Marvin G. Carmichael ’71, MEd ’76

Longtime Leader in the Student Financial Aid Field Will Receive Clemson Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award

Nationally respected student financial aid leader Marvin G. Carmichael of Seneca will receive the Clemson Alumni Association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

Carmichael, a Dillon, S.C., native, earned two degrees from Clemson University in 1971 and 1976 respectively. He started working at Clemson as a student in 1967, began working as a full-time employee of the university in 1971 and joined the Office of Student Financial Aid in 1973. Over the next four decades, he became a driving force in shaping state and national student financial aid policy, legislation and funding.

He was instrumental in crafting legislation and regulations for the South Carolina LIFE Scholarship, serving as an advisor to the South Carolina General Assembly. He held various leadership roles in the financial aid field, including chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He also served as a trustee for the South Carolina Student Loan Corporation. He volunteered in various roles with the National Collegiate Athletic Association, including chairing the Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism.

In addition to his student financial aid responsibilities at Clemson, in 2000 Carmichael became Assistant to the President and liaison to the University’s Board of Visitors and President’s Advisory Board. In 2005 he was appointed Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, the post he held until his retirement in 2016.

Carmichael’s numerous community roles have ranged from volunteer firefighter to being a South Carolina State Constable. He has been an active volunteer for various organizations including, but not limited to: the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce; the Oconee Economic Development Board; the Clemson Area Chamber of Commerce; the Greenville Urban League; the Clemson Fellowship Club; and the Rotary Club of Clemson.

He currently volunteers with and serves as vice president of Mountain Findings, which supports multiple charities in the Highlands, N.C., area. He also serves as president of the Apple Mountain Homeowners Association in Highlands.

He and his wife, Felicia, who graduated from Clemson in 1973 and 1976, have two children: Their daughter, Ashlee Carmichael Moses, is a 2001 Clemson graduate, and their son, Brooks Butler Carmichael, is 2006 Clemson graduate.


The 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 honorees, who are then selected by the Clemson Alumni Association as outstanding alumni, public servants and examples to others. The 2021 award presentation will occur during the fall.

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.


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