CLEMSON — Clemson University learned of the loss of one of its emeriti trustees, D. Leslie Tindal of Pinewood.

On behalf of the Clemson University board of trustees, Chairman Smyth McKissick expressed condolences and admiration for Tindal and the legacy he leaves.

“I speak for the entire board and the entire Clemson family when I say Clemson has lost a great leader and, most especially, a great friend,” McKissick said. “He will be sorely missed by all and our deepest sympathies go out to the family.”

Tindal was a Clemson trustee from 1973 to 1982, when he resigned to become commissioner of agriculture for the state of South Carolina. He held that post until he retired in 2002.

When Tindal left the Clemson board, the trustees approved a resolution naming him a trustee emeritus and honored him for his service to the university and “his contributions to the growth and progress of the state’s agri-business industry [that] are widely known and respected, especially his leadership in bringing soybeans to prominence as a crop for South Carolina and export commodity for the United States.”

Born in 1928 on a farm in Clarendon County, he was educated in Pinewood public schools and earned a business administration degree from Furman University. He grew cotton, corn, soybeans and wheat on a 2,600-acre farm and raised approximately 1,400 hogs and 1,000 beef cattle.

Active in civic, community and agriculture organizations, Tindal served two terms as president of the American Soybean Association, was director of the American Soybean Institute, was a member of the USDA Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee and helped organize and served as president of the South Carolina Soybean Association.

He was named Man of the Year for service to South Carolina agriculture by Progressive Farmer, was recognized as one of the 15 Top Farmers in America by Ford Motor Co., was chosen one of the top three Young Farmers in South Carolina by the state Junior Chamber of Commerce and was awarded an honorary membership in the Agronomy Club at Clemson University in 1970.

Tindal was married to May Davis Tindal, and they had four children.

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