External Affairs; Finance and Operations

Clemson earns pair of awards from South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs


Clemson University has earned a pair of bronze awards from the South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs (SCDVA) as a Veteran-Friendly Employer and Military Academic Program. Maj. Gen. (retired) Todd McCaffrey, SCDVA secretary, presented the awards Tuesday during the school’s annual military appreciation brunch coordinated by Staff Senate.

“I’m honored to accept these awards on behalf of Clemson and its incredible people who work hard to support veterans and military-connected students,” said Clemson University President Jim Clements. “These awards speak to our culture, our values and our military heritage.”

The SC Secretary of Veterans Affairs presents President Jim Clements with an award.
Clemson University was the recent recipient of the SC Veteran-Friendly Employer designation and a bronze award for Military Academic recognition.

First of its kind: Clemson recognized as SC Veteran-Friendly Employer

With this award, The South Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs recognized Clemson University as a Veteran-Friendly Employer. Clemson is the first higher education institution in the state to receive this honor.

The South Carolina Veteran-Friendly Employer recognition program highlights South Carolina employers that enable veterans through “recruiting veterans into the organization, empowering veteran employees to receive their full potential and enhancing the potential of veteran employees.”

“The Veteran-Friendly Employer award recognizes the fact that Clemson has invested in faculty and staff,” McCaffrey said. Sharing that roughly 8% of Clemson employees are veterans, McCaffrey said, “That’s remarkable for a workforce of this size.”

The SC Veteran-Friendly Employer Bronze recognition status recognizes employers that publish and adhere to a written veteran hiring preference, offer veteran-specific career management or internship/apprenticeship programs and have a designated veteran outreach/recruiting/retention coordinator.

“This designation sends an important message that Clemson University prioritizes and cares about the success of veterans and honors their service,” said Ale Kennedy, associate vice president and chief human resource officer at Clemson. “We want veterans to be successful here and we are willing to put the necessary resources in place to make that happen.”

This recognition is the latest in a string of awards recognizing Clemson for its longstanding commitment to its military community.

Clemson was most recently named a 2023 Gold Military Friendly Employer by VIQTORY. Marking the fourth year the organization has recognized Clemson for its commitment to being a Military Friendly Employer. Clemson has also received the Military Friendly School designation for three consecutive years.

“As a Retired Air Force Veteran, I appreciate all that Clemson does for the Veteran and Military Community,” said Michael Scott, a University talent acquisition partner who assists with military and veteran recruitment. “When I began my post-military career at Clemson, I could feel Clemson’s pride in its rich military heritage, and I aim to honor that heritage every day by supporting our military and veteran family.” 

Clemson operates a Veteran Preference program for qualifying veterans looking to apply for full-time, regular positions at the University.  The University is also an approved location for the Department of Defense SkillBridge internship program, which provides opportunities for service members to gain work experience through specific industry training.

Employers are eligible if they employ individuals in South Carolina and are in good standing with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Military Academic Program receives bronze grade

Clemson was also recognized for its efforts in helping service members, veterans and military families achieve academic and professional goals. McCaffrey presented Clements and staff members with the bronze Military Academic Program award during Tuesday’s brunch.

“We are incredibly grateful for this recognition from the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs,” said Emily DaBruzzi, director of military and veteran engagement. Awards like this provide validation of our efforts to provide advocacy and support to veterans and military-affiliated students on our campus.”

The Office of Military & Veteran Engagement (M&VE) provides wrap-around support to a population of more than 1,200 students—from admissions to graduation and beyond. The M&VE Resource Center in Vickery Hall serves as a place of community for military students and a conduit to University resources. Veterans and military-connected students benefit from priority registration processes, scholarship opportunities, well-being programs, career preparation tools and VA benefits assistance.

“We recognize the contributions of Clemson University to its veterans and military students,” McCaffrey said. “The state of South Carolina is fortunate to have this institution and its commitment to our military population.”

Members of the Office of Human Resources and Division of Student Affairs pose with the SC Secretary of Veterans Affairs and President Jim Clements.

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