The 2014 IPTAY year has come to a close and the summer is winding down at the IPTAY office. But, before we look ahead, I want to begin by thanking each of you for your support of IPTAY in 2014. Because of generous people like you, the “One IPTAY” enterprise was able to raise an all-time record of $32 Million. These dollars directly impact the lives of our nearly 500 student-athletes in our 19 sport athletic program through scholarships, facilities and academic support. From the Tiger Cub Club to the Annual fund, Major Gifts and everything in between, your gifts matter and I want to thank you.
As I have stated previously, IPTAY is continuing to take on more initiatives, for Clemson Athletics which is really exciting for us. That involvement can be seen in many ways during this past year. One in particular is the success of our student-athletes in the classroom. Our young people are winning not only on the field of play but in their field of study as well. Vickery Hall, the student-athlete academic enrichment center, funded by IPTAY dollars, is providing an environment and programs that are cultivating success. The success is evident by, among other things, our student athletes’ grade point averages. This past academic year many of our teams earned a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. These are the kinds of accomplishments about which all of us who support Clemson University should be proud.
As we look to the future, the growth of our programs is of high importance. Part of this growth is being realized by our premium seat initiative that is taking place across several of our sports. Right now, a committee comprised of Athletic Director Dan Radakovich, members of the IPTAY and Athletics staffs, architects and myself is reviewing proposed designs for our athletic venues. We are committed to providing one-of-a-kind game day experiences which will be better than ever and are uniquely Clemson.
Conversations with Memorial Stadium suite holders this summer have only added to the excitement. Changes are already underway as approximately forty suites inside Death Valley have been outfitted with fully operable windows. The suites are going to be special and will be a great place to experience the magic of Clemson football and Death Valley on Saturdays in the fall. This is just the first step in our groundbreaking facilities initiative which, as you likely know from prior announcements, will also include a rebuilt basketball arena.
More responsibility in Clemson Athletics also gives rise to the need for additional quality individuals to insure the success of our activities and to enable IPTAY to meet its many goals. With the added responsibility of taking on all premium seating, I am pleased to announce the addition of Kyle Shields to the IPTAY staff. He will serve as our Premium Seats Coordinator/Major Gifts Officer. Having most recently worked in a similar role at a quality institution such as Georgia Tech and within the Atlantic Coast Conference, Kyle brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the IPTAY team. Kyle, a graduate of Georgia State University, will provide direct oversight of our various premium seating programs. I would also like to thank Lynn Sparks who, for years, has done an outstanding job managing our Memorial Stadium suite operations. She has played a vital role in this transition. We are thankful for all she has done for us and Clemson University.
Additionally, we have hired Reed Kramer as our Assistant Director for Marketing and Communications. He has been working with us in the IPTAY office for the past year and has a great sense of what we are trying to accomplish. Before coming to IPTAY, Reed worked in several facets in the athletic department of Coastal Carolina University. Reed has an undergraduate degree from Birmingham Southern College where he ran Cross Country and Track. He also has a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from the University of Alabama. Reed will be overseeing our marketing efforts, communication strategy and social media initiatives as we look to build our IPTAY brand into the future.
It is hard to believe, but the 2015 IPTAY year is now in full swing and we are off to great start. Football season is now just a few short weeks away as our Tigers will be traveling to Athens on August 30th and you can feel the energy growing on campus each day. The IPTAY Board and staff are continuing to work hard to make sure that Clemson Athletics continues to move forward in a way which will make us all proud of this great university. Once again, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for IPTAY, our student-athletes and athletic program. You are an important part of the IPTAY team.
May 8, 2021
May 7, 2021