CLEMSON – Sumter native and long-time educator Titus Duren is being honored by the Clemson Alumni Association with the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor that the association bestows on former Clemson Tigers.
Duren graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1971. Following his time at Clemson, Duren received a master’s degree in education from the University of South Carolina (’78) and completed 30 hours above his master’s degree with an emphasis in education administration at South Carolina State University.
Duren was one of the first African-American students to attend Clemson after desegregation and while attending he was a founding member of the Student League for Black Identity (SLBI). After graduation, Duren helped found the Clemson Black Alumni Council; served on the both the Harvey B. Gantt Scholarship Committee and the 50th Anniversary of the Integration Planning Committee; was a speaker for the Call Me MiSTER Summer Institute; and is a Clemson University Legislative Advocate. Duren is also a long-time supporter of IPTAY and Clemson Athletics and played an integral role in establishing and annually awarding a scholarship to an African-American Clemson student from Columbia.
A former principal at Edisto High School, Lower Richland High School and Hunter Kinard Tyler High School, Duren spent more than 40 years as a professional educator and administrator. Since his retirement, Duren has dedicated his experience in the development and implementation of sound educational systems and effective administration and teaching to assist schools in improving their school report cards and testing scores through his consulting firm, Titus Duren Educational Consulting. In addition to his impact on education in South Carolina, Duren was a beloved football, basketball and track coach and mentor to many of his students.
In 2001, Duren was selected as the 4A Principal of the Year by the South Carolina High School League and is recognized as an innovator in education, speaking occasionally at the Summer Institute for School Leaders, the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators and school districts throughout South Carolina.
In his letter of support, Nick Lomax, former vice president of Student Affairs and dean of students at Clemson, states, “As a member of the Clemson administration at the time of Titus’ enrollment, I have a vivid memory of him as a Clemson student leader. His pleasing personality, honesty and work ethic made a lasting impression on those who knew him. After his graduation… [he] quickly earned a reputation as a top leader in South Carolina public education as teacher and administrator.”
Duren has served his local community and South Carolina through the Columbia Chamber of Commerce East Columbia Area Council, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee, the South Carolina Education Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals (member and former state president) and the Ten Tear Evaluation Team of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
The prestigious Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments; dedication and service to Clemson University; and devotion to community and public service. Members of the Clemson family nominate potential winners, who are then selected by the Clemson Alumni Association as outstanding alumni, public servants and examples to others.
Duren lives in Eastover, South Carolina, with his wife, Beverly. The Durens have four children, Nycole Waters, Tobias Tubbs, Saudah Collins and Tahirah Spann.
The Clemson Alumni Association, an open-membership, nonprofit organization since its inception in 1896, connects members of the more than 156,000-strong Clemson Family, inspiring pride, celebrating achievement, providing service and strengthening relationships with Clemson University and with each other. For more information, visit Clemson.edu/alumni.
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