The Clemson Alumni Association presented A. Neill Cameron, Jr. of Liberty, South Carolina with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest honor for a Clemson graduate.
“The Distinguished Service Award allows us to take time to recognize a few truly remarkable members of the Clemson family, and Neill Cameron is certainly one of those,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. “Neill achieved incredible success in his career both in advertising and as vice president of Advancement at Clemson, through his devotion to community service and in his commitment to making Clemson University better every day. We are proud of Neill and the example of service he sets for all of us.”
Originally from Atlanta, Cameron attended Clemson University like his father. In 1967 he was drafted into the
U.S. Army, where he served three years on active duty and 10 years active reserve. Cameron went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, an MBA from Emory University and a certificate in international business from the London Business School.
Cameron spent 30 years in advertising, the last 22 with Ogilvy & Mather, where he became the youngest division president and board member. He oversaw campaign development for brands such as American Express, Shell Oil, IBM and the Centers for Disease Control. Cameron’s numerous awards include the 1995 Silver Medal for Advertising’s Man of the Year and the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary’s Medal for Distinguished Service.
In 1999, Cameron was asked to join Clemson as the vice president for Advancement. For 17 years, he oversaw the university’s brand marketing and communications, development, alumni relations, Clemson University Foundation visitor programs, conference center services and historic properties. He served on President James F. Barker’s executive team, which was responsible for implementing the “Top 20” initiative to have the university ranked as one of the top-20 public universities in the country. During the run to top 20, the Advancement Division led efforts to raise more than $1.5 billion, became the No. 1 alumni network, encouraged innovative ideas like CU-ICAR and developed legacy branding such as “Solid Orange,” “One Clemson” and “Determined Spirit.”
Cameron also served on the board of the Clemson University Foundation in 1996-2016, chaired the Clemson Finance Corporation, regularly taught undergraduate classes and became a life member of IPTAY. He established the Albert Neill Cameron Sr. Endowed Engineering Scholarship and the Albert “Neill” Cameron Jr. Endowment for the Brand. Cameron received the Most Preferred Administrator Award from marketing students and was named an honorary member of Clemson’s Class of ’39.
Cameron has served on boards including the Atlanta Ballet, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston Hospital, Emory University’s Center for Leadership and Change, the Houston Grand Opera and the Statue of Liberty Centennial Restoration Foundation. He was on the Organizing Committee for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and chaired the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Association.
The prestigious Clemson Alumni Distinguished Service Award is based on three main criteria: personal and professional accomplishments; dedication and service to Clemson University; and devotion to community and public service. Members of the Clemson family nominate potential winners, who are then selected by the Clemson Alumni Association as outstanding alumni, public servants and examples to others.
“Let me state clearly that I have never had a finer colleague and friend than Neill Cameron,” wrote Clemson President Emeritus James F. Barker. “Neill taught me that Clemson is in the forever business, and he has changed Clemson forever.”
Cameron is now president of SCHA Solutions, the private business development arm of the South Carolina Hospital Association. He and his wife, Jill Young Cameron, split their time between Columbia and Liberty. They have two grown children, Christine Martin and Kendall Cameron, and six grandchildren.