Clemson University Foundation Celebrates 75 Years

September 29, 2008

CLEMSON, SC – September 29, 2008 – In 1933, four members of the Clemson Alumni Association started the Clemson College Foundation with the purpose of establishing a private cash fund to benefit Clemson College. Seventy-five years later, the Clemson University Foundation manages an endowment of more than $425 million focused to support Clemson and its students, faculty and facilities.

While the mission and purpose of the foundation has remained largely the same over the years, the resources have grown. And the foundation now provides much more than monetary support for the university.

“The foundation can serve as a nimble partner for the university,” said Harrison F. “Hack” Trammell, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Clemson is a state institution, and there are wonderful benefits of being a state-supported university. The foundation can add to that by providing flexibility to do things that a state organization might have difficulty accomplishing quickly. The foundation can step in and bridge the gaps.”

Trammell cited the Clemson University Conference Center and Inn complex and the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research as two examples of public-private partnerships that the foundation helped make happen.

“The foundation can provide structure, expertise, communication and financial resources to help the university meet its goals,” he said.

The foundation is governed by a board of directors, a free-standing, self-perpetuating volunteer organization. The board has 36 voting directors and five automatic directors representing various university organizations, including the Alumni Council, IPTAY, the Board of Visitors and the Clemson Advancement Foundation. The board also has several non-voting members, including representatives from student government, the university board of trustees, faculty and staff senates and the Clemson University Research Foundation.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Clemson University Foundation,” said Jimmy Addison of Atlanta, chairman of the foundation board of directors. “The foundation would not succeed without so many people willing to give of their time and talents and share their expertise. The foundation has been blessed with tremendous leadership over the years.”

Trammell said that having a foundation is just as important for state-supported institutions like Clemson as it is for private schools.

“The support from the foundation has helped transform the university from being very good to being truly excellent in some areas,” he said. “It provides a margin of excellence that helps distinguish the university from others.”

Trammell said the goals of the foundation as it heads into the next 75 years are to continue to be a steward of Clemson’s resources, to continue to grow the endowment and to continue that nimble partnership to support the university’s needs.

“As we look back over the last 75 years and see the incredible impact that the foundation has had, it really raises our sights and sets the bar high for what we want to accomplish in the future,” said Trammell.