Four inducted into Thomas Green Clemson Academy
Scores of students graduate from the College of Engineering and Science each year, but fewer than 1 percent go on to become members of the Thomas Green Clemson Academy of Engineers and Scientists.
A special honor deserves a special occasion, so the college held a gala on April 30 to induct four new members: Imtiaz Haque, Thomas Hash, Robert Mitchell and Bob Stanzione.
The college also recognized two outstanding young alumni for exemplary performance, achievements and accomplishments. Both of this year’s honorees were not only alumni but also faculty members in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering: Kyle Brinkman and Thompson Mefford.
Alumni and supporters came from throughout the country to see the ceremony in the Madren Conference Center. Several faculty and staff members also joined the festivities. Among them was Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Each of the academy’s inductees received a plaque and a warm round of applause.
“This award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Engineering and Science,” said the dean, Anand Gramopadhye.
“And just to illustrate how special this award is, fewer than .2 percent of the college’s alumni are academy members.”
The award recognizes engineers and scientists who have brought distinction to Clemson University through conspicuous success in their careers, significant contributions to society and notable contributions to engineering and science practice.
Here’s a look at this year’s winners:
‘Clemson allows you to dream’
Haque served on the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and as its chair from 2002 to 2008. He then served as executive director and founding chair of the Department of Automotive engineering untill his retirement in January 2015.
Apart from his scholarly accomplishments, Haque was part of the leadership team that founded the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and was instrumental in the development of the Department of Automotive Engineering. Under his leadership, the department is recognized as one of the best in it’s field.
The National Academy of Sciences named CU-ICAR one of the nation’s five best global practices for science and technology parks. The U.S. Department of Commerce named it one of four best practices for facilitating university- industry collaboration.
Haque was the principal investigator on a $98 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy that established the wind-turbine drivetrain testing and research facility at the Clemson University Restoration Institute in North Charleston. It is the largest such facility in the world, and the grant is believed to be the largest in state history.
Haque, who first came to Clemson as a graduate student in 1975, said he was honored to be recognized by his alma mater.
“Clemson grows people,” he said. “Clemson allows you to dream, and Clemson supports your dream. And that is really important. I hope we never, ever lose that. Clemson is about people.”
Supporting sustainable development
After the birth of his second grandchild, Hash established an endowed chair in sustainable development at Clemson University with a $2 million gift.
The state used funds from the South Carolina Education Lottery to match Hash’s gift with an additional $2 million through the SmartState program.
Now his contribution is beginning to bear fruit. Amy Landis was recently hired as the Thomas F. Hash ‘69 SmartState Endowed Chair in Sustainable Development.
“We are so delighted for her to be here,” Hash said. “She has put together an amazing vision.”
Hash in 1999 became president and chairman of Bechtel National, Inc. and was elected to the board of directors of the parent company, Bechtel Group.
During his tenure, he more than tripled the company’s annual revenue from government projects, going from $2 billion in 1999 to more than $6 billion in 2007. Employment also grew, from 3,000 to 16,000.
A 7-year-old’s business endeavor
Mitchell said he was first introduced to Clemson at 7 years old. His father, the head of ceramic engineering at Georgia Tech, took him to the Olin Hall dedication.
A photographer snapped a shot of him playing with a toy steam shovel in the foyer, and it appeared on ceramic-engineering magazine covers, he said.
Mitchell remembered staying at Clemson House during his visit and noticing that the elevator didn’t have an operator. So the young Mitchell and his friend took the job.
“I think that was my first business endeavor,” he said. “I was motivated by it, and I’ve been motivated ever since.”
Mitchell returned to Clemson years later for graduate school, where former professor Gil Robinson instilled in him a sense of creativity that helped him in his career.
As president and chairman of the board of Applied Ceramics, Mitchell has hired many Clemson graduates. He was also a founding member of the Fellowship of Companies for Christ, a community of business leaders now in 92 countries.
Deep roots in the Clemson family
Clemson orange runs deep in Stanzione’s family. He married his wife, Kaye, between semesters in his senior year at Clemson. Their three children– Marie, Jennifer and Robert Jr.– all attended Clemson in the 1990s.
Also, Bob’s brother, Dan Stanzione, received a Ph.D. from Clemson before going on to become the eighth president of Bell Labs. They are the first set of brothers inducted into the academy.
Bob Stanzione’s extended Clemson family also contains some highly accomplished alumni.
Jim Barker, who served as Clemson’s 15th president, was in his fraternity pledge class. David Wilkins, also a “DEAC” fraternity brother, went on to become U.S. ambassador to Canada and currently serves as chairman of Clemson’s Board of Trustees.
“It was a group that produced some incredibly successful people,” Stanzione said. “We were all interested in having fun together, but we were also focused on the future. We left Clemson with a solid education, a solid background, good values and a drive to succeed.”
Stanzione, chairman and CEO of ARRIS Group, Inc., has also done well. He has grown the company from a small start-up to the world market leader in cable telephony, high speed data, and video delivery products. ARRIS recently announced the acquisition of the British tech company, Pace, for $2.1 billion. The combined enterprise is expected to have sales of approximately $8 billion.
Bob and Kaye have contributed generously to Clemson, including a significant grant to ClemsonLIFE to help more students gain access to the program. Kaye serves as a member of the program’s advisory board.
Stanzione is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Circle.