CLEMSON — Don and Hayden Quattlebaum’s vision for Clemson University is one that provides inclusiveness, assistance and impact across the state. In support of this vision and in memory of their son Donald Anderson “Andy” Quattlebaum, Jr., the Quattlebaums become the University’s seventh Academic Cornerstone Partner with a $2.7 million gift. As students are at the heart of Clemson University, the Quattlebaums have focused on student development through an environment that gives students the opportunity to learn, grow and unwind. With a gift of $2.2 million, the Outdoor Education Center at the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness complex will be named the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center. The remaining $500,000 will be used to support the Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science in Georgetown, along with the Clemson students who have the opportunity to work at the institute.
“It is important for us to be able to offer our students a wide variety of activities and experiences outside of the classroom so that they can have the best college experience possible. This incredible new facility enhances our ability to do that, and I am so grateful to the Quattlebaums for their generous support,” said Clemson President Jim Clements. “Their gift is a wonderful way to honor the memory of their son, Andy, and to share his love of the outdoors with future generations of students.”
While Andy was a student in the Bridge to Clemson program, he enjoyed spending time on the grounds of the facility that now bears his name. Along with an interest in wildlife conservation, he took pleasure in camping, rock climbing, boating, and many of the same activities that the center offers.
“Many of the things that Andy loved to do will be available to other students,” said Don Quattlebaum. “In this world where there is a growing concern for the environment and man’s place in it, the more that people can learn about the outdoors, and participate in all that it has to offer, the better chance that they will make better choices in life about the world around us.”
As one of two facilities in the country to use southern yellow pine cross-laminated timber, the 16,500-square-foot Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center will serve as a national model for recreation and leisure space, bringing attention to not only Clemson University but also the state of South Carolina. Housing the Clemson Outdoor Recreation and Education (CORE) program, the center is now open to anyone with a campus recreation membership.
Created to be a destination that brings students together and connects them with outdoor recreation, the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center and its activities place an emphasis on wellness, relaxation and experiences that promote physical, mental and emotional health.
Blending with the natural beauty of its surroundings, the center mirrors Clemson’s dedication to sustainability and preservation, while focusing on education and leisure. With a lakefront patio and second-level deck, open areas offer commanding views of Lake Hartwell. Inside, two dedicated, multi-use classroom spaces provide room for trip planning and experiential learning. The center includes a boathouse and equipment rental.
In keeping with Clemson’s heritage of service, cooperation and community, the center presents opportunities to gather with friends and to meet people who share like-minded passions for outdoor endeavors, the environment and helping others.
“It is our hope that this beautiful facility will help many others learn about, appreciate and love the outdoors as Andy did,” said Don Quattlebaum.
The purpose of the Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center embodies Clemson University’s mission and strategic priorities of research, engagement, academics and the living environment. With a commitment to enriching the lives of students now and creating experiences that will shape their future, the center provides an ideal environment in which to memorialize and celebrate the life of Andy. Along with other tributes through the Andy Quattlebaum and Blackwell Family Foundation, his legacy will influence generations of students and their impact on the world.
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