CLEMSON — Clemson University’s Legacy Month culminated with a formal ceremony under the trees of Fort Hill to recognize Roy and Marnie Pearce with a bronze leaf dedication and induction into the Fort Hill Legacy Society, posthumous honors for donors who leave $1 million or more to the university.

The sun casts rays over the Fort Hill Legacy Society bronze leaves as President Clements speaks during the dedication ceremony for a leaf honoring Roy and Marnie Pearce. (Clemson University photo by Ken Scar)

The sun casts rays over the Fort Hill Legacy Society bronze leaves as President James P. Clements speaks during the dedication ceremony for a leaf honoring Roy and Marnie Pearce.
Image Credit: Ken Scar / Clemson University

The leaf was placed under the Second Century Oak, which stands at Fort Hill on the historic site of the Trustee Oak and the university’s first board of trustees meeting.

Robert Roy Pearce, Class of 1941 president, and his wife, Margery “Marnie” Pearce, were dedicated to student success. Along with supporting scholarships, they provided significant funding for the R.M. Cooper Library and established the R. Roy and Margery W. Pearce Center for Professional Communication. They left a legacy of opportunity and ongoing success for Clemson students.

“When someone provides for future generations of people they will probably never know, that is a very humbling and very inspiring thought,” said Clemson President James P. Clements. “That is exactly what Thomas Green Clemson envisioned when he created this great university more than 125 years ago.”

The bronze leaf for Roy and Marnie Pearce lies at the base of the Second Century Oak at Fort Hill, among other leaves that honor members of the Fort Hill Legacy Society. It is a posthumous honor to those who leave $1 million or more to Clemson University. (Clemson University photo by Ken Scar)

The bronze leaf for Roy and Marnie Pearce lies at the base of the Second Century Oak at Fort Hill, among other leaves that honor members of the Fort Hill Legacy Society.
Image Credit: Ken Scar / Clemson University
Image Credit: Ken Scar

“My grandfather credited his success in life to the training he received at his beloved Clemson College. He frequently quoted his professors and his football coach, as well as the words of Shakespeare and John Milton. For our family, it is now an honor to see this love of communication that he acquired at Clemson be passed on to future students through the Roy and Marnie Pearce Center,” said Walker Pearce Maybank Buxton, granddaughter of the Pearces and a1989 Clemson graduate.

President James P. Clements joins family members of Roy and Marnie Pearce - Roy Pearce Maybank, Walker Pearce Maybank Buxton, Anne Pearce and Jean Pearce Rentz - after the induction ceremony of the Fort Hill Legacy Society. (Clemson University photo by Ken Scar)

Clements joins family members of Roy and Marnie Pearce – Roy Pearce Maybank, Walker Pearce Maybank Buxton, Anne Pearce and Jean Pearce Rentz – after the induction ceremony of the Fort Hill Legacy Society.
Image Credit: Ken Scar / Clemson University

Pearce Center Director Michael LeMahieu said the gifts the Pearces gave to Clemson have benefitted students in ways they couldn’t have imagined — which was what they’d hoped for.

“One of the many things I admire about the Pearces’ gift is the foresight, in addition to their generosity by saying that the purpose of the Pearce Center was to increase communication skills of all students regardless of discipline,” said LeMahieu. “The mission of the center wasn’t tied to a certain time and a particular place, but had foresight and vision. I think Mr. and Mrs. Pearce would be surprised to see the technology in the studio and all the different projects the students are working on.”

This was the 16th leaf inducted into the Fort Hill Legacy Society since 2009. Read more about all members of the society on the planned giving website.

The Pearces’ gifts are part of The Will to Lead capital campaign to raise $1 billion to support Clemson University students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

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