If you’re in the right place at the right time, you might catch Gerald Glenn in a certain blue blazer – the one lined in orange that has a tiger paw embroidered on the inside.
And if you’re lucky, you just might catch him laughing and asking, “Can you tell Clemson is close to my heart?”
As a civil engineering graduate from the class of 1964, Gerald knows the value of a Clemson education. His time at Clemson paved the way for a very successful career, during which he worked as a director of Fluor Corporation and as a group president of its primary subsidiary, Fluor Daniel Incorporated. He then went on to become chairman, president and CEO of Chicago Bridge and Iron, one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies.
Gerald and his wife Candi have demonstrated admirable generosity in their contributions to the academic side of the University. In addition to giving extensively to the College of Engineering, Computing, and Applied Sciences Leadership Circle, the Fluor Daniel Engineering Innovation Center and the Barker Scholars Endowment, they named the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering in 2011.
“We did that so kids could have the opportunity to do something maybe they couldn’t afford to do or that wasn’t available to them,” Gerald said.
However, the Glenns view education as much more than simply an academic accomplishment. They see education as a holistic experience that is supplemented by all the opportunities the university has to offer, and one of those primary opportunities is athletics.
In order to promote the growth and unity that athletics brings, the Glenns have joined a special group of donors as Clemson’s ninth Cornerstone Partner for athletics with a $2.5 million gift. The Cornerstone Partners are a bold and visionary group of leaders who have given transformational funding to propel Clemson forward, laying a foundation that will impact students for generations.
“While this gift goes to athletics, we think it is still a part of the whole process of education,” Gerald said. “Even if you aren’t playing on a team or an intramural team, you learn about focus, you learn about being on a team and being a team player, and that’ll serve you well in your following life.”
The Glenns have already been a crucial influence in the lives of students, having received personal notes over the years from students who would not have been able to attend Clemson were it not for the scholarships provided by their generosity. With this most recent unrestricted gift to athletics, the number of lives changed by their vision for the future will only increase. Whether student-athletes benefit from updated facilities or the student body benefits from athletic events that unite the campus, all of Clemson will benefit from the Glenns’ willingness to give toward the areas of greatest athletic need.
“An education is something that cannot be taken away from you, no matter what happens,” Candi said, and for the Glenns, education at Clemson, both the academic and athletic aspects, is worthy of investment. The Glenns’ dedication to Clemson over the years has proven that Clemson truly is close to their hearts – blue blazer or no blue blazer.