenville. She subsequently went on to work at the U.S. Department of State in Bonn, Germany, the American Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and in Washington, D.C. She received a master’s degree in Library Science from Florida State University and was a Reference Librarian for Social Sciences and Humanities at Clemson University from 1964 until her retirement in June 1990. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Greenville Historical Society, and Boscobel Golf Club. For Ms. Withington’s obituary, please see the following: https://thomasmcafee.com/obituary/?first-name=Marian+&last-name=Withington&obit-search=true .

Carolyn Ezell Foster, MA (1925—2023) Professor Emeritus of English died on April 15, 2023, having just celebrated her 98th birthday. Carolyn held two master’s degrees: one in journalism from Emory University and one in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She also had an undergraduate minor in math and said that she particularly loved teaching that subject. She taught for over forty years in many locations – North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Oregon, and California. She spent over fifty years in research, writing, and editing. She moved to Clemson in 1985.  She edited a three-volume series of the lectionary readings used for children’s services at Holy Trinity, as well as at many other churches.

Joseph Leo Gaddis, PhD (1940—2023) Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering on March 14, 2023. After receiving BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University, he earned a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1969. Leo worked for LTV Aerospace Corporation in Dallas during the Apollo program where he engaged in advanced spacecraft thermal analysis and spray-flash evaporator technology. He joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty of Clemson University in 1972 where he taught and performed research for 34 years. Leo had many diverse interests including classical music, fly-fishing, physics, baseball, woodworking, handball, travel, and time spent with family and friends. A talented musician, Leo enjoyed singing and playing French horn in local choral and orchestral groups. He was a founding member of Clemson Presbyterian Church, where he used his talents to serve. Memorial services will be at 1pm on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Clemson Presbyterian Church. The family will greet friends at the church immediately following the service. Surviving are his wife, Jeanie, of 63 years; son, Benjamin Gaddis (Evelyn) of Clemson, SC; daughter, Ettamarie West (Doug) of Arden, NC; brother, William R. Gaddis, Jr. (Linda) of Round Rock, TX; and sister, Wanda Lee Richardson of El Paso, TX. He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. For Dr. Gaddis’ obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/joseph-gaddis. 

Nelson, Robert Bauld, Jr., PhD (1931–2023) Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering on February 22, 2023. After graduating from Victory High School in 1949, he served in the U.S. Army in the Big Red One Division, stationed in Germany. In addition to his duties as a serviceman, he was selected to pitch for the Army’s baseball team that traveled to various U.S. military bases throughout Europe. Following his service, he attended West Virginia University on the GI Bill where he received his bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering. He was awarded his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana in 1963 and joined the faculty of Clemson University later that same year. He retired from teaching in 1989. In retirement, he wrote an instructional book Mechanics of Materials for undergraduate engineering students that was adopted by numerous institutions. Among his many sources of pride and joy were the successes and friendships of his many graduate students along with special research projects with NASA and Langley Air Force Base.  For Dr. Bauld’s obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/nelson-bauld-jr

Judith  Melton, PhD (1941 – 2023) Professor Emerita of German and Women’s Studies, died on February 8, 2023, just short of her 82nd birthday, from congestive heart failure due to complications of heart disease.  Judy joined the faculty at Clemson in 1972 after teaching German for several years at the University of Tulsa.  A pioneer in curriculum development, Judy co-founded the Language & International Trade program.  She also co-founded and taught in the Women’s Studies Program and was responsible for creating the Women’s Studies minor which has since evolved into the Woman’s Leadership major.  In 1988 she worked with History professor Don McKale to author Rewriting History: The Original and Revised World War II Diaries of Curt Prufer, Nazi Diplomat. Ten years later she was the single author of The Face of Exile: Autobiographical Journeys (1998), a monograph about German writers who fled Nazi Germany. This research led to the creation of a course Literature and the Arts of the Holocaust which she team-taught with Humanities professor Alma Bennett.  As a result of her caring engagement with students and faculty, she received the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence in 1999.  Judy served several administrative roles during her 35-year career at Clemson.  She was associate department head and then department head of the Language Department as well as coordinator of Women’s Studies.  From 2000 to 2007, Judy served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Architecture, Arts & Humanities. In addition, Judy served on the board of the Modern Language Association.

Judy Melton retired in December 2007 and later moved to Tryon, NC. A member of the Ohara School of Ikebana where she achieved the highest certification as a teacher of Japanese flower arranging, she eventually became the head of the entire North American chapter of the Ohara School, traveling to Japan and for many years teaching classes, organizing, and participating in exhibitions, and editing the chapter newsletter.  Judy was not only a distinguished professor and woman but a wonderful friend and listener with a quick wit. She loved a cold diet coke (preferably with lemon) and engaging conversation. Judy is survived by her niece, Julie Melton Nations, along with many great and great-great nieces and nephews as well as a multitude of loving friends.

William Pierce “Bill” Yates, Sr. PhD (1943 – 2023), Extension Program Coordinator, Retired and member of the Emeritus College. Bill graduated from Clemson University in 1967 and started to work for Clemson Extension Service as an assistant County Agent. After a year in Chesterfield County, Uncle Sam called, and Bill went to Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He served about a year of active duty then served as a reserve officer for a total of 20 years. He retired as a Commander in The US Navy Reserve. After his active Navy service he returned to the Clemson Extension Service and graduate school. Bill really enjoyed his different jobs with Clemson Extension because it provided an opportunity to enjoy life and help improve the lives of his fellow man. Dr. Yates retired from Clemson after 30 years. For Dr. Yates ‘obituary, please see the following: https://obits.robinsonfuneralhomes.com/william-pierce-bill-yates.