Ross Cathy with former trustee and alumnus James E. Bostic Jr.

The Clemson University Office of Access and Equity has announced a new scholarship for students with disabilities. The Ross Cathy ADA Scholarship — Embracing and Valuing Differing Abilities is offered to any current undergraduate student who has successfully registered with Clemson’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) or provided appropriate information to the Office of Access and Equity indicating a qualified disability. The student must be in good standing and have earned a minimum of 12 semester hours with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The scholarship was created by Ross Cathy, grandson of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy. Ross earned a degree in communications studies from Clemson in 2007 and credits SAS for helping him achieve his academic goals.

“I have a learning disability, and I would not have graduated had it not been for Clemson’s Student Accessibility Services,” said Cathy. “I created the scholarship to provide students like me the opportunities to be successful.”

Cathy created a $1,000 annual scholarship and is creating an endowment so it can be given in perpetuity.

Corrine Grant, director of alumni relations and development for the Division of Inclusion and Equity, said she is thrilled Ross’s gift will benefit a cross-section of Clemson students who face physical and learning disabilities.

“Inclusion can look very different for everyone,” said Grant. “Most people immediately think of race when they hear ‘inclusion,’ but inclusion has so many forms. I’m excited for this scholarship to bring that to light. It’s going to impact lives.”

Ross Cathy signs the paperwork creating the Ross Cathy ADA Scholarship — Embracing and Valuing Differing Abilities

Priscilla Harrison, director of ADA Services and Compliance, said the need for aid is great. She cited the latest statistics which show out of 25,822 Clemson undergraduate students in Fall 2019 semester, 1,347 — or 5.2 percent — registered with SAS.

“This is the first ADA scholarship being offered to all Clemson University students,” said Harrison. “That gives me a lot of encouragement, especially right now when there are a lot of students being challenged by tough economic times. It’s a good time for us to show our commitment to students, and it also gives us a time to reflect and call for others to help provide more scholarships of this kind.”

A link to apply can be found on the Office of Access and Equity website.


Office of Access and Equity
The Office of Access and Equity coordinates the development of policy, procedures, programs and services related to equality of opportunity in employment, business access, admissions, retention, academics, advancement and general treatment for faculty, staff, students and visitors. Access and Equity monitors the University’s compliance with all federal, state and University policies related to equitable treatment and unlawful discrimination. Access and Equity accomplishes its mission through the implementation of activities in four main areas: Compliance, Education and Training, Outreach Programs and Research and Evaluation. The research and evaluation components are done in collaboration with the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education.