Fighting fire with fervor — and engineering
An inspiring Clemson alumnus and engineering mentor, George McCall is truly “Ever Loyal” in his service and dedication to Clemson University.
McCall began his career serving in the United States Army, stationed in South Korea. On Christmas Day in Seoul, he witnessed 163 people perish in a fire that destroyed a hotel and several other buildings in the area. When McCall was honorably discharged, he realized his passion for helping others. He wanted to help prevent these types of events from happening and help fight fires on the home front.
After arriving back in the United States, McCall — like many young men returning from active duty — decided to attend college. After his acceptance to Clemson University and meeting faculty who were empathetic to his military service, McCall decided to become a Tiger and join the Clemson Family.
McCall graduated from Clemson with a degree in electrical engineering as well as volunteer experience with the Clemson University Fire Department. He went on to become the fire marshal for the Wade Hampton Fire Department in Greenville, S.C., and began his own fire protection-consulting firm, McCall and Son.
After becoming a licensed South Carolina Professional Engineer at age 54, McCall earned his license in both Georgia and North Carolina, providing consulting services to contractors and architects in all three states.
When asked what he found most rewarding about his career in fire protection, McCall highlighted that he was thankful for being able to make an impact in the lives of citizens in his community.
“I cannot quantify how many lives I’ve saved, but I can sleep at night knowing that I’ve done the best work possible,” he said.
In addition to serving his community, McCall is a frequent guest lecturer and mentor for students (particularly sophomores) in the College of Engineering and Science. He hopes to inspire students to explore a variety of careers using their engineering background, and he encourages them to become licensed Professional Engineers early in their careers.
He is an invaluable resource to the students he mentors. Drawing from his extensive experience in the field, McCall is able to advise young engineers about possibilities for the future as well as how to apply their skills in numerous professions. His message to his mentees: “Whatever your profession, don’t just be good, be the best at whatever you decide to do.”
McCall was awarded the 2012 Engineer of the Year award by the South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers (SCSPE). He has previously served as the SCSPE Piedmont Chapter President and currently serves as the society’s treasurer.
By Elizabeth Devitt, Class of 2014 | Clemson Alumni Association