Smyth McKissick has played many roles in his association with Clemson University through the years: student, alumnus (having graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in administrative management), benefactor and trustee. University officials have now bestowed the school’s highest honor on the Greenville native.
McKissick has been engaged with the university continuously. He has been a trustee since 1998, chairing or serving on numerous committees, including Finance and Facilities, Educational Policy, Institutional Advancement, Student Affairs, Research and Economic Development, Executive and Audit, and Agriculture and Natural Resources. He served as chairman of the presidential search committee that, along with the board of trustees, selected Clemson’s 15th president, Clements, last fall. He also served as a member of the search committee that, along with the board of trustees, named Clemson’s 14th president, James F. Barker, in 1999. He is an IPTAY member, served as Clemson University Foundation director, and currently chairs the university’s $1 billion capital campaign, The Will to Lead.
In 2012, he received the Clemson Alumni Association’s highest honor: the Distinguished Service Award.
McKissick is the fourth generation of his family to lead the family-owned textile business, Alice Manufacturing Company, where he has served as CEO since 1998. Smyth and his wife, Martha, have three children. Their daughter, Holly, is a Clemson graduate. “Clemson University is still that student-centered university that cares most about students and the faculty and provides a student experience that affords young people the opportunity to be the best they can be. I’m proud of Clemson for putting that at the nucleus of all we do,” he said. “One of the great joys of my Clemson experience has been working with wonderful volunteers and serving next to great leaders who are all committed to the betterment of our university.”