Advancement; Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

A Challenge to raise $5 million for a chair and three professorships in the John E. Walker Department of Economics


Clemson University’s faculty members make a difference; they inspire ideas; they support solutions; and they reinforce research.

Clemson University is committed to its faculty, understanding that exceptional learning begins with outstanding faculty. To attract and retain world-renowned academic, scientific and artistic minds, Clemson must make long-term commitments to their scholarship, research and dedication to their students. Clemson faculty work to advance meaningful research and create thriving learning environments, both on and off campus.

An anonymous donor is recognizing the power of Clemson’s faculty — how one chair or one professor can shape the lives of Clemson students. To reinforce this, this generous donor, who has already given approximately $4 million to Clemson, has established a fundraising challenge, The Power of One. By matching dollar-for-dollar up to $2.5 million, The Power of One challenge will raise a total of $5 million for one chair and three professorships within the John E. Walker Department of Economics.

Clemson faculty are the driving force behind the tangible impact the University has on people and communities in South Carolina and beyond. To increase Clemson’s engaged impact in the state, the University must attract and retain star faculty. Prestigious named positions are crucial, as they demonstrate Clemson’s commitment to faculty by ensuring their accomplishments are appropriately recognized — both nationally and internationally.

Clemson University has made great strides in research in recent years, culminating in Clemson’s distinction as a Carnegie R1: Doctoral University (highest research activity). The Division of Research continues to further build the research reputation. Specifically, the division has made additional funding opportunities available within the University. The Power of One challenge will advance Clemson’s research and reinforce its distinction as a Carnegie R1: Doctoral University. This challenge will continue to elevate Clemson in research and accelerate the prominence and reputation of the John E. Walker Department of Economics and its faculty.

The department and its faculty ensure Clemson students become adept at thinking logically, ultimately preparing them for success in the widest possible variety of occupations.

Stewart Dalton ’25 says, “I chose to major in economics because I believe that a Clemson degree in economics will prepare me for a broad range of career fields. I am excited for what the future holds for me here at Clemson and after graduation.”

The Power of One challenge will raise $2.5 million to reach a goal of $5 million to support the following chair and three professorships:

The Tollison Chair

Head and shoulders shot of a  middle-aged man, Robert Tollison, wearing a tweed houndstooth coat with a dotted neck tie. His hair is wavy, parted on the left side and combed to the right. He has a slight smile on his face. The background has shelves of books.
Robert Tollison

Robert D. Tollison’s life began and ended in Upstate South Carolina. After attending Spartanburg High School and graduating from Wofford College, Tollison began a career that carried him to great international academic acclaim and across the country.

As a scholar, Tollison played a key role in the development of the emerging fields of public choice, the economics of sports and the economics of religion. Early in his career, he was a leading contributor to the study of the organization of industry. Professor Tollison has published extensively in highly regarded academic journals and written several books on public choice, regulatory and anti-trust issues, as well as the economics of religion. In addition to his academic work, Professor Tollison was active in public policy: he worked for the Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Trade Commission, and he has testified before Congress on several occasions.

The McCormick Distinguished Professorship

An older white man, Bobby McCormick, is standing with one hand in his front pants pocket and the other arm hanging by his side. His blazer all but covers the hand in his pocket. He has a wide smile on his face and his eyes are smiling too. The background is a hallway in the business school.
Bobby McCormick

Bobby McCormick graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1972 and a master’s in environmental economics in 1974. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M in 1978. 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 has been awarded 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). This year, McCormick received the Clemson Medallion — the highest honor awarded by the Clemson University Board of Trustees. 

In 2005, McCormick co-founded the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism (CISC) — the first and only university-based research and teaching center devoted to exploring capitalism’s moral, legal, political and economic foundations.

McCormick once said that the hallmark of a Clemson education is the relationship that students have with faculty and it is the prime feature that distinguishes Clemson from a lot of other great schools. McCormick not only believes this, but he is the embodiment of this attitude. Students have always said that once you’re one of McCormick’s students, you will always be one of his students. Former students describe being around McCormick as feeling like they are back in the classroom — in a good way. And once back in that setting, they know they will be challenged, they will laugh a little and learn a lot.

The Yandle Distinguished Professorship

A head and shoulders shot of an older white man, Bruce Yandle, is looking to the side and has a smile on his face. He is wearing a bow tie, blazer and glasses.
Bruce Yandle

Bruce Yandle co-founded the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. Yandle served as dean of the College of Business from 2004-2007, was executive director of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and senior economist on the President’s Council on Wage and Price Stability. He has been on the Association of Private Enterprise and the Chairman of the South Carolina Board of Economic Advisors.

Yandle was also an Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the John E. Walker Department of Economics.

Yandle was one of Clemson’s most popular professors. He taught regulation and the political economy of the environment, and he had the rare ability to intertwine economics and a good story. Yandle is widely known for his work on Bootleggers and the Baptists — where he proposed how economic (bootleggers) and moral (Baptists) interests may align to support bringing about government regulations. The Bootleggers and Baptists theory has been widely applied to explain environmental regulations, regulations on interstate trade, international trade agreements, as well as regulations intended for consumer protection.

The Maloney Distinguished Professorship

An older man, Mike Maloney, very short hair, nearly bald, and also a mustache, sits with a puppy in his lap. He is outside on a deck, wearing a smile and casual attire.
Mike Maloney

Michael T. Maloney came to Clemson in 1974 and was a professor of economics at the University for 45 years. Maloney was instrumental in starting the Economics Ph.D. program, which was an outgrowth of the Ph.D. program in agricultural economics. As the head of the department, he recruited the first set of Ph.D. students.

When Maloney was the chair of the department, he faced many challenges. However, as Raymond “Skip” Sauer once described, Maloney was able to build a great department and hold it together against the greatest of odds. He was responsible for recruiting many of the junior and senior faculty that helped build Clemson’s reputation as having a great economics department. After he stepped down as department chair, Maloney became the director of the graduate program.  As the director of the graduate program, he had a keen eye for talented students who were contemplating getting a Ph.D. In much the same way Maloney was able to recruit faculty, he was able to attract graduate students to Clemson, and his efforts helped to build the reputation of the Ph.D. program. 

Your support of the Power of One challenge to raise funds for the Tollison Chair, the McCormick Distinguished Professorship, the Yandle Distinguished Professorship and the Maloney Distinguished Professorship will make a difference for students within the John E. Walker Department of Economics — inspiring their ideas, supporting their solutions and reinforcing their research.

Make your gift today and support economics at Clemson University.  Support the faculty. Support the students.

Want to Discuss?

Get in touch and we will connect you with the author or another expert.

Or email us at

    This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.