Clemson ‘Will to Lead’ philanthropy campaign tops $800 million; donors gave $115 million last year


CLEMSON — Clemson University’s “The Will to Lead” capital campaign has surpassed the $800 million milestone.

President James P. Clements shared the good news as the fiscal year came to a close.

“To use a football analogy, it means we are now in the red zone and the goal is in sight,” Clements said. “To our students, faculty and staff, it means new scholarships, fellowships, professorships and chairs, as well as new and improved facilities. We are so very grateful to the donors and volunteers who are making Clemson a stronger university by providing their support.”

Private gifts to the university totaled $115 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year, bringing the multi-year “The Will to Lead” campaign’s total to $811 million toward the $1 billion goal.

The total raised this year includes $75.9 million in cash gifts, pledges and gifts-in-kind, $15.8 million in planned gifts and $32 million raised by IPTAY through its annual fund, cash and pledges for major gifts, and planned gifts to support athletics.

Highlights from the year include gifts of $5.6 million from Self Regional Healthcare for Clemson’s Center for Human Genetics and $3 million from Haworth, Inc. for the Watt Family Innovation Center.

Other gifts of $1 million or more came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the Call Me MISTER program, the Barnes family to renovate the historic sheep barn for student activities, and the Class of 1964 for the Class of 1956 Academic Success Center and scholarships.

The percentage of alumni who gave to Clemson University was 23.3 percent, which remains one of the highest among public universities in the nation.

“I’m grateful to our campaign volunteers for their leadership and commitment to this effort,” said Brian O’Rourke, executive director of development and alumni relations. “We are building for the long run. Clemson needs support for today and gifts critical to the university’s sustainability for generations to come. We are working together to build Clemson, forever.”

More than 22,000 individuals made donations to the university during the fiscal year.

“I’m proud of the support the Clemson family, alumni, parents and corporations are investing in our university to make it great,” said Trustee Smyth McKissick, who serves as chairman of “The Will to Lead” campaign.

“One of my ultimate privileges has been working alongside members of ‘The Will to Lead’ campaign volunteer committee to support Clemson’s priorities. We are all so pleased with the tremendous progress in this campaign, but the needs for our faculty and students are still great and we need to finish this campaign strong.”

In 2012, Clemson surpassed its goal of raising $600 million in the campaign and extended the goal to $1 billion to support students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

Since the campaign was launched, 509 new scholarships and fellowships have been created, funding has been provided for 109 faculty positions, 461 new endowments have been established and numerous academic and athletic facilities are planned, under renovation or have been built. “The Will to Lead” campaign has contributed $161 million in cash to the university’s endowment, including  $16.4 million this fiscal year.

“We are very appreciative of the 15,000-plus donors who have committed more than $32 million over the past year to support athletic scholarships, academic support services and facility initiatives,” said Davis Babb, chief executive officer of IPTAY. “This total is a combination of gifts to our annual fund, as well as major gifts and planned giving efforts that have enabled our ‘one IPTAY’ enterprise to expand its scope.”


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