Office of the President

Clemson University Board of Trustees Elects Kim Wilkerson as Chair


Wilkerson to Serve as First Woman Board Chair in Clemson History

The Clemson University Board of Trustees on Thursday, July 15, elected Kim Wilkerson to a two-year term as chair. Wilkerson, South Carolina president and managing director for Bank of America, is the first woman to lead the Clemson Board in school history. She has served on the board since February 2010.

“It’s an honor to serve this incredible institution, and I am humbled by the opportunity,” Wilkerson said. “I want to thank the board for their confidence in me, and I pledge to work with each of you in guiding Clemson to even greater heights.”

Wilkerson succeeds Smyth McKissick, who was elected chairman in 2015 and served the maximum number of consecutive terms as chair. McKissick, a 1979 graduate of Clemson, remains on the board as a trustee, a position he has held since 1998.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity – and privilege – to serve in this capacity, and I truly believe Clemson is poised for even greater things in the years ahead,” McKissick said. “I know I speak for the entire Board of Trustees in congratulating Kim. This board will do everything within its power in support of you.”

Wilkerson graduated from Clemson University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Management.

Wilkerson was the first woman to be named president of a South Carolina bank. In her role as South Carolina president for Bank of America, Wilkerson serves as the bank’s enterprise leader and provides business, civic and philanthropic leadership across the state. She also serves as Columbia president for Bank of America and South Carolina market executive for the Bank of America Private Bank.

Wilkerson joined Bank of America’s predecessor bank, Bankers Trust, in 1980. Active in civic affairs, Wilkerson will become chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce in the fall, and serves on the Palmetto Business Forum. Wilkerson has previously served as chair for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and as president of the Sistercare, Inc., board, where she was honored for her outstanding service to the organization and its domestic violence program.

Throughout her career, Wilkerson has served on numerous boards, including the ScienceSouth Strategic Advisory Board, the Clemson University Foundation Board, the Clemson University Board of Visitors, the South Carolina Bankers Association, and the ETV Endowment of South Carolina. She also has served as board treasurer of the Central South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.

She has been recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential people in Columbia by Columbia Business Monthly, the Business Leader of the Year by the South Carolina Chamber, the Leader of Distinction Award by Leadership South Carolina, the Distinguished Service Award by the Clemson Alumni Association, a Distinguished Alumna by the College of Business & Behavioral Science of Clemson University, and as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts.

She is married to Avery Wilkerson, and they have two grown sons, Bland, who is married to Katie; and Allen, who is married to Elizabeth; and three grandchildren, Ab, Aiden and Ellie.

Clemson University is a student-centered, nationally ranked public land grant institution founded by a bequest from Thomas G. Clemson and governed by a 13-member Board of Trustees as provided by his will.

During the past six years, the University has achieved record-breaking success by holding true to its core values and guided by the vision of its founder. Thomas Green Clemson sought to create a “seminary of high learning” that used scientific knowledge to help students reach their full potential and build a workforce for the critical industries of our state.

Graduation and retention rates are at an all-time high, the Clemson endowment has grown 52 percent to nearly $1 billion since 2015, and research grants are up 63 percent to $145 million during that same period. Clemson’s student-athletes are champions on the field, as well, having won numerous ACC championships in multiple sports along with national football championships in 2016 and 2018.

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