College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Corner: November 2022


Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

The week or so preceding Homecoming is always a special time on campus. Perhaps never more so than this Fall, after two years of reduced or canceled homecoming celebrations during our long winter of COVID.

Last month, I got to experience my first real Homecoming since starting at Clemson.

Campus echoed with the sounds of hammering coming from the annual Habitat for Humanity build on Bowman Field, lovingly led by Ally Bedenbaugh, one of our construction science and management majors. At the same time,  the rest of CAAH was delighted to welcome several special people to campus.

First was the 50th reunion of the School of Architecture Class of ’72. It was moving to meet and talk with them and to hear them reminisce about their time at Clemson. It must have been a very memorable experience, given how close-knit this group was and continues to be. They had the thrill of being students when the Villa in Genoa was purchased and first launched. On a related note, The Villa will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this coming Spring 2023 — more on that soon!

Then our students in Art, Architecture and World Cinema were honored to welcome Colie Wertz, ’92, an Architecture alumnus who has been a concept artist on a bevy of blockbuster movie franchises: Star Wars, Marvel, Batman and many more. Colie visited classes and interacted with students, as well as giving an inspiring and extremely well-attended lecture. I had the chance to meet with Colie during the game against Syracuse (Go Tigers!), and it made me proud to hear him talk about how incredibly impressed he was with the caliber of students he encountered. I look forward to future interactions and collaborations with Colie; he is a credit to the quality of our design programs and an invaluable resource to our students.

The Women’s Leadership program was also honored to welcome Georgia Callahan to campus, finally giving us the chance to thank her in person for her enduring support and for her unprecedented show of confidence with the $1 million endowment commitment, a key gesture in demonstrating the sustainability of our interdisciplinary programs.

Georgia Callahan met with students, faculty and alumni of the Women’s Leadership program during a rooftop reception at the Watt Family Innovation Center.

Speaking of which, the Board of Trustees had their regular quarterly meeting during Homecoming week and approved our College’s proposal to establish a Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. This new department will house our currently floating interdisciplinary programs, and it will serve both as an incubator for possible future interdisciplinary programs and as a platform for students and faculty to come together – to think, to experiment, and to extend the boundaries of knowledge. How appropriate it is for our interdisciplinary programs to finally get a permanent home on Homecoming, and I am very grateful to the Board for allowing us to go ahead.

Go Tigers!

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

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