College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Former CEOs to share secrets of success at Clemson University on April 4


The former CEOs of Balfour Beatty Construction and Michelin North America will visit Clemson University on April 4 to share with students the habits and values that led to their success.

Bob Hambright, the retired CEO and division president of Balfour Beatty Construction, and Pete Selleck, the retired chairman and CEO of Michelin North America, will speak in Freeman Hall’s auditorium.

Pete Selleck is on the left, and Bob Hambright is on the right.
Pete Selleck is on the left, and Bob Hambright is on the right.

The seminar is free and open to the public. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend. Selleck is set to speak at 4 p.m., and Hambright is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.

Hambright, who holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Clemson, said his talk will be on the role of values in decision making and leadership, focusing on career rather than faith and family.

For him, those values include hard work and the conviction that everyone should endeavor to reach his or her full potential.

Hambright said he will use real life examples to show how his values drove choices that allowed him to lead one of the fastest growing and most profitable companies in the construction industry in the decade of the 2000s.

He said he will show how he did it while navigating testimony in a mob trial, bribery attempts and getting fired.

Hambright has an MBA from Winthrop University.

Selleck, who holds an MBA from Clemson and has more than 30 years military experience, said he will share some of the basic skills he learned when he was in his 20s that benefited him throughout his career.

Selleck said it’s important to make a to-do list everyday, hold oneself accountable and celebrate when the tasks are done. He also plans to talk about time management, challenging oneself and accepting failure as part of life and learning.

“I feel a responsibility to the university for all it has given me,” he said. “I know how impactful an outside speaker can be.”

Hambright and Selleck bring with them to Clemson a rich history of service.

Hambright and his wife, Susan, have mentored students and gave $500,000 to create the Robert B. and Susan B. Hambright Leadership Associate Professorship, now held by bioengineer John DesJardins. The Hambrights’ contribution and involvement also led to the creation of LEAD Forward, the sponsor of the seminar. Hambright is vice chair of the Clemson University Foundation.

Selleck is a member of the President’s Advisory Board and has previously spoken at the university. He is a West Point graduate and served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve until 2003, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Selleck has served on numerous boards, including the Greenville Technical College Foundation and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

The event sponsor, LEAD Forward, teaches leadership skills to undergraduates in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences. The director, Steve Sanders, is a professor of practice with the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering.

“Bob Hambright and Pete Selleck had brilliant careers that reached the heights of the corporate world,” Sanders said. “We are deeply grateful that they have agreed to give their time so that our students can learn from their rich experience.”

For more information, reach Sanders at


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