College of Science; Office of the Provost

William C. Bridges, Jr. named recipient of the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence  


Clemson University faculty have named William C. Bridges, Jr. one of the very best among its ranks by awarding him the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence.

The award, endowed by the Class of 1939 to commemorate its 50th anniversary in 1989, is presented annually to one distinguished faculty member whose outstanding contributions for a five-year period have been judged by peers to represent the highest achievement of service to the student body, University and the larger community.

An alumni distinguished professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, Bridges has been a Clemson faculty member for nearly 30 years. 

William C. Bridges, Jr. will have his name etched into the monument under the bell at Carillon Garden on Clemson University’s campus.

William C. Bridges, Jr. will have his name etched into the monument under the bell at Carillon Garden on Clemson University’s campus.

Billy Bridges embodies faculty excellence in Science and across Clemson. He is a nationally prominent scholar in statistics, he is a spectacular teacher and mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students, and he serves his community and the University in impactful ways. Billy is so very deserving of the Class of ‘39 Faculty Award for Excellence, and I congratulate him on this prestigious honor,” said College of Science Dean Cynthia Y. Young.

Windsor Westbrook Sherrill, who nominated Bridges, wrote that he is renowned throughout the campus for his extraordinary dedication to research, teaching and mentorship, serving both faculty and students. Bridges has served on more than 400 graduate student advisory committees, resulting in approximately 400 co-authored publications with approximately 8,500 citations. 

He also enjoys teaching four to six courses each year in both traditional and non-traditional settings (such as Creative Inquiry and special topics).

I’m very grateful, and still surprised, to have been chosen for the Class of ‘39 award,” said Bridges, mentioning he has collaborated with faculty members and graduate students from every college across the University. “I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to work with many wonderful people across campus who embody the ideals of the Class of ‘39. The fact that these colleagues selected me for this award is an honor and a privilege.”

Bridges received his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska and has received several awards throughout his career, including being elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2018.

Sherrill closed out her nomination letter by adding Bridges mentions he tries to live up to a statement from a former student, using it as his guiding philosophy. The student wrote, “While at first, I thought I was ‘special’ to receive this level of commitment, attention and assistance, I have come to realize that Dr. Bridges considers all his students – all Clemson students for that matter – as special and is equally committed to and involved in their work.”