George Bennett Executive Director
George Bennett begins his eighth year the second time around as Executive Director of IPTAY. Bennett returned to Clemson February 14, 1993 after holding positions at Vanderbilt University, Furman University and Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN. Under his direction the highly successful endowment program and the Tiger Cub program were started. IPTAY closed with a record number of donors (24,824) and total pledge contributions of $20 million in June 2001.
Bennett, a 1955 Clemson graduate, entered as a freshman in 1951. He quickly got involved in campus life by being named president of his freshman class and holding other class offices throughout his career.
Bennett was President of Blue Key, The CDA, and held offices in Alpha Phi Omega and Tiger Brotherhood. He still enjoys his association with Tiger Brotherhood. He was a varsity Cheerleader for three years and the Head Cheerleader his senior year, 1954. He persuaded his father to buy a small cannon that would be fired after the Tigers scored a touchdown. That tradition is still carried on today.
In 1955, after graduation, Bennett served two years in the army at Ft. Knox, KY where he was Commander of the Honor Guard. In 1957 he started a nine year sales career with ESSO in the Southeast. He returned to Clemson in 1967 as the first Alumni Field Representative.
He moved to the athletic department as Assistant Athletic Director for Business and was later named Executive Secretary of IPTAY in 1977. Under his leadership, annual contributions to IPTAY doubled to more than 2.3 million and memberships increased from 9,800 to 15,000.
In 1979, Bennett was named Associate Athletic Director for Financial Development at Vanderbilt University. In 1986, he became Athletic Director at Furman University and 1989 was named Vice-President for Development at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, TN. In 1984, Bennett was named the National Athletic Fundraiser of the Year at the National Conference of Athletic Fundraisers in Las Vegas.
His civic duties include serving as President of the Clemson Chamber of Commerce, President of the Sertoma Club, and serving on the Board of Governors of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Nancy, served as co-chairs on two United Way Campaign Cabinets in Nashville.
Bennett has been honored by Clemson as a member of the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1986 he received the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award. In 1999, Thurmon and Diane McLamb endowed the position of Executive Director of IPTAY in honor of George Bennett and the David Wells Family created an endowment to honor Nancy Bennett.
A native of Columbia, SC, he and his wife, Nancy, (who has a Master’s degree from Clemson and was elected to City Council in Clemson in 1996) have been married for 40 years. They enjoy activities with their two children, their spouses and grandchildren, Jeff & Jodi Bennett and Bonnie & David Dixon, in addition to attending Clemson events. Their grandchildren are Sustaining Tiger Cubs, Megan 13, Bennett 9, Brooks 7, Augusta 6, Austin 3, Cameron born 08/2001, and Alex born 04/2001 .
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