CLEMSON – Clemson University awarded more than 1,400 degrees Thursday during two ceremonies in Littlejohn Coliseum. The degrees included 1,097 bachelor’s and 279 master’s. Sixty-two Ph.D.s also graduated and were honored in a hooding ceremony Wednesday evening.

Clemson University awarded more than 1,400 degrees Friday.

Clemson University awarded more than 1,400 degrees Friday.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

“This is a day when we celebrate your hard work and your achievements and imagine all of the possibilities that lie ahead for you,” said President James P. Clements while addressing graduates and attendees.

For Julia Riley, receiving her diploma marks the beginning of another exciting adventure. With her wildlife and fisheries biology degree in hand, she’ll now prepare for a trip to Zambia to join the Peace Corps, where she will focus on teaching communities to raise fish ponds to use as a source for food and income.

Graduation meant something very different for Allyson Walters. It’s the culmination of a three-and-a-half-year journey that serves as a testament to the power of intrinsic motivation. And while she awaits the admissions process for grad school, she has lined up a job starting in January with Little Lights Learning Center.

Clemson’s defensive tackle Christian Wilkins also graduated Thursday. Earlier this week, he was named the recipient of the Bill Willis Award as the National Defensive Lineman of the Year by the Columbus (Ohio) Touchdown Club. He will be honored at their annual banquet in February. And the award-winner’s accomplishments go far beyond the field. He is the first Clemson scholarship player to graduate in two-and-a-half years.

Riley, Walters and Wilkins are just three of the many amazing stories about the Class of 2017. They, along with their peers, are leaving Clemson today to become part of the university’s vast network with nearly 150,000 living alumni.

“Today, your life as a Clemson graduate commences,” said Clements. “Make your life matter. Make us proud. Make a difference. And, go Tigers!”