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Anna Calhoun & Thomas Green Clemson's Legacy



Thomas Green Clemson started something years ago.

The University Founder began with a belief in education and a desire to build a better quality of life for people in South Carolina. He found a way to do just that with a pen and a piece of paper.

By making a provision in his now famous will for a "high seminary of learning," Clemson greatly improved the lives of many generations in this state and far beyond. In the post-Civil War days of 1865, Clemson looked upon a South that lay in economic ruin and wondered aloud what could be done. Fortunately for South Carolina, Clemson was also a man of vision. On Nov. 6, 1886, he put that vision on paper as he penned his last will and testament in the quiet of his law library at Fort Hill.

Clemson's death in 1888 set in motion a series of events that marked the start of a new era in higher education in South Carolina. Through his carefully planned will, he left most of his estate to establish a college that would teach scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts. He bequeathed the Fort Hill plantation and a large sum from his personal assets for its establishment.

Clemson made his greatest historical contribution when his life became intertwined with the destiny of educational and economic development in the state. He believed in education as the key to the state's economic well-being and that South Carolinians deserved a high quality of education. His legacy is that of keen foresight and practical philanthropy. Alumni and friends who share the founder's vision are continuing his legacy by including the University in their own wills or through other forms of planned gifts.

With pen and paper and a powerful vision, the University was born. With similar actions from alumni and friends, it continues to make a huge difference in the state's economic health and the lives of countless people.

In honor of Clemson's will and in appreciation of alumni and friends who make provisions in their own wills to support the University, the Clemson University Foundation has formed the Clemson Legacy society. To learn more about the society and how to make a bequest gift, contact JoVanna King, Planned Giving, 110 Daniel Drive, Clemson, SC 29631-1520, (864) 656-0663 or toll free at (800) 699-9153.

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If you have any questions or concerns please contact Joseph A. Shirley Center For Philanthropy , 110 Daniel Drive Clemson, South Carolina 29631 or call 864-656-0663.