Patrick McMillan: Rowland P. Alston, Sr., '42 Award recipient

Dr. Patrick McMillan, Biological Sciences faculty member, was recognized as the inaugural recipient of the Rowland P. Alston Sr., “42 Award for Excellence in Public Relations on Wednesday, December 16 at the December General Faculty Meeting at the Brooks Center.  This award recognizes outstanding faculty or staff members who, through agriculture and/or natural resources, have provided Clemson University with positive visibility throughout South Carolina, the United States, and the world.

Dr. McMillan certainly embodies the merits of this new award.  Patrick is the co-creator, host and writer of the popular and award-winning ETV nature program Expeditions with Patrick McMillan!  This Public Broadcasting System program is available to over 54 million households in 70% of the top 10 TV markets.  The program has earned numerous awards including a Silver Telly Award by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a nomination for a Southeast Emmy, and a 2008 ACE Bronze award for Nature/Wildlife.

In addition to his TV program, Patrick has been featured in numerous publications, is a frequent guest on Your Day and ETV Roadshow and provides countless public presentations.

Mr. Rowland Alston was present to accept the award on Dr. McMillan’s behalf as Patrick is currently in South American working on future projects.  Mr. Alston, who established the award, is pleased that such an outstanding member of the Clemson family was selected to be the first recipient of the new award.

Rowland P. Alston Jr. established this meaningful award to honor his father, a 1942 graduate from Clemson.

Rowland himself holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and a Master’s degree in Agronomy, both from Clemson University. He is a Clemson University County Extension Agent Emeritus, who served as an extension agent for nearly thirty years in Sumter, South Carolina.

Rowland became associated with public broadcasting in the early 1980s, and in 1993 was a co-creator of the Emmy Award-Winning South Carolina ETV show Making it Grow! Making it Grow! is a live, interactive call-in program produced by ETV and Clemson University that brings viewers current, research-based horticultural information. As host, Rowland, along with featured guests, focuses on gardening topics while highlighting interesting places and products from around South Carolina.  It was Rowland’s involvement in broadcasting and understanding the positive impact agriculture and natural resources communication can have for the image of Clemson University that inspired him to create this award to honor his father.

As recipient of the award, Dr. McMillan receives a commemorative plaque and a monetary award.

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