Dr. Mary E. Kurz Named Honorary Alumna

Dr. Mary E. Kurz Named Honorary Alumna

The Clemson Alumni Association recently honored Dr. Mary E. Kurz with the designation of Honorary Alumna of Clemson University, Class of 2021. The distinction of Honorary Alum is a special recognition intended for steadfast Tiger supporters whose “blood runs orange” but who never attended Clemson.

Kurz earned both a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Systems Engineering in 1995 and 1997, respectively, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Systems and Industrial Engineering in 2001 – all from the University of Arizona.

Kurz came to Clemson in 2001 where her research focuses on tactical decision-making in assembly systems, focusing on production planning and control topics, such as sequencing, line balancing and configuration management, for customizable products. She is an active adviser in Creative Inquiry and on undergraduate honors theses, master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. Additionally, she was president of the Faculty Senate and chaired its policy committee.

Kurz has been deeply involved with the Clemson Aquatic Team, as both the chair of the board and the meet director, providing leadership in activities like swim meets at Fike or Lake Hartwell that regularly bring hundreds of swimmers to Clemson and an ongoing aquatic center feasibility study for a permanent home for Clemson Aquatic Team.

Through leadership activities on campus, Kurz developed skills that have transferred to community group. In the community, she has been engaged with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Clemson’s endowment committee and a just-graduated girl scout troop. For many years, she coordinated the Engineering Expo with second graders at Clemson Elementary.

Her research has been disseminated in over 80 journal articles and conference proceedings, involving funding of over $4.8 million in her career thus far. Dr. Kurz also engages with outreach activities funded by the National Science Foundation, currently with the ADVANCE grant, the SPECTRA S-STEM program and the THINKER NRT. Each of these projects are focused on increasing the impact of engineering education and educators.

Kurz has received the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence, the Esin Gulari Leadership and Service Award, the Alan Schaffer Faculty Senate Service Award and the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Excellence in Service.

The Honorary Alumna designation was presented to Kurz during the Class of ’39 Award for Excellence reception. Clemson Alumni Association president, Gregg Morton, and board president-elect, Jeff Duckworth, presented Kurz with this honor.

Honorary alumni are selected by the Alumni Association Honors and Awards Committee on the basis of outstanding service, lifelong devotion and loyalty to Clemson University or the Clemson Alumni Association. Nominations open in the Fall of each year and close on December 31. To nominate a deserving person, to review past honorees or to view the award guidelines, visit the Clemson Alumni website at alumni.clemson.edu/awards-and-honors/honorary-alumni.