CLEMSON -- A $6 million pledge to improve construction education and enhance athletic heritage is the largest cash gift from an individual in Clemson University's history.
A donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, pledged the money,
to be split evenly in funding for a Clemson University
Athletic Heritage Center and the newly created Excellence in Construction Education Endowment.
Clemson University President James F. Barker said the gift
is evidence that when academics and athletics work together, the university benefits in significant ways.
"We are grateful to the donor for this commitment, which supports our vision of One Clemson and to be a top 20 public university," Barker said. "I am proud of the teamwork and combined energy of our faculty and our athletic department."
The Excellence in Construction Education Endowment, which is being funded first, will support joint educational, research and outreach activities of the College of Engineering and Science's civil engineering department and the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities' construction science and management department. The departments already work together with the Construction Industry Cooperative Alliance to provide outreach to the construction industry.
"Construction science and civil engineering obviously have
many things in common," said Roger Liska, chair of the construction science and management department. "This endowment is going to allow us to enhance the educational assistance we offer the construction industry across the state and across the nation through development programs and through a lecture series."
"The endowment will also enhance the educational experience
of students, both undergraduate and graduate," added Russell Brown, interim chair of the civil engineering department. "And this gift enhances Clemson's ability to attract top-notch students to our programs."
The money will be used to fund faculty chairs in both departments. Those chairs will enhance professors' ability to conduct research and move construction education forward.
"Faculty members will have the ability to do some innovative work because of this endowment," Liska said. "It will also allow us to bring in or retain the best faculty we can find."
The Athletic Heritage Center will house the university's football program facilities and an athletic museum.
Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips pointed to Clemson's
rich history in athletics as a point of great spirit and
pride for the university's loyal alumni and fans.
"This athletic heritage center will capture many exciting moments in Clemson's history and will honor the men and women who excelled on these fields of competition," Phillips said. "It also provides the athletic programs of today with greatly needed facilities and space."