Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Clemson to kick off academic year Aug. 19 with Convocation


CLEMSON — Clemson University begins its academic year officially at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at Convocation in Littlejohn Coliseum. Freshmen, transfer and graduate students, along with faculty and staff, are invited to take part in the annual ceremony and hear remarks from a number of distinguished speakers, including President James P. Clements and academic cornerstone partner Joe Erwin.

Convocation will be centered around the theme of T-I-G-E-R-S (tradition, inspiration, gratitude, experience, ring and success). Also scheduled to speak are members of freshman council as well as the undergraduate (Logan Young) and graduate (Miles Maynard) student body presidents. The event will be streamed live online.

Photo of Convocation from August 2018
The University’s 2019-20 academic year gets underway Monday, Aug. 19 with Convocation in Littlejohn Coliseum.

“Our team is excited to see a great turnout at Convocation,” said Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies John Griffin. “We cannot thank everyone enough who has helped plan the logistics behind this year’s event. We look forward to seeing everyone in Littlejohn Coliseum and hearing a great message from Mr. Erwin, a very respected and generous member of the Clemson Family.”

Erwin graduated from Clemson in 1979 with a degree in political science and last year he and his wife, Gretchen, became the university’s second academic cornerstone partner. The Erwins contributed a $2.5 million gift, including $1 million for the new College of Business building and $1.5 million for student scholarship and programming support for communication students and adjunct faculty.

Photo of Joe Erwin speaking at a gift announcement in 2018.
Joe Erwin, one of Clemson’s academic cornerstone partners, is a featured speaker during Convocation.

In 2012, the couple established The Erwin Center for Advertising and Communication, now the Erwin Center for Brand Communications, at Clemson. Its mission is to ensure graduates are equipped to enter today’s global workforce as thoughtful, cutting-edge marketers prepared and excited to contribute their creativity in a wide variety of communications fields.

Joe and Gretchen Erwin co-founded the Erwin Penland Advertising agency in 1986 and later established Erwin Creates, a company that continues a legacy of cultivating, growing and influencing a creative community in South Carolina.

Students begin Convocation day at 8:30 a.m. with small group sessions across campus. Faculty are invited to the general faculty meeting at 8:30 in Burton Gallery, using the east entrance to Littlejohn. A presentation of endowed chairs will follow at 9:10. A faculty reception is scheduled for 9:30 in the coliseum club. Faculty coming for the reception should enter through the east and north entrances to the coliseum.

The university’s clear bag policy will be in effect for Convocation, while parking along the Avenue of Champions will be reserved for VIP personnel and event staff.

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