Community, Engagement, Belonging and Access; External Affairs

Industry investment: Support continues growing for Clemson’s nationally recognized diversity and inclusion programming


Divisions across the Clemson University campus are working together to develop partnership models to address industrywide diversity needs for organizations like Dominion Energy and Duke Energy. The two have invested in the University’s Tiger Alliance, Emerging Scholars, Men of Color National Summit, Call Me MISTER® and the PEER and WISE Experience, all of which are focused on educating students from across the state and preparing the diverse workforce needed for South Carolina’s businesses to thrive.

“In an increasingly global economy, we understand our partners are looking to invest in programming reflecting their needs,” said Angie Leidinger, vice president of External Affairs at Clemson. “Organizations are continuously looking for ways to reach diverse candidates and ensure their workforce has the skills needed to help them compete in the marketplace. By working together, their investments in Clemson programming will benefit South Carolinians for generations to come while helping provide educational opportunities to all.”

As South Carolina’s land-grant institution, Clemson is committed to serving all citizens across the state. One of the University’s primary initiatives to increase the number of South Carolinians who attend and graduate from college is the Emerging Scholars program. Founded in 2002, the program has been steering high school students from the state’s Interstate 95 corridor toward attending college. Now, Dominion Energy is providing additional support to the program.

The Duke Energy Foundation is continuing its long-time support of the Clemson College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science’s PEER and WISE Experience, which delivers high-quality STEM summer curriculum for underrepresented engineering students about to begin their first year at Clemson. This year’s investment by Duke Energy provides scholarships for 33 minority female students, covering their cost to participate in the three-week summer experience, which is being delivered virtually. Funding is also supporting the College of Education’s Call Me MISTER® initiative, which aims to increase the pool of available teachers with broader and more diverse backgrounds. 

Additionally, both Dominion Energy and the Duke Energy Foundation are providing funding for Clemson’s acclaimed Men of Color National Summit. Seeking to close the opportunity gap for Black and Hispanic males, the Men of Color National Summit is in its fifth year. More than 2,000 high school and college students, business professionals, educators and leaders from across the country will come together in November to create clearer pathways to college and help prepare and empower students to be leaders.

“The many companies and businesses supporting Clemson’s programs, like the Men of Color National Summit, PEER WISE and the Tiger Alliance high school cohort, are committed to building a diverse pipeline of future employees and adding to the talent dividend of South Carolina,” said Lee Gill, chief diversity officer and special assistant to the President for inclusive excellence. “This is the business case for diversity. As globalization continues, these outstanding corporate citizens understand the importance of diversity of thought within the workforce to drive innovation and creativity.”

The University recently announced the Boeing Company’s expanded partnership with Clemson, which includes collaboration on the Men of Color National Summit as the program’s title sponsor, support for the University’s year-round Tiger Alliance college mentorship program and the creation of the Boeing STEM Tiger Alliance Scholarship. 

Clemson also previously announced GE Gas Power’s John Lammas Annual Scholarship, funding for the newly established Pre-Tiger Alliance and Women’s Roundtable programs for middle and high school students and the launch of Next Engineers, which aims to increase the diversity of young people in engineering and reach 3,500 local students. Clemson is implementing the program through PEER and WISE and is one of four inaugural locations working with GE on the initiative.

Logo for PEER & WISE: The mission of Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) is to educate, recruit and retain underrepresented populations in STEM fields through mentoring, academic coaching, counseling and academic enrichment.

The mission of Programs for Educational Enrichment and Retention (PEER) and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) is to educate, recruit and retain underrepresented populations in STEM fields through mentoring, academic coaching, counseling and academic enrichment.

100% Retention

All 2019 PEER WISE Experience students attended Clemson in 
Fall 2020.

Increased STEM Graduation Rates

Degrees awarded to African Americans went from 36 in 2013-2014 to 80 in 2019-2020.

Degrees to Hispanics increased 236.8%, from 19 to 64.

Degrees to women rose from 248 to 455, an 83.5% increase.

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