Clemson alumna, former governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations enters Littlejohn Coliseum.

Commencement speaker Nikki Haley, Clemson alumna, former governor and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, enters Littlejohn Coliseum with faculty and trustees.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON — Clemson University conferred more than 1,800 degrees during two commencement ceremonies on Thursday. Among the recipients was Nikki Haley (’94), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Clemson alumna, who was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities before addressing College of Business and College of Education graduates in the afternoon.

Clemson President James P. Clements announced Haley’s honor.

“This degree is conferred in recognition of eminent achievement and in high distinction in public service and dedication to improving the lives of people around the world,” said Clements.

Clemson Trustee David Wilkins, a long-time colleague of Haley’s, presented her with the degree.

“Some people walk into your life and leave an impression you never forget,” said Wilkins. “In recognition of her leadership, service to state and country and loyal support of her alma mater, Clemson University is honored to bestow the honorary degree, Doctorate of Humanities, on Ambassador Nikki Haley.”

Haley encouraged students to pay it forward after leaving Clemson and remember to show their gratitude for all life has to offer. Expressing her appreciation for all the university had done for her, she reminisced on her times at Clemson, the football games, meeting her husband and the endless opportunities for learning and growth that were provided to her.

“You should be hopeful — there is very little you can’t achieve in life if you put your mind to it. And you should be grateful. Not just because you have been given so much. But because you have so much to give,” said Haley. “Yes, you will miss the football games. But you will love Clemson even more when you come back to visit.”

Clements addressed students at both ceremonies, encouraging them to take the values Clemson strives to instill with them into the next chapter of their lives.

“May each graduate here today cherish the relationships and experiences that this university has given us and move forward in life practicing our values of honesty, integrity and respect to make a difference in the world,” said Clements.

The College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences conferred more than 900 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony.

Chandler Schramm was one of those students. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native received his Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and will head to Orlando, Florida, next month to begin his career at Universal Parks and Resorts as an associate engineer. He interned with Universal Creative last summer through the Michelin Career Center’s program.

During the 2:30 p.m. ceremony, the College of Business and the College of Education conferred more than 900 undergraduate and graduate diplomas combined. Of those graduating were students Diamond Brown and Kelby Jordan.

Brown, a former athlete, earned her Master of Education in counselor education and has accepted a position with Florida State University as an academic adviser for athletes.

Jordan earned a degree in financial management, which he will put to use at Bank of America as he begins their two-year Finance Management Analyst Program.

Four graduates from the ClemsonLIFE program also received degrees Thursday.