Advancement; Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Thomas and Karen Chapman help shape students’ futures with their Clemson support


CLEMSON — Thomas F. and Karen Chapman have helped shape the future of Clemson University students with their support of academic, athletic and university programs.

Karen and Tom Chapman
Karen and Tom Chapman

The Chapmans were honored as Cornerstone Partners for Clemson Athletics and were the first Cornerstone Partners for Academics. Cumulatively, they have given $6.3 million to further the university’s mission and vision.

Their gifts include $4 million to expand the Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars Program universitywide and create the Thomas F. Chapman ’65 Distinguished Professorship in Leadership in the College of Business.

The Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars Program identifies freshmen who demonstrate leadership potential and nurtures those qualities throughout their Clemson careers. It is based, in part, upon a leadership theme developed by Chapman that uses the analogy of “The Wizard of Oz” characters the Scarecrow (for intellect), the Lion (for courage) and the Tin Man (for heart):

With a $1 million gift from the Chapmans, the program began in 2009 with 10 College of Business scholars. It quickly became the premiere leadership program at Clemson.

Chapman, who was a baseball star at Clemson, funded the construction of the Thomas F. Chapman Grandstands at the baseball stadium.

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Chapman received the Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service award for his dedication to enhancing the value of the university for future generations, service to community and personal accomplishments that serve as a model for students; and the Distinguished Athletes Award given to those who have shown great character and have become outstanding citizens after Clemson.

He served on the board of the Clemson University Foundation, is a member of the Thomas Green Clemson Society and the Athletics Advisory Committee. He now serves on the President’s Advisory Board.

Karen Chapman in August was named an honorary Clemson alumna for the devotion, loyalty and support she has given the university.

The Chapmans are also members of The President’s Leadership Circle, Founding Partners of the Barker Scholars Endowment and they support IPTAY and the ClemsonLIFE program.

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