Established in memory of Pamela Hendrix, the center’s Dream Jar Curriculum will prepare abroad scholarship recipients with academic, financial advising

CLEMSON — From the Hendrix Student Center to the Hendrix Family Paw Bistro, Clemson University Trustee Leon James “Bill” Hendrix and his family’s contributions have been an instrumental part of Clemson University and the lives of students, faculty and staff. Friday, Clemson announced the Hendrixes are again making a transformational difference at the university as they become the sixth Academic Cornerstone Partner with a gift of $2.5 million. Given in memory and honor of Pam Hendrix, the gift will establish the Pam Hendrix Center for Education Abroad, scholarships and the Dream Jar Curriculum.

“I can think of no better way to honor the memory of Pam Hendrix and her impact on Clemson than with a gift that will allow us to enhance our global engagement and education abroad programs. International travel was something that Pam had a passion for and saw as an incredible learning opportunity,” said President James P. Clements. “Bill Hendrix and his family have long been visionary leaders for Clemson, and their continued generosity has made a difference for countless Clemson students over the years. I am grateful for this Academic Cornerstone Partner gift that will support our efforts to give more students the opportunity to have experiences around the world so that they are better prepared to be leaders in an increasingly global society.”

Photo of Trustee Bill Hendrix speaking to guests at Friday's event.

Trustee Bill Hendrix speaks to guests at Friday’s event.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

The Pam Hendrix Center for Education Abroad will provide students with the opportunity to apply for a Planning Scholarship during their freshman years, several semesters prior to leaving. During the interim, scholarship recipients will take part in the “Dream Jar Curriculum,” working alongside academic advisers and financial aid to plan a study abroad experience that aligns with their professional and financial goals.

“Throughout my career, I’ve seen students compromise on their dreams of studying abroad. With this generous donation, Clemson will be able to help these students achieve their goal of learning, studying and researching in other countries,” said Sharon Nagy, associate provost for Global Engagement at Clemson University. “Pam’s story of encouraging her family to travel while ensuring they planned and prepared for their adventures was the inspiration behind the center, additional scholarships and an expanded curriculum. We hope to honor her legacy by inspiring students to follow their dreams while also helping plan for them.”

Long before the Hendrix family set out to provide life-changing opportunities at Clemson, Pam Hendrix’s eyes were set on traveling to Europe with her family. It was a goal she wanted to achieve, and working together with her children and husband, they turned her dream into a reality by saving money in her “Dream Jar.” The jar became the inspiration behind the Pamela Maddex Hendrix Dream Jar Travel Endowment, established in 2015 by her children and their spouses, and is also at the heart of the center and its supporting curriculum. As of today, more than 38 students have been able to study abroad thanks to the Hendrixes’ previous endowment.

In 2014, the Hendrix family became the first Cornerstone Partner for Athletics with a $2.5 million gift to Athletics for the Hendrix Family Paw Bistro. Their total Clemson University giving has eclipsed $7.5 million.

Hendrix family gifts to Clemson academics, athletics and student enrichment have supported these among numerous other areas:

  • The Hendrix Student Center
  • Hendrix Family Endowment for the Office of Student Body President
  • The Pamela Maddex Hendrix Dream Jar Travel Endowment
  • The Pamela Maddex Hendrix Dream Jar Study Abroad Endowment
  • Athletic West End Zone
  • Class of 1963 Bridge to Clemson University Endowment
  • The Billy and Betty Poe Indoor Practice Facility
  • The Hendrix Family “Kicking Position” Endowment in Football
  • President’s Leadership Circle
  • Founding Partner for Barker Scholarship Endowment
  • Emerging Scholars Program
  • Clemson Air Rifle Club
  • Clemson Shotgun Club
  • Tiger Brotherhood Cemetery Hill Preservation
  • Tiger Brotherhood Gates

“The Hendrix family’s impact at Clemson has been powerful and far-reaching throughout both academics and athletics. Their leadership, service and philanthropy continue to provide our students with invaluable opportunities. With this latest gift in memory of Pam Hendrix, the family is ensuring that future generations of Clemson students will receive a quality education and life-changing experiences,” said Brian O’Rourke, vice president of Development and Alumni Relations.

Photo of members of the Hendrix family being honored at the gift announcement event.

Members of the Hendrix family are honored at the gift announcement event.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Pam Hendrix passed away in 2018 at the age of 74 and is survived by her husband of 50 years, Bill. Bill was Clemson’s student body president and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1963 and a master’s degree in 1968. He has served on the Clemson board of trustees since 1995 and was chairman for three terms from 2003 to 2009. Bill and Pam married in 1967 and had four children, all of whom  are Clemson graduates: Jill Ganzenmueller (’92), Joy Yonce (’93), Holly Cirrito (’95) and Jim Hendrix (’98). Like his father, Jim served as undergraduate student body president. Their daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Hendrix (’99), and son-in-law, Michael Cirrito (’97), also graduated from Clemson. They have 10 grandchildren.

Bill Hendrix has held many volunteer leadership positions for the university, serving on the Alumni National Council, as an IPTAY representative, on the Clemson University Foundation board of directors and on the Board of Visitors. Clemson recognized him in 1995 with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award and in 2001 with the Institutional Advancement Award. In 2008, Clemson honored him with the university’s highest public award: the Clemson Medallion.