Clemson University alumni Ron and Jane Lindsay are giving $1 million to the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences to fund scholarships, professorships and the college’s greatest needs.
It’s one of many ways the Lindsays are giving back to the university and the surrounding community. They also mentor students through Clemson Presbyterian Church, open their Lake Keowee home for student retreats and participate with the church in offering financial-literacy counseling to help people with long-term financial problems.
Ron helps guide the college as a member and former chairman of its advisory board. He was recognized for his service in 2016 when he received the college’s highest honor, induction into the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists.
Ron is also one of the original members of the Leadership Circle, a group of donors who provide unrestricted gifts to the college to support student engagement, faculty advancement and academic opportunities that shape tomorrow’s leaders.
The Lindsays’ latest donation is built on the same spirit.
“A lot like the Leadership Circle, we’re giving money to the dean to have flexibility to do things he needs to do as needs arise,” Ron said.
The gift is divided into five parts:
- $500,000 establishes the Ron and Jane Lindsay Innovation Professorship Endowment.
- $250,000 establishes the Ronald C. Lindsay ‘80 and Jane B. Lindsay ‘80 Unrestricted Endowment for the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.
- $100,000 will be directed to the CECAS Dean’s Excellence Fund.
- $100,000 establishes the Ron and Jane Lindsay Family Annual Professorship.
- $50,000 will be added to the existing Ronald C. Lindsay ‘80 and Jane B. Lindsay ‘80 Scholarship Endowment, which has already benefited several students since its creation in 2011.
Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the college, said the Lindsays’ gift will have a deep impact on students and faculty for years to come.
“I express my deepest, heartfelt gratitude to Ron and Jane Lindsay,” Gramopadhye said. “Their generosity is inspirational, and they are wonderful ambassadors for Clemson University. By giving so freely of their time and treasure, they are an integral part of the college’s success.”
Ron grew up in North Augusta, and Jane is from Mount Pleasant. They met at Clemson, and both graduated in 1980 with bachelor’s degrees. Ron’s degree was in chemical engineering, and Jane’s was in economic biology.
Ron took a job with Eastman in Kingsport, Tennessee immediately after graduation and stayed with the chemical company for 36 years before retiring in 2016 as chief operating officer.
“Eastman benefited tremendously from Clemson engineering students,” Ron said. “We hired quite a few, and they were always very well equipped.”
After Ron retired, the Lindsays moved to their lake home about 30 minutes from campus. The move put them closer to their three grown children–Ryan, Elizabeth and Lauren– and 2-year-old granddaughter, Blake.
The Lindsays have opened their home to as many as 50 students at a time, including once in April for a church-university ministry planning retreat. The students didn’t have much chance to play on the water that day, so the Lindsays invited them back.
“As you get to know the students, you get past the stereotypes– what is being said about the current generation– and you get to know individuals,” Ron said. “You stay relevant and current with what they’re facing, what their challenges are.”
Nate Matzko, a biochemistry and genetics major from Irmo, said he met the Lindsays through Clemson Presbyterian and that they have been a great support system when college gets stressful.
“I’m not surprised they’re making the donation,” he said. “They are two of the most loving, generous people I’ve been able to come across.”
The Lindsays’ return to the Upstate will also give them a chance to get to know the students and professors they are helping through their donation to the college.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to give back,” Jane said, “and grateful that Clemson University brought Ron and me together when we were students.”
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