Khristy Glover began working toward her Master of Business Administration degree soon after the arrival of COVID in 2020. Obtaining an MBA is difficult enough, but Glover also battled the spread of COVID throughout her family, the loss of her sister and burnout while working a full-time job as a fiscal analyst for Regulatory Services. Never giving up, Glover completed her coursework and graduated in December. On March 15, Glover and 38 Clemson employees were honored at the fourth annual Degree Recognition Luncheon to celebrate those who’ve attained degrees while working for the University.
Glover spoke at the luncheon with honoree Misty Stewart, who earned an EdD in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University while serving as Director of Graduate Student Success for the Clemson Graduate School. They were joined by President Jim Clements, Provost Bob Jones, Faculty Senate President Kristine Vernon and Staff Senate President Melinda Fischer, who shared remarks expressing pride and amazement at the employees who juggle work, family and community obligations while getting a degree.
“I know you all made many personal and family sacrifices,” President Clements told the graduates, their supervisors, and colleagues. “However, your efforts will make Clemson an even better place. What you achieved is a personal accomplishment that no one will ever be able to take from you.”
Of the 39 honorees, six earned a bachelor’s degree, 22 earned a master’s and 11 earned a doctorate. The luncheon took a two-year hiatus during COVID but has become an annual tradition, sponsored by Executive Leaders, Human Resources, Faculty Senate and Staff Senate.
Glover and Stewart both faced significant challenges when completing their advanced degrees. A little more than two weeks after her husband and brother were admitted to the hospital with COVID, Glover lost her sister to the virus. Soon after, her husband Donell was re-admitted to the critical care unit. Not sure she could continue her classes, she contacted her professors. Their encouragement and flexibility, along with her perseverance and husband’s support, helped see her through—and her husband joined her at graduation, completing a Master of Public Administration degree of his own.
“I will always be thankful to Clemson University for allowing me and so many other employees the opportunity to pursue our degrees,” said Khristy Glover. “Having a valuable support system is important when deciding to pursue a degree while working full-time. My family, the flexibility of my work schedule and having a supportive supervisor gave me the time I needed to complete my degree. It wasn’t an easy task, but it was worth it! My MBA journey reminds me of a Winnie the Pooh quote: ‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’”
Misty Stewart’s “exceptionally hard” journey to her EdD spanned seven years and saw job changes, births, deaths, weddings, graduations and illnesses. Her father referred to himself as “ABD: All But Dissertation,” coming up just short of completing his doctorate. His encouragement, along with others in her family, gave her an extra push.
“For others and me, life didn’t stop just because we were working on a degree,” said Stewart. “We all experienced highs and lows and everything in between. Still, we persevered and achieved the goal of completing a degree, a significant accomplishment worthy of celebrating. Whether faculty or staff earned their degrees at Clemson or elsewhere, I am grateful for Clemson’s recognition of our achievements. It speaks to the importance of furthering one’s education and our value as Clemson employees.”
Stewart’s “ABD” father suffered a stroke last year but recovered to celebrate his 76th birthday a few weeks ago. Misty Stewart’s present to him? A bound copy of her dissertation.
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