The award is given annually to 10 outstanding individuals who received undergraduate or graduate degrees from Clemson University within the past 10 years and who exemplify Clemson’s core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Recipients are recognized for their impact in business, leadership, community, educational and philanthropic endeavors.
Burns, a Florence native, graduated from Clemson in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in financial management. He joined Northwestern Mutual as a Clemson student and has risen to become one of the top 10 advisors out of the Greenville, Spartanburg, and Asheville offices.
In his first year as an advisor, he reached Pacesetter 40 status for his success in selling Northwestern Mutual Insurance products, something few new advisors accomplish. In 2019 and 2020, he reached a major professional milestone by earning membership in the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), a Premier Association of Financial Professionals®. MDRT membership is recognized internationally as the standard of excellence in the life insurance and financial services business.
Locally, he was named one of Greenville Business Magazine’s 2019 “Best & Brightest 35 & Under.”
An active community volunteer, Burns coaches church youth basketball and supports several local charities, including Miracle Hill Ministries, the Meyer’s Center, United Way of Greenville, Family Effect and the Mitchell Road Christian Academy Scholarship Fund. He and his wife, Chelsea – who met in a Clemson swing dancing class – are community group leaders for Grace Church Downtown Campus and volunteer in the church’s children’s ministry and Mosaic ministry, which serves children and adults with disabilities.
Burns supports the ClemsonLIFE program, which provides a college experience for young men and women with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, he speaks on campus every semester to Alumni Master Teacher Kerri McMillan’s financial management class, offering insightful advice and personal experiences to her students.
He is a member of IPTAY, Clemson’s athletic fundraising organization, and contributes to the Chandler Lewis Burns Scholarship Fund for students majoring in construction science and management. The fund is named for his late brother and was established by his grandparents Billy and Ann Powers of Florence.
Members of the Clemson family nominate potential Roaring10 honorees, who are then selected by the Clemson Young Alumni Council. The 2021 award presentation will occur during the fall.
The primary mission of the Clemson Young Alumni Council is to support the goals of the Clemson Alumni Association specifically on matters pertaining to young alumni. The Clemson Alumni Association is an open-membership, nonprofit organization that exists to connect alumni with their alma mater. Through a variety of programs and services, the Alumni Association works with alumni around the world to ensure they have a Clemson Experience every day.