CLEMSON — A $1.5 million gift from a Clemson University alumnus will support scholarships, fellowships and student engagement programs in Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Goz Segars of Hartsville, along with his wife, Pat, and their family, is giving the money to support students in agricultural majors because those students are the “driving force” of the future of agriculture.

“I feel very strongly about the future of agriculture in our country, and I would like to help students have very broad, real-world experiences so they will have a better understanding of all facets of agriculture,” Segars said.

Part of the gift will establish the Goz and Pat Segars Annual Student Assistance Fund, which will provide need-based assistance to undergraduate and graduate students in agriculture-related majors.

The gift also will benefit student engagement opportunities in the college, specifically experiential learning programs for students at the Segars’ cattle ranch in Montana and their farm in Hartsville. Students, with faculty mentors, will spend time at the ranch or the farm studying animal science, pre-veterinary medicine, crop production, irrigation management, wildlife biology and environmental studies.

“Agriculture isn’t limited to just farms and ranches. It’s much more than that,” Segars said. “These students have the potential to become professors in agriculture, agriculture economists, researchers, geneticists, engineers who develop agriculture equipment… the possibilities are endless. We want to encourage students to explore all fields that are agriculture-related, and through these internships they will be able to do that.”

“Thanks to the generosity of the Segars family, more students will be able to study agriculture at Clemson, and their education will be enhanced by the hands-on learning opportunities offered at the Segars’ ranch and farm,” said College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Dean Thomas Scott. “Those kinds of experiences in the field are invaluable to our students, and I thank Goz and Pat for the use of their land and the financial resources to make such a program possible.”

A 1966 Clemson graduate, Segars is a seventh-generation farmer and he heads up the Segars family businesses, which include Segars Development, Segars Farms and Segars Realty. He is part owner in an Angus beef breeding-stock business and cattle ranch in Montana.

Segars is chairman of the Clemson University Foundation Board and has been a member of it since 2006. Also a director of the Clemson University Real Estate Foundation, Segars is a founding director of Clemson’s Land Stewardship Foundation. He received Clemson’s 2011 Institutional Advancement Award and the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Clemson Alumni Association. He also served on the university’s board of visitors.

The Segars have five children and six grandchildren.

The Segars’ gift is part of Clemson’s The Will to Lead capital campaign, which aims to raise $1 billion to support Clemson students and faculty with scholarships, professorships, facilities, technology and enhanced opportunities for learning and research.

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