The Clemson Alumni Association presented Anthony L. Mathis. of Evendale, Ohio 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 Tony Mathis is certainly one of those,” said Clemson University President James P. Clements. “Tony achieved incredible success in his career in the Air Force and at GE, through his devotion to community service and in his commitment to making Clemson University better every day. We are proud of Tony and the example of service he sets for all of us.”
Originally from Fitzgerald, Georgia, Mathis has lived in cities all around the United States in pursuit of education, career and leadership opportunities. He came to Clemson University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1986. On campus, he was involved in his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Inc., and was member of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
As a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, Mathis was sent to Edwards Air Force base in California to work in the flight test center. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from California State University-Fresno in 1990, then married his college sweetheart, Stephanie Green ’89. They moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and Mathis earned a master’s degree from Xavier University in 2000.
Mathis started with General Electric (GE) Aviation in 1997 and held several senior roles in engineering, product support and marketing. In November 2016, he was named the president and chief executive officer of military systems at GE Aviation. He served as president of the GE African American Forum and runs the GE Omega Leadership Development Program.
Elevating his company and fulfilling his passion for serving others, Mathis served as the business champion for Developing Health in Boston, the March of Dimes in Seattle, ArtsWave in Cincinnati and the Jackie Robinson Foundation in New York. He is past president of the Wright-Patterson Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. Mathis has held leadership positions in various Catholic churches and is a member of the Knights of Peter Claver. He is also a member of the Air Force Association and the National Society of Black Engineers.
Mathis serves as the GE liaison to Clemson, spearheading collaboration and student opportunities between the two organizations and facilitating increased funding from GE to the university, including naming a GE classroom at the Watt Family Innovation Center. Since 2015, he has served on the board of directors of the Clemson University Foundation. Additionally, Mathis led his fraternity’s successful fundraising efforts for the Chi Zeta Diversity Scholarship Endowment and the William C. “Bill” Clinkscales Sr. ’74 Endowed Diversity Scholarship.
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.
“Tony has always been a focused, tenacious and intelligent leader. These attributes shine through in his daily personal and professional dealings,” write Jesse G. Turner Jr., senior director of human resources at The Kroger Co. and a fraternity brother of Mathis’s.
The Mathises now live in Evendale, a suburb of Cincinnati, with their daughters, Jasmine, a high school junior, and Carmen, who is in fifth grade.