It’s been both a busy and fun summer here in Clemson as we approach the start of a new academic year.
Even before classes begin Wednesday, we have four sports here on campus working already toward the rapidly approaching start of their seasons. Women’s soccer wrapped up exhibition play and will play the first Clemson competition of the year as they host Auburn next weekend. Football, volleyball and men’s soccer are each hard at work getting ready for season openers at the end of the month.
Before the new seasons take our complete focus, I wanted to take a moment to thank each of you for your support of Clemson Athletics in 2013-14. You purchased a total of 559,800 tickets for home football games, and the past year saw a record-number of Collegiate Club members with 6,911 students, while the annual donor base reached nearly 15,000. With your support, we’ve begun a comprehensive plan to improve and build several new facilities to support each of our student-athletes as they represent our university.
This year we’ll begin construction on several major projects. The player development building at Doug Kingsmore Stadium has begun, and at the conclusion of the football season we’ll start the renovations of the suites and the completion of the WestZone and oculus. Following basketball season, the complete rebuild of Littlejohn Coliseum gets underway.
As we turn our total attention to the 2014-15 season, we do so with stated goals including developing our student-athletes both on and off the field, increasing fundraising and continuing to maximize the gameday experience for each of our loyal fans.
With the shift in NCAA governance and the easing of some legislative restrictions, we have diligently worked to create an all-encompassing meal plan for each of our student-athletes. We also continually evaluate and update each of our off-field programs available through the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and our academic team in Vickery Hall while constantly evolving in nutrition, sports medicine and strength development.
Financially, we begin the new year in good shape with room to grow. Davis Babb and his team at IPTAY have put together a great plan to move us forward as we begin construction projects and continue to provide scholarships to more than 400 student-athletes annually. The support of our IPTAY donors is vital to move our programs forward as we compete for championships both in the ACC and nationally.
As for our loyal and passionate fans, it’s imperative for us to continue to improve upon the nation’s best gameday experience. Not only at Memorial Stadium, but across each of our sporting venues. To that end, we’ve developed the Solid Orange Fan Advisory Board, a cross-section of fans to help us assess the needs and desires of those who fill our stadiums. With the assistance of our friends at Verizon, we’ve also upgraded the Distributed Antenna System in Memorial Stadium and throughout the athletic district, knowing the value of connectivity for each of our patrons and students attending sporting events, and Aramark has also installed credit card machines at every concession stand throughout Memorial Stadium.
I’m excited to start the new season, and know many of you I’ve seen the past few weeks feel the same way. Thank you again for your support of Clemson Athletics.
November 12, 2018