Author’s note: It is my hope to use this space semi-regularly to blog about some of the inner-workings and exciting developments within the Division of Student Affairs. Make sure you follow us on social media through our divisional Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels for daily content as well.

A member of Clemson's Orientation team assists a freshman with registration

New Student Orientation opened Monday with registration in the Watt Family Innovation Center.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Orientation season — excuse me, #OrientationSzn (my hashtag of choice this week) — is in full effect in Tigertown. On Monday, we welcomed the first of 10 sessions for freshmen over the next six weeks. Each session includes two full days on campus starting with a welcome for students and their families in the Brooks Center to academic advising and course registration on Day 2, and much more in between. In addition, five sessions for transfer and veteran students are held on Fridays (with the exception of July 6).

In all, about 5,300 students will come through Orientation this summer as they acclimate and prepare themselves for life at Clemson. Monday was the first time I set foot in an Orientation session since the summer of 1998, and it was an impressive operation. Rebecca Atkinson, Jeff Brown, Erin Mayor and so many others are to be commended for their efforts in coordinating such a thorough schedule for incoming students.

We’re excited to share plenty of behind-the-scenes content this summer. Next week we will introduce a little local flavor, as we follow a recent Daniel High School graduate over her two-day Orientation experience. Be on the lookout for some cool perspectives on what is the first of many memorable Clemson moments.

Congratulations to five members of the Student Affairs team for recently completing the Staff Development Program:

Student Affairs Publications designer David Bishop completing the Staff Development Program

David Bishop, pictured with President Jim Clements, was one of five in Student Affairs to complete the Staff Development Program.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

Stephanie Bagwell, Student Health Services
David Bishop, Publications
Janet Greenlee, University Housing & Dining
Sarah Reeves, Business Operations
Joseph Stapleton, University Housing & Dining

The Staff Development Program allows university employees an opportunity to grow professionally and personally by participating in various departmental and relevant service activities. Upon completion, participants receive a salary enhancement.

One of the participant requirements is to complete a minimum of 150 hours of development, broken down into focus areas. For David Bishop, he used his professional expertise as the division’s assistant creative director to aid two local churches with branding elements, such as new logo creation and style guide development.

A sample graphic design awarded by American InHouse Design for Clemson's Student Affairs Publications

Student Affairs Publications was recently lauded for its design work.

Speaking of Bishop and Student Affairs Publications, the department was honored with eight American InHouse Design awards last week on the following pieces:

  • Development and Division holiday cards
  • Douthit Hills signup brochure
  • Resident Assistant selection poster
  • Samuel J. Cadden Chapel Tailgate invitation
  • Spring Family Reunion logo
  • U-NITES! spring poster
  • Unity logo

Led by Creative Director Tina LeMay, the Publications team continues to produce high-quality print and digital design for the division. Kudos to Tina and her team!

On Tuesday of this week members of the Student Affairs Cabinet were treated to a tour of the new residential space in Douthit Hills. I was blown away with the plush amenities and the amount of detail that has gone into the project.

Kathy Hobgood, associate vice president for University Housing & Dining, led our group as we viewed two- and four-person apartments that will house continuing students in the west region, and traditional two-person residential rooms for freshmen in the east. Over 1,600 beds have been added to Clemson’s on-campus housing inventory alone through the Douthit project.

Tillman Hall view from Douthit Hills

The Douthit Hills “spine” offers spectacular views of Tillman Hall.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

We only viewed the first floor of the Hub — the area centrally located between the east and west residential areas — during our tour. But the three-level facility is going to be a spectacular addition when completed. It will feature a new Barnes and Noble bookstore, substation for the Clemson University Police Department, Starbucks and P.O.D. market on the first floor. Level two will feature much-needed cardio and fitness space for Campus Recreation. And the third level will include several retail dining options. It’s important to note while these areas are housed in the Douthit footprint, it will serve the entire campus.

My favorite aspect of Douthit is the 16-foot-wide sidewalk that runs in the middle between the buildings. Often described as the project’s “spine,” what makes it unique is the fact former Clemson University President James F. Barker — now a part-time faculty member in the School of Architecture — had a significant hand in the design. As you progress from the Hub through the west units, it offers a spectacular and iconic view of Tillman Hall’s clock tower. I found that to be a pretty neat fact related to Douthit I didn’t know prior to the tour.

Greg Mullen with CUPD's newest sworn-in officers, Samantha Butts and Tyler Brown.

Greg Mullen swore in CUPD’s newest officers, Samantha Butts and Tyler Brown, in a ceremony Thursday.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

I’ve been impressed with Greg Mullen, who started at Clemson just over a month ago as interim associate vice president for public safety and chief of police. This week, he invited me to CUPD headquarters to document a memorable occasion in the life of a new officer: a swearing-in ceremony. Another “first” in my just over 13 months with the Division of Student Affairs.

Tyler Brown and Samantha Butts, both local residents who grew up in the Upstate area, accepted the oath and received badges from Chief Mullen in a nice ceremony attended by family and members of CUPD.

Lt. Chris Harrington said the two newest officers joined CUPD on May 15. After the swear-in ceremony, they are off to Columbia for the Criminal Justice Academy for a 12-week training program. Once they graduate on September 14, they will go through a nine-week field training to ensure they retain the academy’s teachings, before seeing regular duty with CUPD.

My favorite part of the ceremony was when Chief Mullen described the feeling new officers get when putting on his or her uniform for the first time:

“The first time you put this badge on with your uniform, the first thing you’ll do is look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I look really good.’ And you will, because the badge is nice and shiny. I tell this to everyone who enters this profession. Everything we do has an impact on law enforcement officers around the country. You not only represent the people in this room, you protect the legacy of those who have proudly served before you. I challenge you to keep this badge just as shiny, when you retire in 25 or 30 years, as it is today. That will mean you’ve served this profession and your community well, and that you’ve been a good, faithful police officer.”

Coming from someone who’s experienced and lived some of the most violent tragedies imaginable as chief of police, those surely were inspiring words to hear for both Tyler and Sam.