CLEMSON – One year after becoming Clemson University’s 15th president, James P. Clements reflected on 2014 as faculty and staff gathered to close the fall semester.

“We have enjoyed many significant achievements in 2014 – as we reached our goal of being one of the nation’s top 20 public universities, set new records in fundraising, enrolled another great freshman class and welcomed hundreds of new faculty and staff to the Clemson Family,” he said.

Clemson University president James Clements addresses faculty and staff at the general faculty meeting in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Dec. 17. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Clemson University president James P. Clements addresses faculty and staff at the general faculty meeting. (Photo by Ken Scar)

Clements announced that the school’s The Will to Lead capital campaign has just surpassed the $850 million mark toward its $1 billion goal.

“That is a significant milestone,” he said. “But it’s not about numbers – it’s about the scholarships, faculty and staff support, facilities and programs that will make a difference for our students and for our state.

Clements also addressed recent reports of “inappropriate and deeply disturbing behaviors” that led to a moratorium on social activities and internal investigations into a number of fraternity organizations.

“And in recent weeks we have seen events and issues, ranging from an inappropriate themed party, to hurtful social media posts, that have caused division and made some of our students feel unwelcome,” he said. “Clearly, positive change is needed, and I want to express my appreciation to the many students, faculty, staff and alumni who have come forward to ask how they can help.”

Clements announced several new initiatives that will address the issues, including a President’s Lecture Series on Leadership in Diversity; monthly student luncheon dialogues bringing minority and majority students together to enhance communication and understanding; and a standing Diversity Council, with a broad-based membership of internal and external constituents to keep issues and ideas at the forefront.

“As we look forward to the holiday season – and the start of a new year – we can take pride and satisfaction in knowing that Clemson continues to achieve great things,” he concluded.

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Bob Jones presented awards of achievement to four outstanding faculty and staff members:

  • DeWitt Salley, director of Clemson Online, received the Ralph D. Elliott Endowed Award for Outstanding Service to Off-Campus, Distance and Continuing Education. He received the award for serving as a mentor innovator, and leader in distance education. “He is shaping the force in the field of higher education,” Jones said. “He has risen to the level of expert and guide to others who seek to crack the code of distance education practices.”
  • Robert E. “Bob” McAnally Jr., production manager for Clemson Radio Productions, received the Rowland P. Alston Sr. Award for Excellence in Public Relations. McAnally received the award for the positive visibility his work on Clemson Radio Productions has generated, specifically the “Your Day” show, that featured stories and interviews about South Carolina.
  • Robert Brookover, senior lecturer for the parks, recreation and tourism management department, and Karon Donald, program director of the Staff Senate, received the Thomas Green Clemson Award for Excellence, given to faculty and staff whose teaching, research or service is exemplary. Brookover created the Clemson Outdoor Recreation and Education Program (CORE) and was instrumental in the renovation and expansion of the Fike Recreation/Swann Fitness and Wellness Center. His leadership role in the Leisure Skills Program expanded the 28 sections to 350 sections serving over 7,000 students per year. Donald is a model professional who “has worked diligently in her role to foster collaboration across the campus to better serve our students, faculty and staff,” Jones said. “She is highly regarded on campus and without her impact, guidance and talent the university would not be what it is today.”
  • Andy Rollins, Upstate fruit and vegetable agent, was presented with the Alumni Award for Cooperative Extension Distinguished Public Service by Wil Brasington, senior director of alumni relations. The award is given to an Extension Service professional that has significantly enhanced the wellbeing of the citizens of South Carolina and beyond and has provided exemplary service to their fields on behalf of Clemson University.