Almost a year ago it was announced that my family would be calling Clemson home. Not just the University – and not just the city – but both.
It’s not as though we had ever lived here before, mind you. I was born in Arlington, Virginia, where I lived for four years; then moved to Maryland and lived there for the next 40 years; and, prior to coming to Clemson, lived in West Virginia for five years.
My wife, Beth’s, family has direct ties to both the city and the university – as two of her brothers and a sister-in-law are Clemson graduates. My brother-in-law, Greg, serves on the advisory board of the Spiro Institute. And the Championships Awards trophy case in the lobby of the golf clubhouse is named for Beth’s parents – Clif and Priscilla Smith.
Beth’s brothers had always made sure that our four children had plenty of Clemson Tiger gear for every birthday and Christmas. And they had always talked to us about the Clemson Family and the Clemson experience.
They could not have been more right. For us, first-timers both to the University and to the city, it is as though we have lived here all our lives. From day one, we have been welcomed with open arms. This is a very special place, indeed. The university, the city, the region … It is unlike any other place we have lived before.
And we saw just what it is that had you, our alumni, coming home this weekend for our football game against Syracuse, Tigerama on Friday night, and all our other Homecoming events and festivities. Our Flickr albums are filled with wonderful photos that will help preserve these memories.
The 100th anniversary of Homecoming honored our distinguished military history, celebrated our present, and created even more excitement about the future for this amazing institution. We were honored to be a part of this celebration with you, just as we are honored to call Clemson home with you.
Thank you, alumni, for coming home to Clemson this past week – to where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness. Thank you for coming home to a place your heart has never left.
Thank you for coming home – to Clemson.