In announcing that J. Drew Lanham received the 2020 Rowland P. Alston Sr. ’42 Award for Excellence in Communication, the awards committee shared, “Dr. Lanham has used his passion for the natural resources to instruct and inspire the public to understand and embrace many facets of environmental stewardship.”

Lanham, Alumni Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, shares that passion as a teacher, researcher, speaker, poet and author, frequently gives talks and media interviews about wildlife, conservation and especially about his favorite avocation: bird-watching.

R. Drew Lanham

R. Drew Lanham

Nationally known as a wildlife conservationist, Lanham received the 2019 Lufkin Award for his environmental leadership from the Audubon Society; his essay, “Gone Forever,” about the disappearance of Carolina Parakeets, was selected for The Best American Essays 2019 anthology; and his book, “The Home Place – Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature,” was recently named one of the “Best Scholarly Books of the Decade” by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“I’m grateful that being a different kind of faculty member is making a difference,” Lanham wrote recently. “My hope is that my work speaks to the power of the land-grant mission and personal story that emanates from it. Hoping, too, that the work touches students and peers to help them understand that an education, degrees and a career from ‘little ol’ Clemson’ can take you anywhere you have the passion and drive to go.”

The Rowland P. Alston, Sr., ’42 Award for Excellence in Public Relations was established to recognize outstanding Clemson University faculty or staff who, through programs and activities related to agriculture and/or natural resources, have provided Clemson University with positive visibility throughout South Carolina, the United States, and the world. The recipient may be from any discipline or area of the university but utilizes agriculture or the natural resources as their vehicle of influence.