CLEMSON, South Carolina — Karen Chapman of Atlanta, whose philanthropy has touched many lives through her support of education and health care, was named an honorary Clemson University alumna Monday.

She was honored at the University Convocation, where her husband, Tom, was guest speaker as Clemson opened its 125th academic year.

Karen Chapman was named an honorary Clemson University alumna Monday. Pictured at the presentation are Mike Dowling, Clemson Alumni Association board president (left); Tom Chapman; Karen Chapman; and Clemson President James P. Clements.

Karen Chapman was named an honorary Clemson University alumna Monday. Pictured at the presentation are Mike Dowling, Clemson Alumni Association board president (left); Tom Chapman; Karen Chapman; and Clemson President James P. Clements.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Clemson President James P. Clements and Alumni Association board President Mike Dowling made the surprise presentation.

“She is incredibly passionate about education and about making a difference for those who are in need,” Clements said. “Even though Karen did not attend Clemson, she is definitely ‘all in’ for this great university and she is a highly valued member of the Clemson family.”

Tom Chapman, former chairman and chief executive officer of Equifax Inc., is a Clemson alumnus and former Tiger baseball star. He and Karen have given $6.3 million to Clemson to further the university’s mission and vision and in June were named the university’s first Academic Cornerstone Partners.

“Karen has demonstrated outstanding, service, devotion and loyalty to this great university for many years,” JoVanna King, Clemson’s senior associate vice president for development, wrote in a letter nominating her friend for the honor. “Karen exemplifies ‘One Clemson’ and she consistently encourages everyone to keep Clemson moving forward so that we remain ‘National Champions’ – both on the field and in the classroom.”

In support of Clemson, the Chapmans:

  • Established the Thomas F. Chapman ’65 Distinguished Professor in Leadership, which was awarded to marketing professor Mary Anne Raymond;
  • Created the Thomas F. Chapman Leadership Scholars Program in the College of Business to support and nurture freshmen who show leadership potential;
  • Funded the construction of the Thomas F. Chapman Grandstands at Clemson’s baseball stadium;
  • Supported the ClemsonLIFE program; and
  • Became founding partners of the James F. Barker Endowed Scholarship Initiative.
Tom and Karen Chapman (center) pose with this year's Chapman Scholars and their professors.

Tom and Karen Chapman (center) pose with this year’s Chapman Scholars and their professors.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

In Atlanta, the Chapmans have been active in support of cancer prevention, detection and care initiatives at Piedmont Hospital and established The Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness centers across the Piedmont system in Georgia. They also are involved with Georgia CORE, the Center for Oncology Research and Education.

They are dedicated to helping children with autism through their involvement with the Marcus Autism Center, creating the Tom and Karen Chapman Care Coordination Center.

Karen Chapman is retired chief administrative officer of Equifax. She holds a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina State University.

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Honorary alumni
Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee on the basis of outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to Clemson University or the Clemson Alumni Association. To see past honorary alumni or to view the award guidelines, visit the honorary alumni web page.

Clemson Alumni Association
The Clemson Alumni Association is an open-membership, nonprofit organization. Since its inception in 1896, the program has connected members of the Clemson Family, inspiring pride, celebrating achievement, providing service and strengthening relationships.