Andy Quattlebaum had a selfless desire to serve others.

Whether he was ensuring a friend received proper acclaim for his catch in a fishing tournament when he was just 10 years old or volunteering his time with an after-school program in a small Georgetown County town a few years later, his generosity knew no bounds.

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller meets with Don and Hayden Quattlebaum during the Outdoor Education Center naming in memory of their son, Andy, in January.

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller meets with Don and Hayden Quattlebaum during the Outdoor Education Center naming in memory of their son, Andy, in January.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

“Andy was a very loving, sensitive child,” said his father, Don Quattlebaum. “He made lots of friends when he lived in Clemson, and one of the main things (people admired) about him is that everyone said he could light up a room with his smile.”

Andy loved Clemson. His father (’76), grandfather (’34) and great-grandfather (’09) all graduated from Clemson. His grandfather, Alexander McQueen Quattlebaum, was an engineering professor at Clemson and went on to serve on the Board of Trustees from 1958-74, while his father, Don, earned a degree in building construction before launching a successful entrepreneurial career.

Andy was a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed boating, camping, fishing, hunting, rock climbing and scuba diving. He also had an affinity for animals of all kinds, including Oak, his prized yellow Labrador.

A former student in the Bridge to Clemson program, the Quattlebaum family was devastated to learn the news of his tragic passing on March 27, 2019. Andy was just 22 years old.

“Our lives will never be the same after losing our son,” Don explained. “We love him more and miss him more every day. He is gone from us, but his legacy will live on.”

The essence of that legacy began when Don and his wife, Hayden, established the Andy Quattlebaum and Blackwell Family Foundation. Hayden enjoyed a successful career as co-owner of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Conway — a family business started by her grandfather in the 1930s. Through the foundation, the Quattlebaums plan to make substantial gifts each year to support Andy’s areas of interest.

Andy Quattlebaum's friends gathered at the Outdoor Education Center named in his memory in January.

Andy Quattlebaum’s friends gathered at the Outdoor Education Center named in memory of the former Bridge student.

Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

The foundation’s very first philanthropic initiative came in the form of Clemson University’s seventh Academic Cornerstone Gift since the program’s creation in 2017. The Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center was dedicated in January at the Snow Family Outdoor Fitness and Wellness complex in a ceremony that featured remarks from President Jim Clements and Don’s passionate recount of Andy’s life.

Construction was recently completed on the 16,500-square-foot facility that serves as the home of Clemson’s Outdoor Recreation and Education (CORE) program. The venue features multi-use classroom space, trip resources, equipment rentals and boat storage — a perfect match for Andy’s passions. And now, the facility proudly bears his name.

“It’s a beautiful, state-of-the-art building that other colleges will strive to emulate,” Hayden said. “Our hope is that all members of the Clemson Family — students, faculty and staff — will be able to learn about and love the outdoors the way Andy did.”

The center — one of only two facilities nationwide to utilize southern yellow pine cross-laminated timber in its design — will serve as a national model for recreation and leisure space.

“The Andy Quattlebaum Outdoor Education Center will provide current and future generations of Clemson students with unparalleled recreational and wellness experiences,” said Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Chris Miller. “Their experiences will be a part of Andy’s legacy. We cannot thank the Quattlebaum family enough for this generous gift and thoughtful tribute in memory of their beloved son.”