Tony Elliott returned to his engineering roots on July 13 when he spoke to about 50 incoming freshmen who are getting a head start on campus life as part of a program made possible in part by Duke Energy.

Elliott is co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach for the Clemson Tigers, but his connection to Clemson goes back to his days as a football player and student. He came to the Tigers as a walk-on in 1999 and finished with four letters and 44 games. Elliott graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering in 2002.

Elliott’s audience was incoming freshmen who are taking part in the PEER and WISE Experience, a new program offered by PEER and WISE.

 Serita Acker, the director of PEER and WISE, said the three-week program is aimed at removing the anxiety of university life for students, who are often the first in their families to attend college.

 “We’ll get them acclimated to what campus life is really like so when they come back, they already will have been to a calculus class, they will already know PEER and WISE staff, they will already have been to campus and walked around,” Acker said. “They will have a network of friends. It takes away the mystery of it and it gives them an opportunity to come back and feel confident and strong.”

 The PEER and WISE Experience is one of two PEER and WISE programs that Duke Energy is supporting with an $85,000 contribution. The other is Project WISE, a summer program for middle school girls.