Student Affairs

Fraternity and Sorority Life announces 2024 Pillars of the Community


The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life announced today the 2024 class for its “Pillars of the Community.” Pillar awards are presented to individuals who have made a substantial impact in the more than 50 years of national affiliation of fraternities and sororities at Clemson.

This year’s class will be recognized during the second annual “Pillars of the Community” gala, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at the Madren Conference Center. Tickets to the event are on sale for $50 each.

Winston Fowler ‘62 is credited with founding the first social fraternity at Clemson, Sigma Alpha Zeta (now Pi Kappa Alpha) — serving as the organization’s first president. Additionally, Fowler was a member of Tiger Brotherhood, TAPS staff, Central Dance Association, student government and head cheerleader. One nominator describes Fowler as the “father of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Clemson.”

Donald McKale is a retired Clemson history professor who served as chapter advisor to Delta Tau Delta on multiple occasions. In addition to serving as DTD’s first advisor in the mid-1990s, he served the chapter in the same capacity again from 2012-19. He was a faculty member in the Department of History and Geography, receiving numerous accolades — including the Class of 1939 Award for Excellence (2006). One nominator says of McKale, “From Rush to pledging to active membership, he contributed significantly to the chapter’s growth and success.”

Altheia Richardson M ’96 Ph.D. ‘21 is a former associate vice president at Clemson and previous supervisor of both Fraternity and Sorority Life and the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Richardson led the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center for years. She currently serves as vice president and chief diversity officer at Newberry College. According to one nominator, “Dr. Richardson’s distinguished career, marked by leadership, innovation and a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion, makes her an exceptional candidate for this recognition.”

Joy Smith ’75 M ‘77 was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma and served her alma mater for more than 30 years. Smith was associate vice president and dean of students for many years and held administrative oversight of areas such as student learning and development, student health, career services and multicultural affairs. A former colleague says, “Joy was the epitome of how to be a professional in Student Affairs and was very supportive and involved with the Greek community, and a role model for all students.”

Cathy Campbell Turner M ‘76 served as assistant dean of women from 1970-78 and helped expand the sorority system during her time at Clemson. The Panhellenic Council was established during her tenure and the number of Clemson women going through Rush increased exponentially. She and her husband, Joe, have given generously over the years and in 2019 she was named Mother-of-the-Year for unique contributions to Clemson. One nominator says, “Cathy is not only a pillar; she is the foundation and the walls.”

Curtis White ‘80 is a retired Clemson professor who has served as advisor for Omega Psi Phi since 1992. He served in various roles as a faculty member in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences from 1989-2010. He also served as a member of the United States Army’s Inactive Ready Reserve as a lieutenant colonel. According to one nominator, “Dr. White has demonstrated over decades an unwavering track record of excellence, dedication and commitment in support of Fraternity and Sorority Life.”