Inside Clemson

Convocation kicks off series of events recognizing Jim and Marcia Barker

By Margaret Pridgen, Public Affairs

Clemson University President Jim Barker will deliver the keynote address at the Victor Hurst Convocation on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013, at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

This colorful event, by tradition, begins the University’s academic year.  All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

Faculty and staff, many in their academic regalia, will walk in a processional to the Brooks Center at 8:30 a.m., with the program following at 9 a.m. Video of the ceremony will also be streamed live from the University’s homepage.

Barker announced in April that he will retire as Clemson’s 14th president and return to the faculty of the School of Architecture as soon as a new president is on board.

“There’s a tradition in academia to ask respected faculty to deliver an address that answers the question: “If this were your last lecture, what would you say?” said Interim Provost Nadim Aziz.

“Since President Barker plans to return to the classroom, this won’t be his literal last lecture, but it will be his last Convocation address,” he added.  “In that sense, it will be very special to our academic community.”

Convocation also marks the beginning of a series of special events planned to recognize the 14-year service of Jim and Marcia Barker as Clemson’s “First Couple.”  These include:

  • A “Family Picnic” on Bowman Field August 30 from 11 am to 1 pm.   Hosted by the Clemson Board of Trustees, and the presidents of Faculty and Staff Senates, and Undergraduate and Graduate Student Governments, the event will include a brief program beginning at 12:15.  In case of rain, the picnic will be in Littlejohn Coliseum.
  • On the field recognition during the Clemson-Georgia football game August 31. Between the first and second quarters, a check will be presented representing total contributions to the Barker Scholars Unrestricted Scholarship Endowment.

The Barker Scholars endowment, a part of The Will to Lead campaign, will support need-based scholarships for undergraduate students.  As a Clemson junior, Jim Barker was the recipient of such a scholarship, which made it possible for him to complete his architecture degree.

Full information is available on how to give to the Barker Scholars online or by text-to-give.  Checks made payable to the Clemson Fund for “Barker Scholars” may also be mailed to P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, SC 29633.

The amount raised for the endowment by Aug. 26 will be announced at the Clemson-Georgia game. Gifts will be accepted beyond that date, but people are encouraged to act now if they want their gift counted in the public announcement.