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Dr. Jerry Reel, HA '00

Dr. Jerry Reel, HA ’00

Clemson’s historian since 2002, Jerry Reel has quite a history with the university himself. His career at Clemson went from potentially short-lived to one as honored professor and academic leader for 50 years. The New Orleans native began putting down his roots in Clemson when, shortly after earning his bachelor’s degree in art history and literature and master’s in history from Mississippi Southern College (now the University of Southern Mississippi). He accepted a faculty position with Clemson in 1963. He was an instructor, then quickly advanced to assistant and associate professor, before being named professor of history in 1971. By then, he had become hooked on Clemson life. He is active in Fort Hill Presbyterian Church and served as adviser to Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity for more than 25 years. Students nominated him as a Clemson University Alumni Master Teacher in 1975.

“Our plan was to just stay here long enough to get my research for my Ph.D. finished,” Reel recalled. “I was going to go to England in 1964, do my research there, come back, do writing and translating, and then, hopefully, get my Ph.D. and go off to some other place. And here we still are.”

He earned his doctorate in British medieval history from Emory University in 1967. Reel was named dean of undergraduate studies in 1979 and two years later was promoted to vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies, a position he held until 1992 when he became senior vice provost. Reel stepped down from that position in 2003 and became professor emeritus. He earned the South Carolina Governor’s Award in the Humanities in 2011.

Since 1978, Reel has taught a freshman one-hour-per-semester class and given more than 500 speeches about Clemson University’s history to various groups and organizations. It is his love for Clemson that has led the Medallion winner to write a monograph and two books detailing the history of the university. He also contributed to two others. An honorary Clemson alumnus, Reel has direct Tiger “orange bloodlines” throughout his family. His wife, Edmee, holds a master’s degree from Clemson, and all three of his children, two sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law are Clemson alumni. One grandson is a current Clemson student.

“I am overwhelmed, and slightly embarrassed, by this honor,” Reel said. “Typically, very important alumni win this award. It’s not something that a college teacher normally wins. So I am very honored, on behalf of all the people who have contributed to the history of Clemson University.”

Smyth McKissick '79

Smyth McKissick ’79

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.”

Laneika K. Musalini  M ’11 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Laneika K. Musalini M ’11

Laneika K. Musalini  M ’11 is director of grants at Tri-County Technical College and a grants writer and administrator for Community Colleges of Appalachia. She also is founder and CEO of Women’s Empowerment. The 2013 recipient of Clemson’s MLK award for Excellence in Service-Community Member award, she was awarded the Duke Energy/Clemson University Center for Workforce Development STEM Innovator Award in 2012.

Raven Magwood ’12 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Raven Magwood ’12

Raven Magwood ’12 graduated from Clemson at the age of 19 with a 4.0 GPA. She published her first book at age 12, and followed that up with another during college, 7 Practices of Exceptional Student Athletes. Magwood has written a screen play, “Switching Lanes,” scheduled to be released as a feature film later this year and travels as a motivational speaker.

Tripp James ’02, M ’04 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Tripp James ’02, M ’04

Tripp James ’02, M ’04 has founded, operated and harvested several successful small businesses and currently serves as small-business programs manager for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. A graduate of Leadership Greenville, he has heavily invested his time and talent in PULSE, Greenville’s organization for young professionals. A member of the College of Business and Behavioral Science Alumni Loyalty Board, he serves as a mentor for students.

Thomas Rhodes ’06 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Thomas Rhodes ’06

Thomas Rhodes ’06 heads his family business, Rhodes Graduation Services, and is owner of Sumter Advertising Company and chief operating officer of Custom Bike Rings in Summerton. He designed the 2014 Clemson Orange Bowl Ring for Coach Dabo Swinney. Last year, he helped establish the Distinguished Clemson Athletes award to honor former athletes who are making a difference in their communities through non-athletic endeavors.

George Nathanial Magrath ’06 - Roaring 10 Recipient

George Nathanial Magrath ’06

George Nathanial Magrath ’06 is completing a two-year ocular oncology fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. During his time at the Medical University of South Carolina, he was the first resident in South Carolina to perform laser-assisted cataract surgery. He developed web application algorithms for diagnosing complex eye diseases, melanoma and ocular inflammation, which were featured in Review of Ophthalmology and Ocular Surgery News.

Tia Nicole Williams ’05 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Tia Nicole Williams ’05

Tia Nicole Williams ’05 is owner and operator of the SERVPRO franchise in Cayce, West Columbia and Lexington. She also is owner and editor of the Lexington Anchor, a monthly online publication. Former secretary and current treasurer of the Columbia Clemson Club, Williams is communications chair of the State Chamber Small Business Council and a company adviser for State Chamber Business Week, teaching high school students about business.

Steven Foushee ’05 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Steven Foushee ’05

Steven Foushee ’05 is a project manager for Moss 7 Associates, a construction management firm in Greenville. He is the youngest of only seven registered Design Build Institute of American professionals in the state. A volunteer with the U.S. Green Building Council’s South Carolina chapter, he was in charge of education and outreach for green building initiatives. He is a member of Clemson’s Construction Science Management Industry Advisory Board.

Hannah Hopkins Pittman '03, '13 - Roaring 10 Recipient

Hannah Hopkins Pittman ’03, M ’13

Hannah Hopkins Pittman ’03, M ’13 is director of professional development for the S.C. Association of School Administrators. Treasurer of the Columbia Clemson Club since 2011, Pittman led efforts to fund a $25,000 scholarship endowment that revitalized the involvement of Richland County alumni. A member of Women’s Alumni Council, Pittman planned and coordinated “Bring Your Daughter to Clemson” Weekend that raised approximately $8,000 for scholarship.