CLEMSON, S.C. – The executive director of the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, Mary Anne Bigger, is being honored by the Clemson Alumni Association with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor the association bestows upon former Clemson Tigers.
Born in Lancaster, S.C., Bigger graduated from Clemson University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. She began her professional career at Bank of America working in item processing and treasury management and was later promoted to vice president supporting corporate sales associates. Following her banking career, Bigger became the executive director of North Augusta Forward, a non-profit organization focused on the enrichment of the quality of life in North Augusta, S.C.
Recently, Bigger began a new role as the executive director of the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, a non-profit educational center which provides self-guided tours and hands-on exhibits exposing visitors to the arts and history of the region.
During her time at Clemson, she was active with Central Spirit and the IPTAY Student Advisory Board, serving as president her senior year. After graduation, she became an integral volunteer focusing her attention on enhancing the opportunities available to future students of Clemson, especially females, through her role in helping to launch what is now Clemson Women’s Alumni Council’s signature event, “Bring Your Daughter to Clemson.”
She has served on the Clemson Alumni Association Board of Directors, Clemson’s Parents Advisory Board, the Clemson University Foundation Board, as president of Clemson’s Women’s Alumni Council and as president of the Charlotte Clemson Club. Bigger was also the first, and to this point only female, to serve as president of the IPTAY Board of Directors. During her tenure on the IPTAY board, she has been a mentor to others who have joined the board and has been a key leader in the organization helping to grow and identify new membership, especially among females.
She actively participates in supporting the Aiken and Augusta Clemson Clubs and for all of her volunteer efforts, Bigger has been recognized with the Clemson University Young Alumnus of Merit award, the Clemson University Alumni Association Volunteer of the Year award, and the Super Tiger award presented by the Aiken County Clemson Club.
Bigger is also an active volunteer in her community, serving on the North Augusta Nancy Carson Library Board as a member and president and on the North Augusta High School Improvement Council. She is also a graduate of Leadership North Augusta. Currently, she is an active member of Grace United Methodist Church and The New Life Sunday School Class. She is a past member of the GIFTS group, an organization associated with the church which knits blankets and children’s hats that are sent to villagers served by the church’s mission team in Bolivia and to the children at the Methodist Orphanage in Columbia, S.C. She has also served on the Missions committee and nominating committee.
The prestigious Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments; dedication and service to Clemson University; and devotion to community and public service. Members of the Clemson family nominate potential winners, who are then selected by the Clemson Alumni Association as outstanding alumni, public servants and examples to others.
Bigger and her husband, Bob, have two daughters, Bronwyn (’18), who is engaged to Eric White (’18), and Sarah, a current Clemson student studying Language and International Health. She currently resides in North Augusta, S.C.
The Clemson Alumni Association, an open-membership, nonprofit organization since its inception in 1896, connects members of the more than 161,000-strong Clemson Family, inspiring pride, celebrating achievement, providing service and strengthening relationships with Clemson University and with each other. For more information, visit Clemson.edu/alumni.
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