Ables, a 1979 Clemson alumna in English communications and Spanish, has given back to the university since graduation. She was an at-large member of the Clemson Alumni Council, past member of the Alumni National Council and former president of the Clemson Alumni Association’s Women’s Council. While serving on the Women’s Council, she created the annual Bring Your Daughter to Clemson program, which allows girls ages 6 to 18 to learn about Clemson’s academic majors, campus life and student activities.
Ables also has been involved in the Greenville community, serving as a chairwoman of the Greenville Women’s Council chapter and regularly attending Greenville Meal Club luncheons. Currently, Ables is a member of the Clemson Alumni Association board of directors and an IPTAY Life Member.
“Sonya is one of the most dedicated, passionate volunteers we have at Clemson,” said Wil Brasington, senior director of the Clemson Alumni Association. “Her lifetime of volunteer work for her alma mater and in support of the Clemson family will leave a legacy for many generations to come.”
Ables’ husband, Rudy, also graduated from Clemson in 1979, and the couple’s three children — Matthew, Gareth and Meghan — all graduated from Clemson. The Ables have five grandchildren.
Presented annually since 1988, the Volunteer of the Year Award is the highest recognition and greatest expression of appreciation extended to an individual by the Alumni Association staff for outstanding service and volunteerism.