CLEMSON — Clemson University is establishing a scholarship endowment to honor its 14th president, James F. Barker, and his wife, Marcia. The Barker Scholars Unrestricted Scholarship Endowment will provide need-based scholarships for undergraduate students at the university.

A native of Tennessee, Barker was the first in his family to attend college and graduated from Clemson in 1970. However, his college career was nearly derailed at the end of his junior year when his savings ran out. Administrators and faculty realized his dilemma and awarded him the Langdon Cheves Scholarship, which helped pay for his senior year and enabled him to finish his degree in architecture.

Barker was named president of Clemson University in 1999. Since then, the Barkers have worked to increase financial support for need-based scholarships.

“I encourage all members of the Clemson family to join me and the other founding partners in giving to the Barker Scholars endowment,” said Jan. E. Childress of Easley, a member of “The Will to Lead” capital campaign executive committee. “In all my time as a Clemson volunteer, I have never been more honored – or excited – to be part of such a project. This is a unique opportunity to thank Marcia and Jim in a way that will benefit Clemson students for generations to come. Gifts of every size will be critical to the success of this effort.”

Donations to the Barker Scholars endowment may be made online or by check. Checks should be made payable to the Clemson Fund and mailed to Clemson Fund, P.O. Box 1889, Clemson, SC 29633. Indicate that the check is for the Barker Scholars.

The amount raised for the endowment by Aug. 26 will be announced publicly Aug. 31 during the Clemson-Georgia football game at Memorial Stadium. Gifts will be accepted beyond the announcement, but people are encouraged to make a gift now to show support and be counted in the public announcement.

The Barker Scholars endowment is part of The Will to Lead campaign, a $1 billion capital campaign to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

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