In the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities at Clemson University, one of the most treasured events of the academic year is the Honors and Awards ceremony.

On April 6, an audience of parents, faculty, staff and other guests gathered in Memorial Auditorium to recognize a spectrum of extraordinary students across all disciplines in the College.

Each department selected its best and brightest students to receive honors and accompanying financial awards for the 2017-18 year. Honors and Awards committee chair Anthony Bernaducci, director of the Clemson University Men’s Choir and Cantorei, and several guest presenters distributed the prizes.

The late afternoon ceremony culminated with the top College Awards and two faculty awards selected by CAAH students.

The following students received College Awards:

ChiChi Drayton-Smith

ChiChi Drayton-Smith won the Dre Martin Service Award.

  • Killian McDonald won the Blue Key Academic and Leadership Award.
  • Tyler Rodgers earned the Phi Kappa Phi Certificate of Merit in the School of Design and Building.
  • Raymond Henderson received the Phi Kappa Phi Certificate of Merit in the School of the Humanities. He also earned the Honor Key Medal and a Lucy Rollin Annual Children’s Literature Award from the Department of English.
  • ChiChi Drayton-Smith won the Dre Martin Service Award.
  • Haley McKay became the first recipient of a new service honor, the Cameron Chase Huntley ’11 Award. The memorial award honors Huntley, a CAAH alumnus who was killed during a robbery in Kenya, where he was teaching English, working as a journalist and doing missionary work.

A program containing all award winners and details on each award is posted online, and a photo gallery from the event is available on Flickr. The Department of Architecture has posted their awards from the ceremony, along with several internal awards:

Faculty awards

2018 CAAH Honors and Awards

Click to see all awards

Each year, students in College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities are invited to nominate faculty and staff to be recognized for their excellence in service.

The Faculty Member of the Year is given to a professor who goes above and beyond in a teaching role, and the Advisor of the Year is a faculty or staff member who exemplifies caring and quality in advising. Students submit a brief essay explaining their choice of nominee, and a committee of Ambassadors selects the winners.

This year, both winners were from the Department of History:

  • Steve Marks was selected as CAAH Faculty Member of the Year.
  • Megan Taylor-Shockley was chosen CAAH Advisor of the Year.

Powerful speech

The keynote speaker for the event was Ray Huff, director of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and founder of the firm Huff + Gooden Architects.

Ray Huff

Ray Huff spoke at the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Honors and Awards event April 6.

Huff was raised in Charleston and came to Clemson to study architecture just three years after Harvey Gantt desegregated the university in 1963. “Clemson changed his world, and Ray has changed ours,” Dean Richard E. Goodstein said in his introduction.

What followed was a stirring speech in which Huff shared key moments that shaped his personal and professional life. He explained how 50 years ago, South Carolina consisted of parallel universes, “one for white people and one for people of color.”

Growing up, Huff didn’t know Clemson University existed. And until 1963, it did not exist as an option for him.

But Huff did go to Clemson, first to take an entrance exam for the architecture program and then as one of the “Rats,” as first-year students were then dubbed.

Huff recalled the welcoming kindness of a white acquaintance from Charleston during his first day on campus, when he felt the most vulnerable and alone.

He went on to speak about the importance of empathy, tolerance and tenacity. And Huff implored students to “make your life mean something.”

A transcript of Ray Huff’s Honors and Awards address is posted online.