Clemson Corporate Connections

Clemson University Clemson, SC Clemson Corporate Connections

The Corporate and Foundation Relations (CFR) team within the Office of Development at Clemson University is dedicated to building and maintaining long-term relationships that benefit your company as well as the University and its students. Clemson Corporate Connections shares updates on some of these partnerships.


Bill Ferrell of Clemson’s Department of Industrial Engineering has been appointed to lead the Fluor-Clemson International Capital Supply Chain Partnership in Industrial Engineering. Ferrell is being recognized for his instrumental role in establishing an online master’s program in engineering at Clemson that has graduated about 100 students in four years and is expected to pay for a $10 million addition to Freeman Hall on Clemson’s campus.

Bill Ferrell | Clemson University | Clemson, SC

Fluor has been a longstanding partner of Clemson University, supporting numerous student programs, faculty initiatives, and research projects since 1977. The Fluor-Clemson International Capital Supply Chain Partnership was established in 2013, and the Fluor Endowed Chair in Supply Chain and Logistics, held by Dr. Scott Mason, was established in 2007.

Mike Wheeler, senior vice president of supply chain and chief procurement officer at Fluor, said the professorship deepens the continued successful partnership between Fluor and Clemson.

“Our partnership is educating new leaders in supply-chain management for the engineering, procurement and construction industry. Bill Ferrell has been an enthusiastic leader of the partnership since its inception and we are pleased to see the recognition awarded to Bill by Clemson.”


Big Switch Networks has donated a $1.23 million gift of networking technology to Clemson University, which will play an important role in Clemson’s high-bandwidth computing infrastructure.

Big Switch Networks, of Santa Clara, Calif., is a leader in developing software-defined networking technology, with roots in the original Stanford research team that invented Software Defined Networking (SDN). The company is widely considered to be one of the original pioneers of SDN.

Clemson’s core network is one of the most powerful in the nation, connected at 100 gigabits per second to Internet2’s Innovation Platform, which enables ultra-fast data transfers between collaborators at campuses across the nation.

Jim Bottum, Clemson’s vice provost for computing and information technology and chief information officer, said the gift would be a significant piece of Clemson’s next-generation network architecture.

“Clemson’s partnership with a leading company like Big Switch is helping to position the university for its transition to the next-generation of technology infrastructure, a challenge all organizations will inevitably face,” Bottum said.

“This deployment, spanning hundreds of switches, is just one small part of the fantastic collaboration we’ve had with Clemson. They have been active in the SDN community since inception, and their team helped us design Big Cloud Fabric. It is rewarding for everyone involved to see the result come together as their deployments scale,” said Kyle Forster, founder of Big Switch.

Clemson will celebrate Big Switch’s generosity at a gift recognition event in the fall of 2015.


Clemson recently welcomed Wells Fargo to campus for the annual Wells Fargo Day, which celebrates their support of Clemson programs Call Me MISTER and Emerging Scholars.

Wells Fargo Day | Clemson University | Clemson, SCWells Fargo has supported these unique programs since 2006. The goal of the Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role models) program is to place more African-American males in elementary school classrooms at teachers. Student participants in the Call Me MISTER program are usually selected from under-served, socioeconomically disadvantaged and educationally at-risk communities. The Emerging Scholars program was created in 2002 with a goal of inspiring an educational culture shift among high school students in three of South Carolina’s most poverty-stricken counties. To date, there have been 348 Emerging Scholars graduates, with 100 percent of these students graduating high school amidst an average of 73 percent across their five high schools.

The 2015 Wells Fargo Day began with a “Scattergories” type activity which allowed Emerging Scholars students to discuss financial planning and wealth management topics with Wells Fargo executives in an informal, fun atmosphere. Call Me MISTER students led the game and helped the Emerging Scholars learn about topics related to banking and budgeting. 

Wells Fargo Day | Clemson University | Clemson, SC      

Following the activity, Clemson guests joined Wells Fargo, Emerging Scholars, and Call Me MISTERS for a luncheon and program, which included a song performed by several MISTERS and poetry reading by two Emerging Scholars. Guests also heard from Wells Fargo Regional President for South Carolina Kathy Heffley, who shared about her excitement about learning more about these two special programs at Clemson. Wells Fargo Day not only celebrates one of Clemson’s world-class corporate partners, but is also a testament to the very real impact that education is making in the lives of students in South Carolina.