College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Meet a Tiger: B.D. Wortham-Galvin


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Half the world’s population live in urban areas, according to this Tiger. By 2050, she says, that figure will rise to two thirds. She prepares her students to be leaders in addressing the complexities of growing metropolitan regions.

Meet B.D. Wortham-Galvin.

Title: Director and associate professor, Resilient Urban Design

Years at Clemson: One

What I do at Clemson:  I launched a new graduate program in resilient urban design on Clemson’s Charleston campus in the Cigar Factory. It’s a super cool space and I invite everyone to visit us when they are in the Lowcountry. It’s a rare opportunity to create a new program and I’m excited to add it to Clemson’s already rigorous and interesting academic programs.

What I love about Clemson: The people (students, staff, faculty). Clemson has the most genuine, passionate committed folks I’ve met, and it makes me excited to go to work every day.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I love watching my former students thrive. I have students who have won awards, started their own businesses, assume leadership positions in design firms, publish their work and become educators. I honestly believe and hope that mentoring others to go out in the world and do good will be my strongest legacy.

Where I see myself in five years:  I see myself stewarding an established program that attracts great students and does quality, engaged urban design projects all around South Carolina. I also hope to be playing bluegrass rather than Hot Cross Buns (see below).

Last thing I watched on TV: Just found and streamed all of The Expanse. It’s my new favorite sci fi show since the Battlestar Galatica reboot.

Guilty pleasure: Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathons. Not only is it entertaining; it’s one of the more nuanced “horror” shows grappling with issues of morality and the ambiguity of being a good person (sorry Walking Dead fans…it can’t hold a candle to the complexity of Buffy).

One thing most people don’t know about me:  Right now, it would be that I’m learning how to play the violin alongside my 6-year-old daughter (and I know just as much as she does about playing an instrument). One thing from the past would be that when I was in college, I used to make extra pocket money by  writing fortunes for a fortune cookie factory in Chicago’s Chinatown.

Want to nominate a colleague to be featured in Meet a Tiger? Contact Jackie Todd at

Meet more Tigers here, and check out #FacesOfClemson on Instagram.

Related: Some residents did not evacuate in the face of Hurricane Florence. AccuWeather went to Wortham-Galvin to find out why. Read more.

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