Excellence in academics has been a lifelong pursuit for Terry Don Phillips. He has an undergraduate degree from Arkansas (1970), a master’s degree from Virginia Tech (1974), a doctorate degree from Virginia Tech (1978), and a law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law (1996). He is a member of the Arkansas Bar, South Carolina Bar, American Bar Association, and Sports Lawyers Association.
Phillips served as Clemson’s athletic director from 2000-2012. Some of the accomplishments that have taken place during Phillips’ 10 years as athletic director include: the hiring of Dabo Swinney as head football coach, the hiring of Brad Brownell, and the winning of 13 ACC Championships in eight different sports, including five different women’s sports. He also set the standard for many Clemson traditions: wearing orange on Solid Orange Friday, having the players sing the alma mater after games, and wearing orange to games. In addition, he set another standard—full compliance with NCAA regulations. A total of 77 sports seasons recorded winning records in his time.
The Honorary Alumnus designation was presented to Terry Don at Clemson University’s Allen N. Reeves Football Complex by Clemson University president, Jim Clements, head football coach, Dabo Swinney, Clemson Alumni Board President Mike Dowling, Alumni Executive Director Wil Brasington, and President Emeritus Jim Barker.
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 for 2021 Honorary Alumni will open in October. 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.