Hello Tiger fans!
I am headed off to the ACC spring meetings this week in Florida. In my next writing, I hope to have much content to discuss as a result of those meetings. In the meantime, I thought it would be appropriate to focus this space on the student-athletes that graduated from Clemson last Friday. I had the privilege to be on hand for each of the three ceremonies as part of the president’s administrative council. It was wonderful to see so many orange stoles, which are worn to signify student-athletes, in each ceremony!
I thought I would share the wonderful success stories of a few of them. In all, 49 student-athletes walked across the stage in Littlejohn Coliseum to receive their degrees from President Barker. (See complete list of 2013 spring graduates below). It was particularly heart-warming to see some of our student-athletes who returned to earn degrees several years after their Tiger careers ended.
Two student coaches on Jack Leggett’s baseball team – Brad Chalk and Stephen Faris – graduated on Friday and then helped the Tigers to a win over Georgia Southern later that evening. Both were instrumental in helping Clemson win the ACC Championship and earn a berth in the College World Series in 2006. Brad spent five seasons in the farm system for the Padres and Pirates before returning to Clemson last fall to finish his degree. Stephen spent four years in the Padres’ minor league system as well.
It was great to see Jamie Harper return to accept his degree from President Barker. He was a running back for the Tiger football team from 2008-10 before leaving a year early to turn professional. He earned his degree in sociology on Friday. Jamie, as well as Brad and Stephen, are to be commended for their commitment to the total student-athlete experience at Clemson.
I also wanted to share the story of a young man who graduated in less than three years. Ty McCormack of the men’s track & field and cross country team earned his degree in language & international trade. Ty is an exceptional student-athlete. On the track, he is an All-ACC level performer. Off of it, he is an All-ACC Academic mainstay. His unique story included a study abroad program last fall in China. Ty is fluent in Chinese, and is headed to Auburn University to further his education in graduate school despite the fact he has eligibility left. We wish him nothing but the best as he continues to set a great example for other student-athletes to follow.
Those are just a few of the many tremendous stories that emerged from graduation. Congratulations to all 49 student-athletes, past and present, who earned degrees from our wonderful university and received the personal hand shake from President Barker. It is an accomplishment each of them will carry with them the rest of their lives.
August 20, 2019