Noah Ashley’s experiences with the Clemson Family are empowering him to make change in the world.
Noah Ashley, a senior bioengineering major from Spartanburg, South Carolina, was a Clemson Tiger long before he received the coveted Tiger Town Bound acceptance packet in the mail. But his time as a student has cemented his dedication to Clemson in ways he never imagined. Both his mother and father graduated from Clemson, and they instilled a love for the University in him and his sister from the beginning. He says, “I have had orange in my blood since the day I was born – and this was reflected in the way I was raised with an emphasis on integrity, respect and excellence.” Noah’s sister is following in those same footsteps – having recently received her own Tiger Town Bound packet in the mail.
The Ashley family is truly a Clemson family. Although he grew up in a dedicated Clemson family, Noah says that he didn’t fully appreciate or understand what it meant to be a Clemson Tiger until he arrived on campus nearly four years ago. Being here every day, living in the community with his fellow Tigers, Noah sees how working together with members of the Clemson Family can make a positive impact in the world.
As Noah’s senior year nears its close, he feels especially sentimental, reflecting often on his many memories. As he nears the end of his undergraduate experience in “these hills,” it is bittersweet. Noah says, “I have been incredibly blessed to find the Clemson Family in so many different parts of this campus – and they have all empowered me to make change in this world through my own Clemson Legacy.”
Last Fall, Noah spoke at our Clemson Legacy Society Dinner, where we recognize those who, with their thoughtful and purposeful generosity, have remembered Clemson in their gift and estate planning. To recognize them for their commitment to future generations, we celebrate and induct the newest members into this esteemed society and present them with a framed copy of Thomas Green Clemson’s last will and testament during this special evening. Noah was gracious in giving us of his time to speak to during the celebration and share his unique Clemson Experience. Noah spoke about how gifts from others have impacted his life and expressed his gratitude. He said, “I cannot think of a group of people who embody the attributes of integrity, respect and excellence more than the folks in this room. You are willing to give generously now so that many future students like me can experience the Clemson Family, too.”
Noah is especially grateful for the scholarship he has received, relieving some of the financial stress and allowing him to truly make the most of his Clemson Experience. The Harry G. Berry Endowment for Biomedical Technology Innovation allowed him to pursue his love for research and medical device design. Noah’s concentration is in biomaterials, and his minor is chemistry. For the past two years, he has worked with a Clemson research team to develop medical devices in coordination with clinicians at Prisma Health Upstate. Noah says, “I will never forget walking into a crowded ICU with my fellow students and professors – in the height of the pandemic – to teach nurses and doctors how to use a novel protective device that we designed that could save them and their families from COVID-19.” The look of gratitude on their faces is something that has remained with Noah and motivated him to continue on his path to medical school.
Being in the Clemson Honors College has also facilitated special bonds with his fellow Tigers. The Clemson Family that Noah gained by living in the Clemson Honors College has stayed with him – quite literally – throughout his entire collegiate career. Having developed a bond so close, Noah and five friends have moved together all four years so that they could remain neighbors. It’s an incredibly special bond, and Noah feels blessed that they have loved him so deeply and become his home away from home.
Noah’s Clemson Family also expanded through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, emboldening him to stand with integrity for what is right and to be an advocate for respect for all of his fellow Tigers.
He has been pushed as a leader, as a strategic thinker and as a friend for the members of the Clemson community. He is forever grateful for each of them, crediting them for giving him the confidence to join with students across South Carolina to engage members of the General Assembly to push for reformed hazing laws, education and accountability on campuses across our state.
While many of these relationships are somewhat expected for a student on campus, there is one relationship Noah made with a fellow Tiger that was quite unexpected.
“I want to tell you about one of my favorite members of the Clemson family – Lisa Styles – who is the manager of one of our dining halls.
Freshman year, I was shocked to find out that they decided to remove Frosted Flakes from the cereal line up. I approached Lisa and asked if they had any Frosted Flakes left in the back. Every single day after that, Lisa found me in the crowded dining hall and gave me a cup of Frosted Flakes – to the point that I had a tower of Frosted Flakes in my dorm room.
This small interaction has blossomed into one of the most special relationships I have had.
Lisa threw me a surprise birthday party sophomore year in Schilletter Dining Hall – and invited all of my friends.
She and I FaceTime each other on Christmas every year.
If I ever need some relationship advice, I head straight to our booth in Schilletter, and Lisa sets me straight.
Lisa will be at my graduation – and she will be at my wedding.
What started as a simple bowl of Frosted Flakes has become the clearest example of what it means to be a part of the Clemson Family.
There is truly nothing like it.”
Noah’s experiences and memories will forever stay with him, and he looks forward to the future when he builds his own family and can share his love of Clemson with his own children who will become third generation Clemson Tigers.
Together, Noah feels that all of his experiences have prepared him well for success as he prepares to enter medical school. He has gained the scientific and technical knowledge through the bioengineering department, and he has developed the soft skills on every corner of campus. He says, “This will help me forge my own Clemson legacy as a physician one day.”
At the core, Noah’s experience is the epitome of the Clemson Experience – just like the one his parents had. His mom’s Clemson Experience allowed her to become a community leader as an educator for 27 years, and Clemson prepared his dad for a successful 26-year legacy at a company where he started out as a Clemson co-op student.
Noah’s ultimate measure of success is if he can mirror the impact that his parents have had on him, on his sister, and on other people they love through the knowledge they gained at Clemson.
Noah expresses his gratitude to those who give back to Clemson with their time, resources and knowledge so that more Clemson students, like him, will have these once-in-a-lifetime experiences – so that they will be inspired one day to pay forward the generosity they received from others and establish their own Clemson legacy.
To those who make this commitment to support Clemson and future generations with their time, talent and treasure, Noah says, “Clemson students’ ability to inspire real change in this world will be your legacy – and will become a part of the ever-growing Clemson Legacy – which is so much bigger than any one of us alone.”
Noah is merely one example of a student currently benefiting from the philanthropic actions of others. There were many who came before him, and because of the commitment of our Clemson Family, there will be many who come after him. Planned gifts to Clemson ensure support to Clemson in perpetuity. The beneficiaries of your generosity – future generations of Clemson students – are your legacy. They represent the positive difference you will forever make in the lives of our students. Making your plan today will leave a legacy for tomorrow.
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