“Don’t ever let anything be ordinary; ordinary is average, normal, usual and commonplace.”
It’s an adage that Jim and Candace Brown live by. And on Dec. 3, the Brown family solidified that notion, committing an extraordinary gift to support IPTAY and Clemson Athletics. The commitment is the largest in IPTAY history and among the largest in University history. The gift will support several areas of Clemson’s Athletic program, including football and basketball.
“Since I was a small kid, it’s always been the people at Clemson that are special – the way they connect and care about one another,” said Jim Brown, whose family has been a Cornerstone Partner. “We raised our children going to Clemson Football games, and the atmosphere – the friends you make – it’s a mini-family reunion seven times a year. The thing that’s most special is the people and the family connections. It’s hard to describe in words when you are there, and the education and opportunity Clemson has provided so many is inspirational. The people make Clemson, Clemson.”
“We are thrilled to do this for Clemson, and it’s because of our love for Clemson,” said Brown. “We’ve had three children graduate, and one with aspirations to graduate from Clemson. We love the people at Clemson, from President Clements to Graham Neff, Davis Babb, and Aaron Dunham, and on down the line. We’ve got a long-standing relationship with our program leaders, including Coach Brownell and Coach Swinney, and this is in support of them. This is about helping Clemson, and doing things for Clemson.”
The Brown family resides in Florence, S.C. Jim is a businessman and philanthropist with a long connection to Clemson Athletics.
“On behalf of IPTAY, I want to express my deep appreciation to Jim and Candace Brown for this inspirational commitment,” shared IPTAY CEO Davis Babb, “Their transformative gift will impact the lives of Clemson student-athletes for generations to come. Through programmatic, facility, and scholarship support, they will change lives and create opportunities for our young people that would not have been previously imaginable. Their generous hearts speak volumes about who they are and how they want to keep Clemson on this remarkable trajectory for years to come. We are forever grateful to them and look forward to seeing what the future will bring as a result of their philanthropy.”
Clemson has now received 27 Athletic Cornerstone gifts from 23 families in history, with the latest dedicated to several key athletic department functions, including football and basketball. Cornerstone Partners are donors who have given transformational gifts of $2.5 million or more to move Clemson forward.
“Jim and Candace Brown have always been ‘All In’ for Clemson University, and their transformational gift to support our student-athletes is yet another example of their dedication and commitment to the Clemson student experience,” said Clemson University President Jim Clements. “Clemson has developed a championship athletic program and this gift will further enhance our ability to succeed at the highest level for years to come. I am deeply grateful for Jim and Candace’s philanthropy and their generous hearts in supporting the Clemson Family.”
“Jim, Candace and their entire family have been by our side supporting near and far, and their friendship and engagement have been incredibly meaningful to our entire department,” said Director of Athletics Graham Neff. “IPTAY and Clemson Athletics support more than 500 student-athletes with a best-in-class student experience, and this gift will enable us to continue to invest in our programs and the young men and women who represent Clemson. Their commitment is foundationally emblematic of their unwavering support of Clemson student-athletes, and we are so thankful for their desire to see our athletic program flourish.”
The gift serves IPTAY’s mission of supporting four major pillars: Athletic Facilities, Athletic Endowment, Student-Athlete Experience and Scholarship. IPTAY set a goal of $70 million for the 2023 year, and has now surpassed that total. IPTAY funds more than $15 million in scholarships annually, and also provides the largest academic endowment on campus to the general student body. IPTAY also supports student-athlete services which include areas such as academic support, leadership development, community engagement, facilities, sports psychology, nutrition and much more.
Those interested in learning more should visit ClemsonTigers.com/IPTAY.