Clemson announces $600 million capital campaign


Clemson University has kicked off the public phase of a capital campaign to raise $600 million in private gifts by June 30, 2012.

The Will to Lead: A Campaign for Clemson will support students and faculty by providing scholarships, fellowships, professorships and enhanced learning and research opportunities with top facilities and technology.

“We call it The Will to Lead campaign because our founder, Thomas Green Clemson, created this institution through his will — both the document and the attitude. He had a fierce determination to improve education and prosperity for all South Carolinians,” said Clemson President James F. Barker. “In the 20th century, Mr. Clemson’s 19th century dream was realized. It’s now the 21st century, and the pace of social, economic and technological change has quickened. The stakes are higher than ever, and our universities are more important than ever.”

More than $433 million in cash gifts, pledges, bequests and other commitments has been raised since May 2007, when the nucleus phase of the campaign began. As a result of being focused on students and faculty, 224 new scholarships and fellowships have been created, 79 faculty positions ­such as endowed chairs and professorships ­ have received funding and new facilities are planned, under renovation or have been built.

“Over the past decade, Clemson has transformed itself from a respected state school into one of our nation’s finest public universities. We are determined not to give up the ground we have fought so hard to gain,” said Barker. “Fortunately for us, we have a whole family of alumni, donors, investors, corporations, faculty, staff and students who understand the vital importance of Clemson’s mission and understand the challenges we face.” 

Trustee Smyth McKissick of Greenville, a 1979 Clemson graduate and president of Alice Manufacturing Company Inc., will chair the national campaign committee through the public phase of the campaign.

“The goals of this campaign go to the very core of what makes Clemson Clemson: students and faculty, intellectual development and economic development,” said McKissick. “These priorities reflect the best of our heritage and our best hope for the future.”

During the course of the campaign, more than 500 volunteers will work with staff and faculty members to help Clemson exceed its goals, said Brian O’Rourke, director of development and alumni affairs.

“Our volunteer leaders have been working for four years to build a solid foundation of leadership gifts, and now it’s time to reach out to the Clemson nation and get everyone involved,” O’Rourke said. “Our goal is to have all our alumni, parents and friends from across the country want to be part of this effort to help Clemson be the best it can be.”

For more information about The Will to Lead: A Campaign for Clemson, visit

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