CLEMSON — The Clemson Alumni Association has recognized Wilbur Owens “Billy” Powers of Florence as one of five 2011 Distinguished Service Award winners, the association’s highest honor.

Distinguished Service Award honorees demonstrate a dedication to enhancing the value of the university for future generations; professional and public service; and personal accomplishments that serve as a model for present and future Clemson students.

Powers attended Clemson from 1953 to 1956, but did not graduate because he had to leave school to help run his family’s farm when his father fell ill. Clemson honored him in 2004 with an honorary doctor of humanities degree.

After a job as a surveyor with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, Powers began his own business, Powers Construction, in 1965. Today, Powers Construction is known across the region as a large-scale commercial construction firm, building condominiums, churches, schools and government buildings across North and South Carolina. Powers’ other entrepreneurial endeavors include Powers Properties, Powers Aviation and Price Carolina Aquatech Pools. He is a registered land surveyor, real estate developer and holds a South Carolina real estate broker’s license.

Powers has served as a board member for the Clemson University Foundation and as a consultant for Clemson’s departments of construction science and mechanical engineering. His financial contributions to the university have made him a member of the Trustee Oaks Society and a charter member of the President’s Leadership Circle. He also is a life member of IPTAY and a member of the Greater Pee Dee Clemson Club.

Powers is very active in the Florence community, having held board memberships with Florence County Economic Development, Florence County Progress, the Florence Optimist Club, the Florence Rotary Club, Greater Pee Dee Home Builders, Francis Marion University Foundation and the Pee Dee Council of Boy Scouts. He has been named Business Person of the Year by the Florence Chamber of Commerce and received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Pee Dee Boy Scouts. He also is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor.

On the national level, Powers has served on the board of directors for the National Home Builders Association and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Presidential Arts Advisory Board. He has been named a life director for the National Homebuilders Association.

He and his wife, Ann, are members of Central United Methodist Church.

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