As 2017 comes to an end, let’s take a moment to reflect on the many ways Clemson continues to make its mark as a leader in education, innovative research and athletics. As a University, we’ve always been committed to excellence, but in the last 10 years, we’ve stepped up our focus. The result? This year marked the 10th year in a row that Clemson has been named one of U.S. News & World Report’s top-25 public institutions.

Ten years of stories would be overwhelming. But these stories — just from this past year — are great examples of the efforts of Clemson students, faculty and staff that have kept Clemson in the top 25 for a decade and should keep us here for decades to come.

Inspiration

While inspiration might not be a direct University academic goal, it often leads to amazing teaching and research opportunities for our students. Here are three stories and moments that inspire.

1) To stand where they stood. Eight students had the opportunity to stand where Clemson WWII soldiers fought — and died. It provided a moment that will preserve the memory of these historic events in ways that no textbook could.

2) Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visits campus. Justice Sotomayor spent an hour answering student’s questions while weaving in personal anecdotes, inspiration and advice.

3) Working in Claude Monet’s gardens. Two Clemson horticulture students spent the summer in France, tending to Monet’s gardens.

4) Tigers are the 2016 National Champions! In a heart-stopping finish, the Clemson football team pulled out a 35-31 win over Alabama.

Innovation

Basic and applied research at Clemson and other leading universities provides the knowledge and innovation that will drive the 21st-century economy.

Clemson’s work in advanced manufacturing had two big announcements this year.

  • The creation of the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing. Housed at CU-ICAR, the center will pull together Clemson’s resources this new center, aligning its mission with the University’s economic engagement efforts will further enhance Clemson’s ability to meet the state’s industry and workforce needs well into the future.
  • Researchers receive $20 million, five-year EPSCoR grant. Researchers will focus on discovering and establishing new and sustainable approaches for the design and assembly of advanced materials that serve South Carolina’s STEM research, education and workforce needs as well as invigorate economic development.

Clemson continued building unique public/private partnerships

Innovation isn’t just in the lab, though. Sometimes, it’s in the barbershop.

Leadership

With a focus on building leaders today and ensuring strong leaders for tomorrow, Clemson’s impact and reach is far flung – even to the far reaches of the galaxy.

1) Teacher residency program to improve teacher, student outcomes. In the five-year program, undergraduate students will spend their final semester — typically when student teaching is done — taking graduate education classes. Then they will spend the entire next school year in a teacher residency.

2) Paralympic athletes kick off Clemson’s soccer residency program. The first of its kind in the U.S., the program is geared toward student athletes with neurological impairments who want to continue playing soccer during their collegiate careers.

3) Scientists discover some of the most power-packed galaxies. Astrophysicist Marco Ajello has identified a black hole and four others similar to it that range in age from 1.4 billion to 1.9 billion years.

Collaboration

Working across departments, within the community and with other educational groups helps Clemson grow stronger and provide more opportunities for learning.

1) Eclipse over Clemson. While Clemson can’t take credit for a solar eclipse passing right over campus, we certainly chose to make the most of it by partnering with numerous educational groups to throw a fantastic learning (and fun) event. And the more than 50,000 in attendance had a perfect view, without a cloud in sight.

2) This year, two new, unique pathways to medical and professional school were built for our students.

3) Office of Research Development is created. Sometimes, it’s important to restructure internally in order to set yourself up for more success. Thus, the new Office of Research Development was created to focus on increasing the number of large, multi-department, multi-institutional grants and help faculty attain select research development opportunities.

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If you’d like to take a closer look at Clemson’s progress the past 10 years, download this PDF for an easy-to-digest comparison of the University’s last decade.