David Price’s ’79 connection to Clemson University runs deep, rooted in family tradition and a profound sense of purpose. His father, D.C. Price ’50, was a proud member of Clemson’s ROTC program and earned his bachelor’s degree in dairy science. Being the eldest of 15 children, D.C. had to work hard to stay at Clemson. Routine college expenses were high, even with a military scholarship. It was his hardworking spirit that guided him through Clemson and life beyond — serving many through his years working on Clemson’s dairy farm, serving in the Army, briefly running a chicken farm and as owner of Price’s Feed and Seed Store in Greer, South Carolina.
According to David, his father planted the seed for his own love of Clemson by sharing stories of his time on campus and the special connections that are built when you say “yes” to becoming a Tiger. “Clemson was always my dream; I never considered anywhere else,” says David. “I had heard about Clemson all my life, and when it was my time to go to college, coming here was a no-brainer.” This dream and his father’s legacy guided David’s academic journey and ultimately led him on a pathway to give back to the place he and his family love so much.
Nurturing an Agricultural Calling
David started out as a pre-pharmacy major but quickly pivoted to pursuing a degree in agricultural engineering. Having grown up in a farming family, this was more than just a major; it was an immersion into a community of like-minded students who shared similar hardworking backgrounds. The sense of camaraderie he experienced with his classmates became a foundational part of his Clemson Experience. Late-night study sessions in the a g engineering building and in Cooper Library turned into exchanging life stories and building lifelong friendships. “We bonded over shared experiences and became like family to each other,” David said when describing his classmates.
David also benefited from the relationships he established with professors in the agricultural engineering program. What he appreciated the most was that his professors were invested in the success of their students, both inside the classroom and beyond. The life lessons he gained at Clemson have stayed with him to this day, and the relationships David developed with his professors and peers became like a second family.
A Ripple Effect of Generosity
David’s first engineering class at Clemson was taught by Dr. Tom Garner, one of the many professors who inspired David during his Clemson Experience. Dr. Garner told his students on that first day of class that each of them should look for opportunities to give back.
“One day, each of you sitting here might have that chance to give back to future generations of Clemson students,” David recalls hearing Dr. Garner say.
After David graduated, he began working at S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in drinking water supply permitting and later in solid hazardous waste permitting, then moved to SCE&G (now Dominion Energy) as an environmental engineer for nuclear power. During his early days at DHEC, he met and married his wife, Elaine. Elaine said she knew David was “All In” for Clemson when they went on dates in his orange Jeep. David eventually returned to DHEC and focused again on water — specifically drinking water quality and the inspection and permitting of public water systems in the state. In 2012, David finished his career with DHEC after 32 years of service. As a licensed professional engineer for 34 years, he noted for students the importance of getting a professional license and stressed that, regardless of the job description, holding a professional license opens doors for job seekers. “Taking those license exams is a whole lot easier when the material is fresh in your mind,” he suggests.
David describes meeting neighbor and fellow Clemson alumnus Al Berry (Clemson Board of Visitors past chair), who shared with David and Elaine that he had wanted to attend Clemson so badly that he had hitchhiked his way to Clemson and begged for financial aid so he could become a student. Al’s story made David stop and wonder how he could help students like Al, who “just needed that extra support to make it.”
Honoring Struggles and Leaving a Legacy
The Prices believe that tuition costs should not be a barrier for hardworking students who desire to attend college, and they have made it their mission to lift this burden off the shoulders of students and families. Tuition costs at schools across the country have skyrocketed over the past decade, making college increasingly difficult for families to afford and leaving many students with significant financial debt after graduation. “We went through the 1979 Taps Yearbook and saw a chart that showed in-state tuition at the time was about $250 and room and board about $650 per semester, which came to about $1800 per year,” said Elaine. “That’s a huge difference from costs these days, and we don’t want to see anyone hit a brick wall financially when trying to come to Clemson,” she added.
David and Elaine were inspired to leave a planned gift to the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences to benefit students who, like David’s father, have to work hard to afford a college education. For David and Elaine Price, this decision to leave a planned gift to support students reflects a heartfelt desire to see the next generations of Clemson students succeed. “It feels good to know we can help others,” David said, “and we want to open doors for those deserving students who just need a little extra to help them make it to Clemson. We hope this plants a seed in the hearts of others to do something to help the next generation coming behind them.”
Please reach out to us as you consider how you, like David and Elaine, can help others and make a difference in the lives of our future students through a current or planned gift. Our website features useful online resources to guide your thought process. And if you desire more detailed information about general estate planning, please download our free Wills Guide, which is available to help you navigate your thoughts and plans before visiting with your attorney. You are always welcome to contact us directly by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 864.656.0663.
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