By Taylor Summey, Class of 2021
Homecoming is a time to celebrate traditions. Building floats, Tigerama, and defeating our opponents in football are all traditions that make Homecoming so special. On top of all of these widely-anticipated events, one newer tradition was also celebrated at the homecoming game on Saturday: the Professor of the Game and Staff Member of the Game program. In 2014, President Jim Clements initiated the program, which serves as a way to honor Clemson’s faculty and staff for their contributions to the university at each home football game.
The Professor of the Game was Anthony Bernarducci, Ph.D., an assistant professor of performing arts and director of choral activities in the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Originally from New Jersey, Bernarducci joined Clemson four years ago. He teaches music theory and composition and directs three major choral groups on campus: the Men’s Choir, the Clemson University Singers and Cantorei. This lover of music composes his own pieces, which have been performed around the world. Bernaducci’s work has been performed from South Africa to Italy to South Korea, and even on the famed stage at Carnegie Hall. His wife, Breanna, accompanied him onto the field to receive his recognition.
Bernarducci said he felt “honored” to be included in the recognition. “This program is important because the whole experience fills you with appreciation and motivates you to work even harder,” he said.
Staff Member of the Game Ale Kennedy, Ph.D., is no stranger to Clemson. Kennedy is a Clemson alumna who returned to the university two years ago to take her current position as associate chief human resources (HR) officer. When she isn’t running in events like the Boston Marathon (which she ran in the wind and rain), she oversees the Human Resources Service Center, which assists faculty and staff with HR-related questions. Additionally, she is heading efforts to restructure Clemson’s human resources organization. On Saturday, Kennedy was accompanied onto the field by her husband, who she said was “proud of [her] and amazed by the level of support for the program and amount of appreciation given to the recipients.”
Like Bernaducci, Kennedy thinks the program is important.
“It gives the university a chance to show their appreciation to faculty and staff who make everything run smoothly,” she said.