William “Bill” T. Linton III’s family has a strong Clemson legacy, one that stretches from the 19th century through the 20th and into the 21st.
“Clemson is a very special place to me because not only did I go here but my father, my grandfather and my great grandfather went here,” said Bill. “And our youngest son, William, is currently a junior and that means a lot to me.”
Many of Bill’s ancestors have not only walked the Clemson campus but they have accomplished many notable things. Bill’s great grandfather, Charles Carter Newman, graduated in 1895 making him the first Clemson graduate. “Clemson graduated its first class in 1896 but he came here as a junior when his father came to be the professor of agriculture so he was already a junior by the time he matriculated,” said Bill.
Charles Newman had four children, one daughter and three sons, ultimately carrying out the family legacy. Two of his three sons attended Clemson and left their own mark on the University. Carter Newman graduated in 1927 and was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame for both track and field and men’s basketball. Wilson Newman graduated in 1931 and later went on to endow the building Newman Hall, which is named in honor of Bill’s grandfather and great grandfather.
Mildred, Charles Newman’s daughter and Bill’s grandmother married a Clemson graduate. “She met my grandfather, William T. Linton who graduate in 1928. Their son, my father, William T. Linton Jr. graduated in ’57. I am William T. Linton III and my son who is currently enrolled here is William T. Linton IV, so there are four generations of William T. Lintons who have matriculated here,” said Bill. “Hopefully there will be more Lintons in the future.”
In 2006, Bill’s father, William T. Linton Jr. along with additional family members and friends established the Linton Family Endowment in Nursing. “My mother, Juanita, received a nursing degree from the University of South Carolina and my father wanted to make a gift to Clemson in memory of her,” said Bill.
Bill and his wife Barbara ’83, also a Clemson University alum, consider the University a very special place. “As we get to the point in our lives where it’s time to think about what does the legacy start to look like, we realize that Clemson is an important part of our lives both educationally and socially,” he said.
The Linton Family Endowment in Nursing is helping students start their own Clemson legacy. “We’ve been very fortunate, my wife and I both, that our parents were able to send us to college. For us, being able to fund something that allows students who might not have that opportunity is really important.”
We love Clemson and not just because our son is here. Clemson will continue to be a part of our lives even after the last child has graduated,” said Bill. “It’s about giving back to the institution that did so much not just for me but has done so much for my entire family.”
The Lintons consider investing in Clemson a responsibility rather than a choice. “It’s a responsibility that we have to give back in some way to something that contributed to us. I think of it as paying it forward. I don’t do this to make myself feel good. I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” said Bill.