Student Affairs

Clemson holds recognition for Spring and Summer 2024 service member and student veteran graduates


Craig Wells receives his Americana cords and honor stoles as a master's degree candidate and student veteran at the 2024 Service Member Graduation Recognition on Monday, May 6
Craig Wells, center, is earning a master's degree in athletic leadership from Clemson this week. Wells is a student veteran and has served several deployments overseas.
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Clemson held its biannual Service Member and Veteran Graduation Recognition on Monday, May 6 in the Almeda Jacks Ballrooms of Hendrix Student Center. Undergraduate and graduate students were recognized for their service to the United States military and for preparing to graduate from Clemson in its Spring and Summer commencement ceremonies. Honorees were presented red, white and blue cords to go atop their graduation regalia.

“In many ways, 2024 has already been a banner year at Clemson in support of our military student population,” says Kimberly Poole, assistant vice president and senior associate dean of students. “We are overwhelmingly proud of all that has been accomplished this spring, including the performance inside and outside of the classroom by our graduating students.”

The Office of Military & Veteran Engagement (M&VE) led a program that included a keynote address from COL David Rozelle (retired), the current director of operations for the South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs. An amputee who served on assignments to Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, Rozelle recalled the instance a land mine exploded and caused his injury. Rather than dwell on his misfortune, he rehabilitated and returned to the battlefield. He shared his story as an example of the spirit of the military culture, one dedicated to the service of others.

“This time is very special for you as students, because you’re continuing a transition process,” Rozelle said. “You are part of a culture that expects something different. By getting to this point today and through your ties to this great University, you are a thriving veteran. Find ways to continue to lead, because your community needs you.”

Nine graduates and 10 undergraduates were recognized in person, representing a large class of 146 military-connected students graduating this summer. Included was Andrew Anspach, a graduate student in the construction science and management program who was promoted to the rank of major in the United States Air Force during an on-campus ceremony last summer. Several undergraduates who have been significantly involved with M&VE and other initiatives during their time at Clemson were honored Monday as well, including Jackson Grant, who previously served as a hospital corpsman during his service in the United States Navy. Kasey Smith and Mason Young, past presidents of Clemson’s SALUTE Honor Society and Student Veterans Association, respectively, were also recognized.

May and August graduating student veterans and service members were honored during a recognition ceremony in Hendrix Center on Monday, May 6.

“Calling yourself a college graduate is no easy achievement,” said Chase Carter, current president of the Student Veterans Association. “You all should be proud to sit here today. The transitional challenges you face make your accomplishments even more impressive, on so many levels.”

Daniel Greco, a junior horticulture major, earned the Spring 2024 Outstanding Student Veteran Award. He has been an instrumental figure in transitioning the SVA to a delegated student organization under M&VE. He was responsible for creating the organization’s upcoming fiscal year budget. Greco also served on the Mile of Honor planning committee and led multiple community service projects this semester. Additionally, Greco was one of five students to receive the Military Leadership Award — which includes a monetary stipend. The other recipients were Carter, John Heilman, Kathy Jackson and Brian Ruete.

Lauren Parker, one of Clemson’s interpersonal violence response coordinators, received the Veteran Impact Award. She provided M&VE additional support during its recent move to Hendrix Student Center, assisting with the selection of décor, furniture and elements tailored to meet specific needs — ensuring an inclusive new space for office staff, community partners, veterans and military-connected students.


Maira Patino
• Ph.D. in parks, recreation and tourism management
• Native of Chicago, Illinois currently serves in the Army
• Served on a deployment to Afghanistan in 2012

Jayson Warren
• Ph.D. in policy studies
• Native of Hanover, Pennsylvania currently serves in the Air Force
• Served numerous deployments over a long military career

Andrew Anspach
• Construction science and management
• Native of New London, North Carolina is a major in the Air Force
• Attended Clemson as part of the Air Force Institute of Technology’s civilion institution scholarship program

Morgan Boss
• Animal and veterinary sciences
• Native of Anderson, Indiana currently serves as an Army reservist
• Served on deployments to Iraq and Kuwait in 2022

John Grubbs
• Master of business administration
• Native of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina served 20 years in the Army
• Served on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan

Theodore Haskell
• Public administration
• Native of Simpsonville, South Carolina served in the Marine Corps
• Served on a 2003 deployment to Iraq

Jada Lester
• Applied psychology (human factors & information design)
• Native of Phenix City, Alabama currently serves in the Army
• Member of Clemson’s Human Factors Ergonomics Society

Charlie Stabler
• Automotive engineering
• Native of Swansea, South Carolina served in the Marine Corps

Craig Wells
• Athletic leadership
• Native of Beaufort, South Carolina currently serves in the Army
• Served on deployments to Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iraq


David Barnett
• Computer science
• Native of Greenville, South Carolina served in the Air Force
• Former secretary for Clemson’s Student Veterans Association

Jack Bitter
• Civil engineering
• Native of Charlotte, North Carolina served in the Marine Corps Reserves

Matthew Brinkley
• Criminal justice
• Native of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina served in the Army
• Served on a deployment to Iraq

Norrissa Chandler
• Sociology
• Native of Salters, South Carolina currently serves in the South Carolina Army National Guard

Jackson Grant
• Sociology
• Native of Clemson, South Carolina is a member of the Army ROTC program
• Served in the Navy and currently with the Army Reserves
• Past secretary and treasurer of Clemson’s Student Veterans Association

Chad Hickman
• Business management
• Native of McBee, South Carolina served in the Army

Robert Ingle
• Sociology
• Currently serves as an Army reservist

J.P. Nadeau
• Marketing
• Native of Fort Mill, South Carolina served in the Marine Corps
• Served on deployments to Japan, Korea and the Philippines
• Treasurer for Clemson’s Action Shooting Club

Luis Ortero
• Electrical engineering
• Native of Jacksonville, Florida served in the Navy
• Served on deployments during Operation Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom

Kasey Smith
• Electrical engineering
• Native of Winter Haven, Florida served in the Marine Corps
• Served on a deployment to Afghanistan
• Past president of Clemson’s SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society

Mason Young
• Marketing
• Native of Asheville, North Carolina served in the Air Force
• Served on deployments to Afghanistan, Japan and South Korea
• Past president of Clemson’s Student Veterans Association

Steven Younginer
• Agribusiness
• Native of Florence, South Carolina served in the Army Reserves
• Served on a deployment to Djibouti
• President of Clemson’s Agribusiness Association