Office of the President

President’s Update: Board elects new chair; Private fundraising breaks record


July 21, 2021

This summer has been a busy one, so I wanted to take a moment to provide you all with a few updates as we move into the end of July.

Our Board of Trustees had a full and productive meeting last week, where they voted on a number of items including:

  • A 1.5% one-time bonus for full-time faculty and staff
  • Approval of a $1.56B budget for FY22
  • Approval of several facilities projects, including core campus updates and renovations to Memorial Stadium

This Board meeting was also Smyth McKissick’s final meeting as Board Chairman after six years of serving in that role. Clemson saw tremendous growth and progress during Smyth’s tenure as Chair – breaking records in admissions, research, fundraising, facilities and athletics – and his leadership and vision played a critical role in our success. I am grateful to him for his outstanding service.

The Board elected Kim Wilkerson to serve as Chair and I look forward to continuing our momentum under her leadership. She brings a deep level of leadership experience and knowledge into this role, a true love for Clemson, and will be an outstanding Chair.

The Clemson University Board of Trustees elected Kim Wilkerson to a two-year term as Chair 
– the first woman Board Chair in Clemson history.

I am also happy to report that we had a record-breaking year in terms of private fundraising, with more than $202 million raised in private gifts in the 2021 fiscal year. Thank you to everyone who donated this past year. Every dollar helps move Clemson forward and provides critical support to our students, faculty and staff as we work to fulfill our land-grant mission. I am especially thankful of our donors’ generosity during a year that was incredibly challenging in many ways. I am proud of the way the Clemson Family always steps up to support one another and the University.

I also continue to be grateful for our partnership with the South Carolina General Assembly and Governor Henry McMaster. Our state’s leaders have provided incredible support and share our commitment to providing an affordable high-quality education for our students.

I have enjoyed seeing more people on campus this summer, and I am excited for the fall semester, which starts in less than a month. I am especially looking forward to our August graduation ceremony, which will be back on the main campus at Littlejohn Coliseum on August 6. 

We are continuing to monitor the latest science and data related to COVID-19, and we are continually assessing our policies and protocols. The health and safety of everyone in our university community remains our top priority, and we will be communicating more information about the fall semester in the coming weeks. I am confident that we will be ready to have a safe and successful semester.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer. We have much to look forward to in the coming academic year!

Go Tigers!