CLEMSON — Stephen W. Lance has been named executive director of Clemson’s Youth Learning Institute following the retirement of the Institute’s founder and former executive director, Jorge Calzadilla, at the end of June.

Jorge Calzadilla (left) talks with Stephen Lance.

Jorge Calzadilla (left) talks with Stephen Lance.

After 26 years with Clemson, Calzadilla has assumed a position as vice president of Public Service at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. In 1988, he joined Clemson to operate a nine-week summer camp at the R.M. Cooper 4-H Leadership Center on Lake Marion in Summerton. Then, in 2001, he proposed the creation of the Youth Learning Institute to operate year-round youth development programs in partnership with public and private youth-serving organizations.

Presently, the institute functions as a unit of Clemson’s Economic Development division with a continued focus on helping the university accomplish its land-grant mission of outreach and service to youth and families.

During Calzadilla’s leadership, the Youth Learning Institute generated more than $70 million through the development and delivery of more than 100 programs and operating of seven sites across the state, positively impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals.

Lance has been an integral part of its success for 15 years, but has known Calzadilla since age 11, when he was a student at a private school where Calzadilla taught. Lance worked as a summer camp counselor before and during college, then joined the Youth Learning Institute in 1999 as director of marketing. He since held positions as director of institute advancement, associate executive director of advancement and chief of staff.

Lance said, “Jorge has been my teacher, coach, mentor, employer and best friend. Continuing his legacy of leadership at YLI is not only one of my greatest priorities, but one of my greatest privileges.”