Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Preserving the roar: an interdisciplinary initiative


Clemson University’s mascot is widely known and loved. However, only about 5,574 wild tigers are left in the world. Clemson has spearheaded several initiatives over the years to try to alleviate this problem, including starting Tigers United, a consortium between Clemson University, Auburn University, Louisiana State University and the University of Missouri. Clemson also offers the Business Leadership and Conservation course through the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. This is an interdisciplinary class open to all majors with the intention of delving into tiger conservation efforts for students. In addition to bringing a better understanding of tiger conservation, the class also offers the opportunity for students to visit India, home to the largest remaining population of tigers in the world.

Dean York poses for a picture while visting India in the spring of 2022.
Dean York visited India in the spring of 2023.

In the spring of 2023, Brett Wright, director of Tigers United, reached out to Dean York about joining their trip to India. Dean York, with a love for animals and a passion for sustainability, took him up on that offer. Together, they traveled to India with students from the Business Leadership and Conversation class to witness tiger conservation efforts in person.

“Visiting India last spring with this class was so rewarding,” Dean York explains. “Witnessing the dedication and passion of the people in India working so tirelessly to protect tigers reaffirmed my belief in the power of collective action for environmental preservation. It truly was a rewarding and impactful experience.”

This year, the class visited India once more. The students who went were equally in awe and brought back similar reflections about their experiences while there.

Right after students returned from India this spring, Dean York was invited to speak at the Business Leadership and Conversation class. Describing the role of leadership in tiger conservation, she challenged students to think about how they can help tiger conservation efforts by posing the question, “How will YOU make an impact?”

To learn more about tiger conservation efforts, visit the Tiger United site.

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