Student Affairs

Kathy Cauthen, longtime student support services staffer, is retiring


A longtime staple in Clemson’s student support services is calling it a career. After nearly two decades and countless lives impacted, Kathy Cauthen is retiring effective June 30.

Cauthen has served Clemson with distinction throughout her 19 years, most recently as assistant director for the Office of Advocacy and Success. In her role, she has served as a liaison to students in need through the CARE Network — a connection point to a larger hub of institutional resources.

“Kathy has been an integral part of knowing what students’ needs are, and ensuring support of those needs through our network of campus partners,” says Breanna McKnight, director of Advocacy and Success. “Her approach to the work has been phenomenal. She has demonstrated an incredible ability to care for others, including some in their darkest moments. We are delighted for Kathy to enter this next phase of life, as she’s impacted countless lives during her time at Clemson. Her absence on campus will be felt as she enters a well-earned retirement.”

Following a career as a teacher in the nearby Anderson School District and then as prevention specialist and coordinator of the Student Assistance Program with Anderson-Oconee Behavioral Health Services, Cauthen transitioned to Clemson in 2004. She helped build the Clemson Community Coalition and focused much of her initial work on alcohol and substance education and then as director of EMpower Clemson.

Cauthen later joined the Dean of Students Office as the CARE Network was implemented and began serving as the very first CARE case manager. When the Office of Advocacy and Success was established under the direction of Kimberly Poole in 2015, Cauthen was a natural fit to join the staff.

“The goal is making sure you’re connected to the resources we have at Clemson and being that positive conduit for students,” she says.

As Clemson’s enrollment has grown, Advocacy and Success and trained partners have continued to manage an increased load of CARE reports — including 2,343 cases in FY22.

Kathy Cauthen with colleagues from Student Affairs
Cauthen was surrounded by colleagues from Student Affairs in 2022 when she won Clemson’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Non-Student Award.

Cauthen has been lauded for her work. She is a two-time recipient of the Student Affairs Staff Excellence Award, most recently earning the honor in 2021 for her work in the areas of health, safety and wellness. She has also received the Walter T. Cox and “Friend of the Greeks” awards. In 2022, she was the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. The honor is presented each year at more than 70 colleges and universities to those who exhibit the former 19th century businessman’s ideals of generous and unselfish service to others.

“I’m so grateful and humbled to be a small part of Clemson’s support for students,” she says. “I’ve been absolutely amazed at the many touchpoints found at every corner, from administration, to faculty and staff, to students and families, to those who work tirelessly in the middle of the night — and so many more in between. Most importantly, I’ve been able to experience and share in the stories of our students as they craft their own successes, and it’s one of the greatest gifts we could ever receive. We must never take that shared responsibility lightly as we care for each new generation making its mark on our campus and in the world.”

NOTE: Campus partners are encouraged to share well wishes for Cauthen’s retirement.